Slumping Turkoglu trying not to press

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

Hedo Turkoglu is hearing your boos.

And he has no problem with the paying fan base expressing its dissatisfaction.

But he does want to point out that heís not enjoying the fact that his shot is not going in with the same regularity he or the paying customers expect.

Asked about the voiced dissatisfaction expressed by a number of Raptors fans in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Turkoglu said it was the first time in a long time that he has been booed, but he hardly is in a position to complain about it.

The month of January has not been a memorable one for Turkoglu. He already has scored in single digits five times this month which is just one more time than the combined single-digit scoring games he had in his first nine weeks of the season.

For the month, he is shooting just 32.6% from both the field and three-point range. He is averaging just 9.6 points a game.

ďI canít quit,Ē Turkoglu said. ďI canít complain. All I can do is keep being aggressive. People expect better stuff from me. They expect me to make every shot I take. Sometimes you donít get a call and people think youíre taking bad shots.Ē

The lack of calls was readily apparent from Turkogluís responses to the booing Friday night. He was shaking his head and waving his arms ó sometimes in the direction of the refs, other times in the direction of the fans.

ďThatís the first time Iíve been booed in a long time,Ē he explained. ďI want to play better too. I want people to know that. I didnít come here just to cruise around. Sometimes when I donít get a call I look bad out there.Ē

Raptors head coach Jay Triano was hesitant to get too much into a discussion of the refsí treatment of Turkoglu of late.

ďI think he got the benefit (of some calls) earlier but when youíre struggling every≠thing goes against you,Ē Triano said. ďThe calls donít go your way. Your teammates donít make shots when you set them up wide open. Stuff like that. But itís hard to say heís not getting calls. Some nights he does.Ē

Turkoglu canít remember a shooting slump at any point in his career that has lasted as long as the current one, but the worst thing he believes he can do now is panic.

ďI canít worry,Ē Turkoglu said. ďIím not the type of guy who will let this bother me. Iím not the guy who locks himself in the gym. I get my work in when I need to. I stay in shape. I stay ready.Ē

So as much as fans might want to hear Turkoglu is in the gym late throwing up shots by the hundreds, thatís not the case. In fact, the last guy in the gym Saturday getting up extra shots was Patrick OíBryant, who appeared to be looking to expand on the few minutes he got on Friday.

Turkoglu has been in the league long enough and through enough downtimes that he believes he knows what works for him and what doesnít. So while it might appease the masses to hear that he is working around the clock to fix his shooting problems, thatís never the way that has worked for Turkoglu.

ďI just have to stay calm,Ē Turkoglu said. ďStay confident and when the time comes, even if I shoot 2-for-15 I have to take (the shot) because I have to get over this hump. You canít be passive or thinking too much or hesitating about the shot because that will just make it worse.Ē

It might not be what fans want to hear, but thatís the approach Turkoglu is taking.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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