OKLAHOMA CITY — Hedo Turkoglu no longer requires a mask to protect his orbital bone under his right eye, but he’s not masking his frustration.
Say what you want about the underachieving Turkoglu, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve and his patience is beginning to wear thin.
Had Friday’s potential winner found net, maybe his mood would have been different in Sunday’s meeting with the host Thunder.
At a time when he can use any break, Turkoglu is getting none. On his first foray to the hoop, Turkoglu got bumped when he went strong by using his right hand.
There was no call and the call went against the Raptors when the officials ruled the ball went off Turkoglu’s leg and into the courtside seats for a Toronto turnover.
More than any sequence, that play summed up the way Toronto began its night.
Two dubious calls went against Turkoglu in the ensuing minutes, forcing head coach Jay Triano to sub out Turkoglu for Antoine Wright with 4:30 remaining in the opening 12 minutes.
In eight minutes, Turkoglu had two points on two attempts from the field, two rebounds, one assist and one awkward stare at veteran official Tony Brothers, who came close to teeing up Turkoglu.
Overlooked in Friday’s 126-118 overtime loss to the Cavs was Turkoglu’s inability to get to the line.
Incredibly, in close to 43 minutes, Turkoglu did not attempt a single free throw.
The NBA is a star-driven league where the elite draw fouls, even when they are not warranted.
Turkoglu’s inconsistency in his first season as a Raptor does not get lost on the officials, who won’t dare comment, but it’s pretty obvious they are cutting Turkoglu absolutely no slack.
Turkoglu tried to stay involved during his stint on the bench by offering encouragement to his teammates.
When he re-entered the game with 5:57 left in the half, Turkoglu joined fellow starters Andrea Bargnani and Jarrett Jack.
Turkoglu, who started the game by defending Kevin Durant, was asked to guard the less explosive James Harden.
Turkoglu’s lack of foot speed was exposed when, on a switch, he got matched up against Durant at the top of the circle. It was no contest as Durant used his explosive first step to get to the hole.
On Toronto’s ensuing possession, Bargnani went strong to the basket. There was plenty of contact, but no foul.
Triano voiced his displeasure to Pat Fraher, who was the official along the baseline, but was given a technical by Brothers, who was the trailing official on the play.
“He’s not yelling," Turkoglu told Brothers. “He’s talking.”
On Toronto’s first possession in the second half and with ample time on the shot clock, Turkoglu heaved a three-pointer that barely touched iron.
In 21 minutes, Turkoglu did not make a single trip to the foul line, settling for eight jumpers, including five from beyond the three-point arc.