LOS ANGELES — The early season results haven’t resulted in many net gains for either the Raptors or the Phoenix Suns.
When the teams engineered an off-season trade that saw Hedo Turkoglu shipped to Phoenix, the Suns thought they were getting an ideal guy who could play in pick and roll sets, make plays at the end of the shot clock and take some of the ball handling pressure off of Steve Nash.
The Raptors were hoping Leandro Barbosa’s presence would provide much needed experience, a dose of scoring off the bench and a guy who could create.
Both entered their Friday’s action averaging numbers that were either career-lows or close to representing a career total.
Each has been around the block long enough to know the nature of an NBA season, but to date they’ve both been busts.
At least Barbosa has an excuse, but refuses to cite it for his showing struggles, a right wrist that is far from healthy.
For Turkoglu, he’s being asked to play at power forward, a transition that has been very difficult.
When the Suns tried to take advantage of a mismatch earlier this week against San Antonio, Turkoglu had the ball in his hands more, but he struggled with his offence.
Then came an extended period of solid play by Hakim Warrick that led some to believe that Turkoglu would be relegated to the bench.
“I don’t want people to misunderstand,” Turkoglu told The Arizona Republic. “I’m here as Hedo Turkoglu. I didn’t come here to fill anyone’s shoes. I don’t want to be compared with somebody else. I’ll just try to do my stuff that I’ve been using so many years in the league. I’m in a different role.”