I had said in the build up for this game that the playoffs for the Raptors began last night in Miami. Early on at least the Raptors played like it. In fact for over half this game the Raptors played like it. Building a lead that climbed as high as 17 points. This all being done with the same starting line-up that faced the Nuggets. Wright and Weems remained in the starting line-up and we were told Hedo would dress and come off the bench. However he never did. More on that in a minute. But as for the folks that did play in this one the Raptors played with the same energy and effort as they had vs Denver. Only to see D-Wade and Haslem go off and lead the Heat all the way back to end up with a 97-94 win. The Raptors had a 10 point lead in the 4th Quarter and just like the lead vs Denver it slipped away late.
But what was gong on with Hedo? Well Jay Triano would say it was a DNPCD which if you are not a basketball junkie means did not play coaches decision. It would seem that Hedo is alright from his stomach flu or whatever was wrong with him. At this point you wonder if he even was sick at all. The comparison I made to Vince Carter seems pretty legit now doesn't it? If this was a message being sent it sure was a heck of a time to send it for Triano. The Hedo signing is looking like perhaps the worst signing in Raptors history since Yogi Stewart. Apparently Hedo according to a story by Michael Grange was seen out on the town Friday after the loss to Denver. He apparently has been fined and last night was a suspension of sorts. Hedo was not popular before this. Now he is going to be to that epic level of Vince Carter fan hate. That being said he is under contract for 4 more years and has a contract that is likely unmovable.
The one thing is clear Raptor fans have not exactly fallen in love with Hedo to begin with. Now what will happen is anyone's guess. But given how Raptor fans treated Vince Carter it is safe to say Hedo Turkoglu has signed his death warrant with this fan base. Even if he ever snaps back and starts to produce some fans are never going to forget this. 4 more years is usually a term used for presidential campaign's in the states. This is more like a 4 year relationship going to hell before it starts. Worse yet, if the Raptors continue this slide out of the playoffs and that paves the path for Bosh to leave town, that will only add to the ugliness. Is it so unreasonable the fans will blame Hedo at least in part, for their superstar leaving town.
Jay Triano also may lose his job at least in part to the lack of production from HeDON'T. This Raptor team has been falling apart on the floor and it would appear have been falling apart off the floor as well. Lost in the whole Hedo drama is the fact Andrea Bargnani has not learned how to commit a hard foul. I can think of at least 2 maybe 3 situations where Bargnani fouled Wade allowing him to score and get an extra and 1 foul shot.
All of this drama and still a very important game to play vs Charlotte. No Idea if Hedo will play in that one. But what I do know is that if the Raptors lose the game they will be tied with the Bulls for 8th spot. The Raptors chances of making the Playoffs are looking very grim, as are the chances of Chris Bosh staying. Now maybe we at least in part know what Chris Bosh has been frustrated about. It is the same thing we all have been....HEDO FRIGGIN TURKOGLU!!!!
I never supported this signing at the time. However, I never could have painted a scenario as bad as this reality. It is safe to say Turkoglu is well on his way to challenging Vince Carter for being the most hated Raptor of all time. If Chris Bosh were to leave would people boo him? You might not be able to tell as they will be to busy booing Hedo to hear if they are or are not. 53 million dollars is a lot of cash and it is a number that will always be mentioned when you mention Hedo. Fans now apparently have a growing list of reason to hate Hedo.
In all honesty who can blame folks. He is spiting in the face of his team mates, the organization and the fans by his actions. You even wonder if he was ever sick to begin with. When I see Alvin Williams on a Raptor bench now as a coach. I wonder what he must think. He once said he would gladly die on the court. He meant it as well. I honestly believe if Alvin Williams was shot with a gun in the first half of a game he would have asked for them to remove the bullet, stitch up the hole and play in the second half. When this is standard for what Raptor Fans expect from players than Hedo is a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10.
While this blog and the Raptors should be focused on the Charlotte Bobcats who are 3 games in front of the Raptors. But instead, we are talking about a player that did not even play a second last night. In all honesty some fans would prefer he went back to Turkey and never came back. I would join them in that if not for the terrible cap hit the Raptors would have to take.