When I got home last night, I stumbled upon the Nets/Magic game on League Pass, and it was (believe it or not) one of the better games that I’ve watched this season. Even more shockingly, the fourth quarter was, largely, an electric test of wills between two of the NBA’s least talked about players: Darrell Armstrong and Hedo Turkoglu.
Darrell, of course, is the hyper-caffeinated ageless wonder of a point guard; a man who has seemingly played for every team in the L and refuses to go down quietly. After yet another huge shot down the stretch, Nets color man Mark Jackson – an ageless wonder in his own right during his playing days – claimed that Armstrong was sixty-five years old, and I had trouble telling if he was joking or not.
Though he couldn’t bail his team out as time expired, Hedo played like an All-Star, and if you’ve followed the Orlando Magic this season, you know that this is nothing new. Turkoglu is enjoying the best season of his career, and shockingly, he has become the Magic’s go-to-guy at crunch time. He also has a habit of staring down the opposing bench after hitting big shots, which given his goofy and generally unfortunate grill, is quite often a hilarious sight.
Yes, on a team featuring one of the best big men in the League and a newly-acquired small forward making an absurd amount of money, it is Hedo’s number that Stan Van Gundy calls when the going gets tough.
What in the world is going on? I have no idea, but I can’t look away.