Turkoglu and Dragic Dominate; Give Phoenix Suns A Preview of Upcoming Season

Quick update:

Phoenix Suns players dominated the World Championships today in Turkey.

Paul Coro has a nice writeup as well here.

First, Goran Dragic had a very good all-around game (10 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers) but moreso was clearly the best player on the court. With regard to the scouting report on Goran (force him right), Australia did that and often stymied him. But he quickly passed out of trouble and never seemed flustered. He just found the open man (ie. mismatch) created by the overplay.

Watching this Slovenian team is such deja-vu to the Phoenix Suns' style. Their whole game is based on guard play creating from each side of the court. They either end up with an open 3 (and 3-4 players at a time can hit it) or a garbage finish at the basket. Very few isolations, except at the start of the play to get the mismatches off and rolling. Crisp passing and clean shooting (16 of 33 from 3-pt land today) rule the day.

Then later, Turkey killed France. The game wasn't even close, with Turkey blowing it open to start the third quarter on a 10-0 run after leading by a wide margin already. The run was fueled by a pair of Turkoglu 3s from each angle (for the game: 20 pts in 25 minutes, 4-7 form 3, 6-11 overall, plus 3 assists and 4 rebounds).

Hedo Turkoglu was brilliant. If you watched this game, you could envision how he can help the Suns this year. Oh he's definitely a perimeter player. No posting up from Hedo. He will drive, dish and shoot from the outside. Fine, we know this. His offense will create offense for others, and we'll either love him when he hits the fallaway 3s or hate him when he doesn't.

But also, Turkey dominated defensively using a 2-3 half-court zone in which Hedo played the lower baseline spot. The same spot Amare played in the Suns' zone. And Turkey's defense was stifling. Just sayin'.

Next up:

Slovenia and Turkey face off in the next round on Wednesday. One of them will move on. One will go home to rest before training camp.

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