Let's praise Hedo Turkoglu.
The NBA named Turk the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April; Kobe Bryant received the Western award. It's Turk's first-ever Player of the Month award, although he won Player of the Week twice earlier this season.
He's gotten a lot of love lately, that Hedo Turkoglu:
- Lang Whitaker of SLAM, who has an official NBA awards ballot (that is to say, his opinion counts), voted Turkoglu as the NBA's Most Improved Player. The decision was, in his words, "a gimme."
- Bill Simmons has him and Dwight Howard in a tie in 11th for NBA MVP. He put Turkoglu in the starting lineup of his All-Hombre team along with Steve Nash, Bryant, LeBron James, and Rasheed Wallace.
- He received 9 votes for Most Improved Player from ESPN's panel of 20 experts; the runner-up was Boston's Rajon Rondo, with 3 votes.
- He scored 487 points in fourth quarters, which is 30.4% of his total points. His 6.2 points per fourth quarter is seventh in the NBA this season, according to 82games.
- T. Jose Caldeford calls him "Mr. Under the Radar" and worries the Raptors may not be able to stop him.
Check out this neat profile of Turk from Stan McNeal of The Sporting News. And here, we expressed our outrage over Turk's exclusion from the Eastern Conference All-Star team, then made the case that he should have taken Joe Johnson's place.