Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
Orlando Magic fans hoping their team might shake up their starting five learned Wednesday why that simply won't happen. Coach Stan Van Gundy explained his decision to go with Jameer Nelson at the point, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu on the wings, and Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard up front despite the team's struggles of late.
"We can move those guys around a little bit--and I'm not happy with the way a few guys are playing," Van Gundy told the media following Wednesday's shootaround. "But the bottom line is if we're going to go anywhere and win, those guys that we're talking about have to play well. Can other guys come in and provide more energy? Yeah. Can we have a chance at going where we want to go in the playoffs? No, we can't [without them]."
Since February 1st, Turkoglu is shooting 37.6 percent from the field and scoring just 10 points per game. As the compressed, lockout-shortened schedule has worn on, his performances has cratered. Meanwhile, reserve swingman Quentin Richardson has provided great energy in his last few appearances, which include a 15-point, five three-pointer outing against the Miami Heat on Sunday.
Benching Turkoglu in Quentin Richardson's favor is but one option; benching Turkoglu, moving Jason Richardson to small forward, and promoting J.J. Redick to starting shooting guard is another. But the point is moot, for now, as Van Gundy renewed his commitment to the current starting group.
51 percent of Orlando Pinstriped Post readers believe Van Gundy should at least consider benching Turkoglu, according to a recent poll, while 36 percent believe it's "clear" that Van Gundy should bench Turkoglu.