Even though the rest of the known world may use Hedo Turkoglu as a punchline, Paul Pierce — Turkoglu’s positional matchup in today’s game between the Celtics and Magic — still seems to have enormous respect for the man. From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Evan Dunlap):
“Hedo is going to be great for ’em because he already knows the players, he knows the system, he knows the coaches,” said Boston small forward Paul Pierce. “I’ve always said he’s one of the more difficult matchups for me, personally, at that position because of the way he shoots the ball, the way he handles and play-makes. And it doesn’t hurt for him to be 6-10, so it’s hard for me to get to his shot.”
Turkoglu has certainly looked more at home back in Stan Van Gundy’s offense than he ever did in Phoenix or Toronto, but this is still high praise from a tremendous competitor who isn’t quick to dole out undeserved praise. Pierce doesn’t seem the type to laud without reason, and even though he’s prone to hyperbole (lest we forget, he once ordained himself the greatest player in the world), the fact that he still thinks this much of Turk means something.
Of course, that something could simply mean that Pierce doesn’t watch much League Pass nor soak up his scouting report, but it’s Christmas. Good will toward all men; we’ll give Pierce the benefit of the doubt, just as Pierce is giving Turkoglu a hell of a holiday compliment.