Hedo Turkoglu hasn't exactly torn it up this preseason. He's now 4-for-21 after three games in a Suns uniform and looks uncomfortable and tentative on the floor.
I am no fan of Hedo's and never have been, but there's valid reasons for these early struggles according to his coach. And for now anyway, I am on board and staying patient.
"It's the same thing that Channing (Frye) went through when he got here. He's passing up shots because he wants to fit in. One of the things we talked to him about is this team is a very unselfish team and if he shoots the ball ten straight times no one is going to care. He'll figure that out," Gentry said.
Hedo agreed that he's thinking too much on the floor. A lot of it, according to his postgame self-evaluation, is getting used to Steve Nash. It's the little things about learning when to shoot, when to drive, where to be and in a word, how to fit into the Suns offense.
That's the easy part.
What might be harder (not surprisingly) is Turkoglu's adjustment to a new position.
"The new position is hard. I never played four (power forward) in my life. That's the hardest part for me to learn. I've been playing three (small forward) all my life. Sometimes even one (point guard), but right now four. I'm trying to learn on defense, too," the Suns starting power forward said.
Playing defense against bigger, physical power forwards can wear him down, Hedo said. He's trying to learn how to box out better and how to push the bigger guys out farther from the basket before they catch the ball. He's got a lot to learn.
Asked how long that adjustment will take, Hedo was optimistic at least about the fitting in with Nash part.
"I hope so, I hope it won't take more than (a few games)," Hedo said. "I don't think it's going take that long because we are all professional, we're all smart and we know how to play."
Steve Nash agreed that it won't take long, but as he's prone to do, Steve's also looking at the bigger picture.
"There's a certain amount of commonality because he's a good player and it's easy to play with him and at the same time I think we can get more and more comfortable. It could take the whole season to get really comfortable, but I'm sure we'll play at a pretty good level shortly and I feel really confident playing with him."
Hedo comes to the Suns with a reputation as a sullen player who was very frustrated in Toronto. Facing a slow start and having to both change his game to play with Nash and learn a new position, it was not a given that Hedo would take it well.
That's not the case, however. When asked if he was frustrated or having fun with the learning process Hedo was upbeat in his response; as upbeat as the fairly non-emotive Turkoglu can be.
"I don't think it's frustrating at all. It should be fun. I have to be really stupid if I don't enjoy this," Hedo said about playing with Steve Nash.
Hedo's a lot of things (and I am not sure one of those is a power forward), but he's not stupid.