Ersan Ilyasova crashed the boards and made big shots for the Bucks on Sunday. The 6-10, fourth-year forward from Turkey had career highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds in Milwaukee’s 92-85 win over the Nets.
Now in his second stint with Milwaukee, Ilasova is one of five international players on their roster, which also includes Beno Udrih from Slovenia, Luc Mbah a Moute from Cameroon, Carlos Delfino from Argentina and Andrew Bogut from Australia. Selected by the Bucks in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Ilasova spent his first season with their affiliated D-League team, the Tulsa 66ers, and made his NBA debut on November 1, 2006. After playing with Liga ACB club FC Barcelona the subsequent two seasons, Ilasova resigned with the Bucks in 2009.
Last year it looked like llasova was on the verge of breaking through and raising his game to the next level. However, he didn’t bust out of the gates this season the way some people expected, perhaps because of the lockout-induced late start to the season and abbreviated training camp.
Ilyasova is able to play at both the 3 and 4 positions. He can run the floor. He’s a good shooter who is capable of stringing 3-point shots together. And he is a tenacious offensive rebounder, giving fantasy owners double-double potential. Ilyasova has averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds in his last 10 contests.
Ersan Ilyasova will continue to log significant minutes in the absence of center Andrew Bogut, who is expected to be out with a fractured left ankle until at least early April. We’ll have to see if Ilyasova can maintain his momentum beyond the All-Star break. Before hosting this weekend’s festivities, Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic will pay a visit to Brew City on George Washington’s birthday to play the Bucks in the first of two games scheduled for Milwaukee before the mid-season recess.