With the announcement of the NBA’s 22-team plan to close out the rest of the season, the Milwaukee Bucks are waiting for late July when play restarts in Disney World. It will undoubtedly be an odd postseason experience, but if Milwaukee can be at its best in the bubble then it will be tough to beat.
As coach Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks prepare during this hiatus, FOX Sports Wisconsin will analyze each player on the Bucks and what their role might be in the playoffs.
This edition: Ersan Ilyasova
Ilyasova has played for six NBA franchises, but none more than the Milwaukee Bucks. He was drafted by the organization in 2006 and played his rookie season before spending his next two seasons in Spain. He returned to America in 2009 and played six seasons with the Bucks before being traded to Detroit.
He bounced around the league for a few seasons with the Pistons, Orlando, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Philadelphia before signing a three-year, $21 million deal with Milwaukee in 2018. At 6-foot-9, Ilyasova has the frame of a typical NBA power forward but can also effectively space the floor since he shoots 36.6% from deep for his career
Ilyasova has fit into his role on the bench very well for the Bucks. The Turkish big man has been a dependable shooter for the Bucks this season and operates smoothly within Mike Budenholzer’s offense. Moreover, the 33-year-old Ilyasova can start when needed, averaging 15.4 points and 11.1 rebounds per game per 36 minutes.
GAME TO REMEMBER
The best game of Ilyasova’s season came in a 112-86 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 27. Ilyasova had 18 points and 17 rebounds, both season highs, and recorded a box score plus/minus of +37 in just 24:22 minutes. His performance also came in one of his eight starts of the season.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SUMMER
Nobody expects Ilyasova to be the main reason behind the Bucks’ potential success or failure in the postseason, but if he helps Milwaukee on the margins then his presence could be invaluable.
Ilyasova is good enough to come off the bench and give the Bucks a quick chunk of points in the third quarter of a close Game 5 in a playoff series. A scenario like that could ultimately swing the season for the Bucks and a reliable, experienced veteran like Ilyasova is capable of stepping up in a spot like that.