Ersan Ilyasova Unable to Explain His Early-Season Struggles

by November 23, 2012

Things have gotten off to a very rough start for Ersan Ilyasova, as he struggles with his game and self-confidence. The Milwaukee Bucks’ forward also hints at being unhappy with head coach Scott Skiles’ rotations. From the Journal Sentinel: “This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen for the 25-year-old Ilyasova after he signed a four-year, $32 million contract during the off-season. Instead of picking up where he left off last spring when he finished second in the league’s most improved player voting, the Bucks starting power forward has struggled with his shot and his confidence. His minutes are down and he has not been able to reprise his role as a gritty rebounder and accurate three-point shooter. ‘It’s hard to explain,’ Ilyasova said. ‘Sometimes those things happen. You just try to fight through it and find a way, just help my teammates any way I can.’ Ilyasova has been missing some good opportunities inside the paint and misfiring on his perimeter shot. And coach Scott Skiles has elected to go with defensive-minded Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh on the front line at the end of games. […] Ilyasova’s numbers are way down across the board through the first 10 games, all as a starter. He is shooting 31.3% overall and just 25% from three-point range and 42.9% on his free throws. He is playing 22.5 minutes per game and averaging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. In 60 games last season he played 27.6 minutes per game and averaged 13 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 49.2% overall. ‘The main thing is I can’t find my rhythm yet,’ Ilyasova said. ‘We’ve got a lot of big guys. Coach has tried a lot of rotations. It’s not the same as it was last year. We had just three or four guys last year and we knew our minutes. It was kind of stable.'”