Clippers should target Ersan Ilyasova in 2012

Ersan Ilyasova is a stretch four who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2012. He's still only 24 years old. The Clippers should definitely make a run at him. LA has a huge Turkish population which should be attractive to him. He probably would also like to play in LA after playing in cold Milwaukee.


Ilyasova makes impact off bench By Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 23, 2012 9:15 a.m. |(59) Comments

Miami - Ersan Ilyasova started the first nine games of the season before Bucks coach Scott Skiles decided to make a switch at power forward.

Rookie Jon Leuer went in the starting lineup against Detroit on Jan. 12 and Ilyasova came off the bench.

Ilyasova, in his fourth NBA season and second stint with the Bucks, appears to be that rare breed of player who excels in a reserve role. Since going to the bench, he has averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds while playing 20 minutes a game (in the last six games).

And the 6-foot-10 Ilyasova was at his best Sunday night in Miami, when he delivered 16 points and six rebounds in the Bucks' 91-82 victory over the Heat.

He sank two free throws and a three-pointer early in the third quarter when the Bucks offense was floundering, keeping the team in the game with Miami.

And in the fourth quarter he made the key basket of the game, cutting to the hoop and scoring off a pinpoint pass from guard Shaun Livingston for an 85-80 Milwaukee lead with 1:50 remaining.

"I tried to get rid of the ball right away because the shot clock was going down and you never know." Ilyasova said.

Ilyasova was in the game because center Andrew Bogut fouled out with 2:32 remaining. So Ilyasova was playing the 5 spot at the end of the game in a lineup which included forwards Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Stephen Jackson and guards Shaun Livingston and Brandon Jennings.

"They had gone to zone there and we hadn't really seen much of it early in the game so it caught us unaware for a split second," Skiles said of the clutch basket. "Those are plays he (Livingston) can make.

He made a nice adjustment, he hit a seam and drew the defenders. That was a huge play for us."

Skiles said before the game Sunday he intended to keep Leuer in the starting lineup. In fairness, Leuer was going against Amare Stoudemire in New York and Chris Bosh in Miami, two of the top power forwards in the league.

Skiles used three reserves - Ilyasova, Mbah a Moute and Jackson - for 20 minutes or more in Sunday's game. And the trio combined for 30 points and 15 rebounds while playing a key part in the Bucks victory.

So don't be surprised to see the same Bucks starting lineup Monday night when the team returns home to face Atlanta. As Jackson said after coming off the bench Sunday, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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