Perennially disappointing at the beginning of seasons, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Ersan Ilyasova looks like he is ready to go on his second-half surge.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Ilyasova and the Philadelphia 76ers’ James Anderson.
» Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks (59.4 percent owned on ESPN.com)
20 points (7-9 FG, 6-6 FT), 0 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 turnovers vs 76ers.
Here we go again!
Every year, Ersan Ilyasova promises so much in the off-season and we draft him in the top 60 players in our fantasy drafts. Inevitably, he plays like garbage for the first three to four months of the season and we all bemoan putting our faith in the big man from Turkey.
In the last two seasons, Ilyasova has looked like an All-NBA talent in the last two months of the campaign — carrying fantasy teams to championships on the back of his incredible play. And it may be happening again.
Let’s compare Ilyasova’s numbers from the start of the season and the last five games:
Pre-February 9th — 10.0 points, 0.7 three-pointers, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 37.5 FG%, 82.6 FT%
Post-February 9th — 14.2 points, 0.8 three-pointers, 6.8 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 46.3 FG%, 81.0 FT%
That is a stark difference. He’s hitting shots at an almost 10 percent better clip, which is translating into an extra four points per game and he’s also grabbing more rebounds.
His numbers since February 9th rank him as the 86th best player in fantasy basketball according to Basketball Monster.com. That’s definitely within the must-own region of the rankings and contrasts markedly with his season-long ranking of 182.
Maybe the ankle injury that he suffered at the beginning of the season had never fully healed until now and that was hampering his performance. It’s definitely a possibility and the good news is, he looks to be fighting fit now.
If this is the beginning of the journey of the Ersan Express, it’s time to buy your ticket, hold on and let him take you all the way to fantasy glory.