Milwaukee Bucks Must Build A Team Around Ersan Ilyasova

By Michael Terrill

Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have signed Ersan Ilyasova to a long-term contract, they must focus on building a team around him and the other young players.

Ilyasova is with the team for the long haul and point guard Brandon Jennings appears eager to sign a long-term extension, something he wanted no part of a few months back. Shooting guard Monta Ellis will have a player option for 2013 that he will likely use while Drew Gooden and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute each have two years remaining on their contracts.

Milwaukee has a great opportunity for the proven veterans to teach the younger players how basketball is played at the professional level. Gooden and center Samuel Dalembert will be able to give great advice to Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, and rookie John Henson. Meanwhile, Ellis will be able to teach Jennings, Tobias Harris, and rookie Doron Lamb a thing or two on handling the basketball and converting outside shots.

The Bucks have a solid core of players that are eager to learn while also being talented enough to have an immediate impact on the team. Athleticism, something the Bucks certainly have, is a priceless attribute to have among the players of a team. Several players are diverse enough to play different positions and help the team by using team work and executing head coach Scott Skiles’ plays to get the job done.

Milwaukee still has an opportunity to acquire more players if necessary but I believe they have a solid group of men who will buy into Skiles’ philosophy and play the game the right way. Too many teams in the NBA use one or two star players to take over and win games. The Bucks will instead have to use hardnosed defense and utilize the pass to setup open perimeter shots on offense.

The big forwards will be blocking machines around the basket while not allowing any player to drive the lane. Meanwhile, on offense Ilyasova will be able to draw out the defense by sinking shots from downtown. Milwaukee is a shooting team but it will also be nice to have the big guys in the middle work the post to setup the wing players. Critical players such as Ellis, Mbah a Moute, and Jennings driving the lane will also help to setup outside shots.

With Ilyasova signing, a solid core is now in place. Milwaukee will not be able to attract the “star” players but that does not mean they cannot still win games by playing efficient teamwork basketball. The Bucks were able to defeat the World Champion Miami Heat twice last season by doing this. If everyone works together and does their part there should be no reason why Milwaukee is not wreaking havoc in the NBA next season.

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