So the verdict is out and has been for some time now. The Bucks are good, like title contender good. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things that I would like to see change. Now, before you get upset, I know I’m just a fan who in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really know basketball especially as well as Mike Budenholzer…BUT, I can still express my opinions on what I would like to see out of the Milwaukee Bucks this season. The change I want to see isn’t big, but it could still have implications on how well Milwaukee plays. All that I am suggesting is that it’s time for D.J. Wilson to get the majority of Ersan Ilyasova’s minutes.
This season, Ersan Ilyasova has been exactly what someone would expect out of Turkish Thunder. Currently, he is averaging 8.0 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field and 33.3% from three. He is also contributing 4.9 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.3 blocks all while playing about 16.4 minutes per game. Ilyasova hasn’t been bad but it’s time for the 32-year-old to take a step back for the much younger, D.J. Wilson.
With D.J. Wilson, the Bucks wouldn’t lose any of the production Ilyasova has given the team up to this point. Like Ilyasova, he is a stretch four who can play the five in smaller lineups. The upside when it comes to Wilson over Ilyasova is the fact that he is much more athletic, possibly a better shooter, and is more versatile on defense. He also has the foot speed that Ilyasova never had even in his prime. Considering Ilyasova is averaging 16.4 minutes per game this season, I looked at every single time D.J. Wilson has played 16 or more minutes in a game since his rookie year, which was 37 times, and found his averages. In these situations, since the 2017-18 season, Wilson is averaging 7.6 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the field and 36.9% from three. He adds 5.6 rebounds per game, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks. He is also a +51 in these games. This season in particular, in games where he has played 16 or more minutes, Wilson has been great. In four such games, he is averaging 10.8 points per game on 64.2% from the field and an elite 41.2% from three on 17 tries. He is also grabbing 3.8 rebounds and dishing out 1.3 assists.
With all of these numbers and stats, all I’m trying to say is, D.J. Wilson would not be a downgrade playing over Ersan Ilyasova. In fact, he may even be an upgrade. At this point, the Bucks might as well give the young guy minutes and give him the experience he needs to be successful in the future.