ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Playing scared, with one eye constantly on the coach wondering if that last miss would be a ticket to the bench is no way to play basketball at a high level.
Ersan Ilyasova learned that the hard way at the beginning of last season. It's no secret the Turkish forward didn't see eye-to-eye with former Bucks coach Scott Skiles, as Ilyasova just didn't respond well to Skiles' style of coaching.
Nobody benefited from the coaching change more than Ilyasova, as Jim Boylan not only immediately inserted him back into the starting lineup, but more importantly played Ilyasova extended minutes throughout the course of the rest of the season.
As he was able to calm his worries about minutes, Ilyasova, who will turn 26 on Wednesday, became the player the Bucks rewarded with a five-year contract after a breakout season in 2011-12.
"At the beginning of the season I was not in a rhythm," Ilyasova said. "The coach changed, and I kind of found myself. It was always tough for me to...