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Good riddance
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Milwaukee Bucks power forward Ersan Ilyasova's frustrating, injury-plagued season has come to an end due to a right ankle injury.

I think I speak for most fantasy owners when I say, good riddance.

Ilyasova's season was a disaster right from the start, as he suffered a sprained right ankle in the preseason.

He proceeded to average 10 points per game on .375 shooting his first 39 games of the season while missing 12 games during that span due to ongoing issues with his ankle as well as hamstring and back injuries.

Ilyasova earned the reputation of being a strong second-half player by averaging 16.6 points on .519 shooting and 9.1 rebounds in 52 games combined after the last two All-Star breaks, so he remained heavily owned despite his struggles and numerous ailments.

He finally began to show signs of life on Feb. 12 and averaged 14.6 points on .511 shooting and 7.3 rebounds per game in nine games from then until March 5.

The ankle injury persisted, however, and Ilyasova sat out one game in back-to- backs on March 7, 11, 16 and 24, all while teasing fantasy owners with continued solid production (13.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, .468 FG% last seven games).

The Bucks did fantasy owners a favor by shutting him down on Thursday, because now he can be released without the concern that he'll suddenly live up to his potential for another owner.

Ilyasova had an average draft position (ADP) of 49.7 in Yahoo leagues, four picks after David Lee and eight picks ahead of Thaddeus Young. Lee is averaging 18.5 points and 9.4 rebounds this season, while Young has been good for 18 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

The Bucks power forward will finish with 11.2 ppg on .409 shooting, 6.2 rpg and 1.3 apg in 55 games. He shot just .282 from 3-point range after finishing above 44 percent from long distance the previous two seasons.

He already has 16 DNPs and will add 11 more before the Bucks sub-.200 season mercifully ends.

With Ilyasova out, perhaps John Henson will finally be given a chance to shine.

The 23-year-old has played 26.7 minutes per game this season and averaged 10.9 points on .532 shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 0.5 steals.

In the 23 opportunities he had to start, Henson turned in 13.3 points, 8.5 boards, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.

But the former North Carolina Tar Heel has played only 23.6 minutes per game in March, including 19 in Milwaukee's last game, which Ilyasova missed.

Bucks coach Larry Drew has seemed more interested in giving playing time to veteran Zaza Pachulia, former Detroit Pistons second-rounder Khris Middleton and undrafted Jeff Adrien, rather than developing the team's 2012 14th-overall selection.

As for Ilyasova, the Bucks have him for at least two more seasons at $7.9 million per.

Fantasy owners, however, are finally free.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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