Ersan Ilyasova's big-money contract extension was starting to look like a big mistake for the Milwaukee Bucks through the first month of the season.
The rangy power forward averaged just 6.9 points and was shooting 22 percent from 3-point range in the first 15 games, landing him in coach Scott Skiles' doghouse. He was removed from the starting lineup, and the sporadic playing time that followed frustrated him as he tried to prove he was worth the five-year, $40 million contract he signed last summer.
Skiles and the Bucks parted ways in January. Ilyasova is now averaging 14.7 points and shooting better than 48 percent on 3s under new coach Jim Boylan, who immediately put him back in the starting lineup.