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Ilyasova stars for Turkey, Bucks stay optimistic on Bogut

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FIBA: Ilyasova's 26 leads Turkey past Greece
Favorites take note: the home team looks for real. Turkey seized control of Group C by dispatching their Greek rivals 76-65, moving them to 3-0 with a couple of very winnable games against Puerto Rico and China left. Ersan Ilyasova picked a good time to catch fire, making all six of his three point attempts on his way to a game-high 26 points and five boards in 31 minutes. He wasted no time getting started, cutting across the lane for a layup on the first Turkish possession, and shortly thereafter raining a high-arcing three from the corner for his first triple. All told he had 12 in the first quarter and added another three and a long deuce midway through the second, giving him 17 of Turkey's first 32 points. And though he's not asked to do much in Turkey's zone-heavy defense, he also added a big block that got the fans even more into it in the second quarter.

Still, give the Greeks credit. They hung tough and were within two at the half despite poor shooting and a rowdy home crowd in Ankara (every Greece possession was greeted with a shower of whistles). But after starting the third on the bench, Ilyasova came on to bury two more threes near the end of the period to extend the Turkish lead to 65-51 and put a fork into the Greek comeback. The crowd was into it, Ersan was into it--really fun to watch. 

JS: Bucks stay optimistic about Bogut's recovery
There's been plenty of anxiety over Andrew Bogut's rehab of late, but Charles Gardner writes that John Hammond and the Bucks are staying optimistic for now.

"Our hope and anticipation is that Andrew will be ready to go when the season begins. The great thing about going through this process with Andrew is he's proven to us as an organization and to our fans, that his effort, energy and toughness will never be questioned."

Bogut is due back in Milwaukee on Tuesday, at which point the Bucks can take a closer look at the most important elbow in Milwaukee. I'll hold off getting worried or excited until we know more.

USATODAY.comBucks could ascend in the East 
Your standard "these guys could be really good!" type offseason piece. Not that I'm complaining.

Bucher: Why are NBA owners spending so much?
Ric Bucher offers up a great read on a topic we've been wondering about all summer.

"They handed out those contracts because they know there will be a lockout," said one agent whose client was part of the summer's free agent pool party. "It makes the owners look like good guys, but they're counting on not paying a good chunk of that money next season."

The seeming certainty of a lockout--or at the very least major changes to the CBA--may also help explain the Bucks' willingness to spend this summer. Though we've been talking for a couple years about all the cap space the Bucks would have in 2011, it's potentially irrelevant if the owners shut things down or if the cap is brought down significantly with a new CBA. So how valuable is that cap space if you can't spend it until 2012...or not at all? Given the momentum generated in 2010, it's tough to fault the Bucks for looking to spend more now--even if means less money to hypothetically spend next summer.

Dime: Getting to know Turk Nowitzki (h/t Speedy)
Ersan talks Turkey, coming back to the Bucks, and his all-star ambitions. Not so sure about that last one...

FanPosts: Brandon being...Brandon?
Oh, Brandon.