I am sure many of you thought I had hit it big at the racetrack and you would never hear from me again (probably optimistically so). Well if you thought that you would be wrong. First of all let me point out that gambling is not for everyone and the Mad Ants do not condone gambling. Garrett Martz on the other hand has some GAMBLE in him. I somehow managed to not cash a single winning ticket out of eleven races. It was a fun time though, with good food and good friends.
Well the NBA Draft has come and gone. I was excited to see the Pacers picked up Tyler Hansborough. I always enjoy watching big name college players transition to the NBA. I know many are predicting Hansborough to have a tough time in the NBA. I think he will prove a lot of people wrong. If you have the success he has had and the work ethic, it's going to translate to the NBA. Of course I would love to see him play a game or two with the Mad Ants to help get his feet wet but I won't hold my breath.
The Mad Ants do have a bountiful selection (12) of potential NBA assignees from our three affiliate teams (Bucks, Pacers, Pistons). It's too early to really guess who we will see in Fort Wayne this year, but here are my predictions:
Detroit: Walter Sharpe and Austin Daye
Sharpe has already spent a brief stint with the Mad Ants. He never received much playing time with the Pistons last season. He does have a sleep disorder which was a big reason the Pistons did not have him spend more time in Fort Wayne.
Daye is a lean 6'11 forward from Gonzaga. He is just the type of project player the Pistons would send down to the Mad Ants for seasoning.
Indiana Pacers: ?
The Pacers have not used the D-League up until this point. As of right now they have four players on their roster who could potentially be assigned. Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush would be a huge longshot as they both played significant minutes last season for the Pacers. Hansborough is a longshot as well, being he went so high in the draft, the Pacers obviously see a lot of potential in him. AJ Price is a guard from UCONN. He is probably the best chance we have at seeing a Pacer in a Mad Ants uniform. The Pacers have simply not been an advocate of using the D-League up to this point.
There is a train of though that a young player will learn more by traveling and practicing with the team even though they are not dressing or playing in games. I understand this point but I think I'll have to agree to disagree. It just makes too much geographical sense for the Pacers to send players down to the Mad Ants for playing time. It is a very short two hour drive from Indy to Fort Wayne. A player could be assigned the morning of a Mad Ants game, play 40 minutes, and be back in his bed in Indy by 1am and back with the Pacers the next day. The D-League is such a talented collection of players, that a first or second year NBA guy is going to gain some great experience and confidence by playing.
Milwaukee Bucks: Jodie Meeks
I will be honest, I do not know much about Jodie Meeks. But listening to smarter basketball minds around the office, he is the Buck that makes the most sense to be assigned to the Mad Ants for a stretch.
Over all I really like the Ants chances of seeing some NBA assignments this year. I know it's something our fans want to see more of and it is certainly something the office wants to see more of as well. This is what makes the Mad Ants the highest level of sports Fort Wayne has to offer, the ability to see NBA contracted players on the floor on any given night. It makes it tough when most of the NBA players our fans have seen have been on the opposing sideline!
Well there you have it, the worst analysis of the NBA Draft imaginable. I did not even mention Ricky Rubio once!
My next blog will most likely be talking about the big story out of Rio Grande Valley today in concern to the Houston Rockets taking over their basketball operations via the league's hybrid model.
Until then .....okay I also need to come up with a catchy sign-off for my blogs.....