Fort Wayne Mad Ants Suffer From Bad Chemistry at the NBA Development League Showcase

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants looked to display Rakeem Christmas and Joe Young, but the team struggled against the Windy City Bulls at the NBA Development League Showcase.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants typically have one of the NBA Development League’s better offenses but in their 102-78 loss to the Windy City Bulls, that was far from the case.

Fort Wayne shot an abysmal 30% from the field and 19% from the 3-point line in the loss with only two scorers in double-digits. Alex Poythress led the way with 18 points followed by Joe Young with 17 points.

The loss drops the Mad Ants to 15-8 on the season.

So what happened?

The Mad Ants struggled to integrate Rakeem Christmas and Joe Young into the lineup on short noticed, leading to the lopsided loss.

With Christmas and Young joining the team earlier in the week, the Indiana Pacers might be signaling a desire to move them, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette’s Justin A. Cohn.

Unselfishness has helped the Mad Ants to a terrific start this season. Seemingly every night, a different player has stepped up to lead the offense and players at the end of the bench have had the requisite patience.

When the Mad Ants take to the court today in Mississauga, Ontario, for the annual D-League Showcase, the team-first mentality needs to continue.

All 22 D-League teams will play twice over five days in front of NBA scouts looking to sign or trade for players. They might be seeing Alex Poythress or Jordan Loyd in person for the first time. And the NBA’s Indiana Pacers may have signaled their willingness to make a trade by sending Joe Young and Rakeem Christmas to participate with the Mad Ants.

Christmas and Young have been garbage time players for the Pacers this season. They aren’t a part of the rotation and for Young, in particular, it is hard to see him finding minutes with everyone in from of him. Perhaps there is some home in Christmas helping out the power forward situation for the Pacers.

Young had a few chances with the Pacers, but so far hasn’t shown the ability to lead the second unit. That could be because of the bench’s on-going struggles, or it might be entirely on him.

I’m not one to advocate for trades, but if another team sees value in Young or any other of the Mad Ants, and Indiana can get assets back in return, it could be what’s best for all the parties involved.

The Mad Ants play their second game at the showcase on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against the Maine Red Claws.

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