Last week, the Pacers used the D-League for the first time ever, sending down the team’s two rookies, Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson, to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. They say trying to improve through the NBA’s minor league structure is a gateway drug, so perhaps this will lead to the team getting better in other ways.
As for the Mad Ants, they didn’t fare so well even with the richer players suiting up for them.
On Sunday, Fort Wayne lost to the Maine Red Claws 117-112. More important than the outcome, however, was that both Plumlee and Johnson both put up big numbers. The two combined for 53 points (Johnson had 30) on 20-for-37 shooting and 16 boards (Johnson with 9). In related news, the Red Claws’ victory was aided 22 points (including 4 three-pointers), 6 boards and 6 assists from former Butler University star Shelvin Mack.
I haven’t watched the game and numbers alone can be deceiving, of course, but that’s good production by all accounts. You can actually catch the game in its entirely on the D-League website (or just watch the highlights).
You can also watch the other game featuring Johnson and Plumlee, but they didn’t play so hot in that one, also a loss. Miles scored 5 points on 2-for-9 shooting but did manage 12 boards in under 27 minutes. Orlando was hardly better: 15 points on 16 shots with 6 boards.