Joe Young played his third game with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Sunday while Glenn Robinson III made his D-League debut in what is expected to be a brief stint with Indiana's minor league team for both players. Despite starting three NBA assignees, the Mad Ants fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Central Division leader, by a score of 106-101.
Scoring eight points in 1:18 seconds to close the first-half, Young showed few signs of rust after having spent the previous evening with the Pacers in Minnesota. On the night, Indiana's rookie scored a team-high 29 points on 47.8 percent shooting. Though he connected on all three of his attempts from behind the arc, the University of Oregon alum's bucket chart was evenly distributed, as he converted several tough finishes at the rim as well as a half-court buzzer beater at the end of the second quarter.
While Young's scoring abiity is undeniable, his time with the Mad Ants could be better spent if he also worked on setting the table for his teammates. On Sunday, he recorded just one assist in 34 minutes. While he is more than capable of draining pull-up jumpers off screens, he still needs to test his passing ability in those situations.
He also dribbled into traffic a time or two without a backup plan once he got two feet in the lane, a sign that his court vision is not yet ready to takeover when his speed fails him.
Of course, building chemistry on-the-go with a whole new set of teammates is easier said than done. Not yet accustomed to his teammates sweet spots, Young did an effective job cashing-in early and often on his own.
With Young and backup guard Walter Lemon Jr. combining for 50 of Fort Wayne's 101 points, scoring opportunities were not as readily available for Glenn Robinson III through the flow of the offense. The first-year Pacer recorded 11 points on 13 field goal attempts. Most of his points came off drives to the rim or easy transition buckets.
With fewer chances to fill up the box score, Robinson III showed a tendency to force the action on occassion.
Young and Robinson III combined to play 74 minutes on Sunday. They are averaging just under 15 combined minutes per game with the Pacers and have earned 29 collective DNPs. Neither player is expected to stay long-term with the Mad Ants, though the possibility looms that the pair could be making trips back and forth on off-nights for the Blue & Gold.
"I don't anticipate that he'll (Glenn Robinson III) spend a lot of time in the D-League," Vogel told Vigilant Sports. "If there's a game or two here where it makes sense for him to get some run, then we'll send him up there."
The next time the Mad Ants play at home when the Pacers are off is January 7 against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.