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Mad Antics


That's why it's a team game

Before I became ancient with bad hips and knees, I played a lot of basketball. Not good, but played it a ton. And one of the things I learned is that if a bunch of guys play together a lot, they know one another's tendencies.

So before we jump on the Mad Ants for their 107-104 loss to Maine on Friday at the Coliseum, let's keep that in perspective.

Certainly, the talent was on the floor. Four of the five starters all had NBA experience in Pacers property Miles Plumblee, Detroit's Khris Middleton and Kim English, and of course, former Boston Celtics forward JaJuan Johnson.

What complicated the newness of the teammates was that Ants point guard Walker Russell Jr. was out with an injured groin. In his place was Ron Howard - a guard, but not a true point.

So the team made 27 turnovers. Plumlee had five and the other starters all had four each.

Talent alone does not make a team. It takes time to play together. But chances are, these five guys won't be together, because the Pacers will recall Plumlee, and Middleton and English will be going back to Detroit, and Howard will be going back to his normal spot as a wing who is better at slashing to the rim than passing.