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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, December 02, 2017 6:30 pm

For Ants, is talent or streak more important?

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants have won eight straight games. One more victory — tonight at Memorial Coliseum against the Westchester Knicks — and they will set a new franchise record for longest regular-season winning streak. (They won 12 straight, including six in the playoffs, en route to the 2014 championship.)

But tonight the Mad Ants’ lineup will be very different. Ike Anigbogu is back from the Indiana Pacers for a third game in the G League. Alex Poythress is back for the first time this season. There’s even a chance Trey McKinney Jones makes his season debut from a shoulder injury.

No question, the talent level is bigger. But maybe the chemistry is altered — maybe, just maybe, for the worse. Makes you wonder, would you rather see more talent or a record set?

Don’t get me wrong; the Mad Ants’ chances of winning tonight are better with Poythress and Anigbogu but this is one of those age-old minor-league dilemmas. Fans in Fort Wayne, though, prefer winning and if the Mad Ants should stink up the joint tonight you can bet the Pacers will be blamed. But the Mad Ants are here to develop and really they should be doing way more of that than they have been.