After the Bucks’ Saturday morning practice at the Cousins Center, new Bucks coach Jim Boylan announced in an post-practice interview that rookie guard Doron Lamb would be assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Doron, who had an increased role when Beno Udrih was out with an injury, has recently returned to the bench where he has routinely been placed on the inactive roster. Sending him to the NBA Developmental League should get Lamb some much needed playing time.
In recent years, the Bucks have used the Mad Ants sparingly — only assigning Larry Sanders in the 2010-11 season and Darington Hobson last season. It does, however, make sense for the Bucks to use Fort Wayne for Doron Lamb. He has been basically riding the bench in the last week, and it really doesn’t look like that will change given how productive Mike Dunleavy has been and how much the Bucks need a back-court defender like Marquis Daniels.
Doron is going to join a Mad Ants team that’s currently the hottest team in the NBA D-League after winning their seventh straight game Saturday against the Erie Bayhawks. They are, however, still sitting outside of the playoffs with a 10-10 record. The addition of former Cavaliers forward Luke Harangody, veteran Ron Howard’s smooth transition to the PG position, and the overall boost in production in the rest of the team has led the Mad Ants to their current hot streak.
During the holiday season, the Mad Ants traded their #1 overall pick JaJuan Johnson to the Canton Charge for Luke Harangody who has arguably become the best D-League player the moment he laced up his sneakers in Fort Wayne. Luke has not only added a scoring touch but just pure toughness to the team that was lacking before his arrival. Despite being 6’8, he can bang in the boards with men inches taller than him (averaging 14.4 RPG) but also go back and hit a mid-range shot (averaging 19 PPG.)
While Harangody is leading the front-court, veteran Mad Ant and D-League player Ron Howard has been the leader of Fort Wayne since the 2008-09 season. Now you might be familiar with Howard because he was with the Bucks training camp roster in the 2010-11 preseason thanks to a recommendation from Andrew Bogut. Throughout his career he was mainly a combo SG/SF but has since moved to the PG position after Fort Wayne sent Walker Russell to Erie. Howard has looked fantastic in his new position by really having a strong sense of where the rest of his four teammates are on the court. Despite being 30, he has one of the quickest 1st steps in the league which pulls in the defenders and allows Howard to kick it out Darryl Partin, Sadiel Rojas, Tony Mitchell and now potentially Doron Lamb.
Speaking of Lamb, he’ll most likely be joining Howard in the starting backcourt for Fort Wayne. Doron’s main issue so far this season has been his lackluster performance shooting from beyond the arc — the main reason the Bucks actually drafted him. The potential of being on an NBA playoff contender will be off Doron when he starts his stint Wednesday against the Los Angeles D-Fenders. The Mad Ants do have some good young players like Darryl Partin and Sadiel Rojas, but they’ve actually been more productive as bench players this season.
It appears that Doron may only be with the Ants during their three-game West Coast trip next week which starts against the D-Fenders on Wednesday. In a local twist, Doron may be matched up against former Marquette Golden Eagle Jerel McNeal and the Jam on Friday.
Every single Mad Ant game (and every D-League game) is broadcast live and archived on YouTube, so it’ll be easier to keep track of Lamb as he tries his hand in the D-League.