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Terry Taylor joins Mad Ants in Las Vegas to play in the G League Showcase
Taylor is planning to play in both G League games this week. "He’s such a super individual, a great person that gives us all the confidence..."
LAS VEGAS — You never know who you’ll see in Las Vegas.
That was true for me soon after landing at Harry Reid International Airport on Monday morning.
As I waited outside for my ride, Pacers forward Terry Taylor arrived to wait on his.
And hilariously, we arrived to the hotel at the same time despite taking separate rides.
The point is, Taylor is in Las Vegas and will play with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in their two games this week at the G League Showcase. It’s a big deal for fringe NBA players, a chance to play in front of executives from every team.
“He’s such a super individual, a great person that gives us all the confidence and it’s a pretty seamless transition for him,” Mad Ants head coach Tom Hankins said after practice just a few hours later.
“And then everybody loves playing with him because he makes everybody else look better, especially the guards. They love getting in the pick-and-roll with him because they know if they drop it to him, he’ll finish.”
Taylor is available for three reasons.
The Pacers are healthy.
They only have one game in the next four days.
And he’s out of the rotation.
The second-year player hasn’t seen the court in the past five games and has played a total of seven minutes in the 10 games in December: 0.15% of the possible 480 minutes. You don’t need to know math to know that’s barely any action.
Taylor is a hooper and earned his first NBA contract last spring, at the end of the regular season, by playing in the G League — first on a camp deal, then a two-way.
The Pacers have had so many games in such a short time that practice time has been limited as well. So playing with the Mad Ants will give Taylor game reps, a confidence boost and also help him stay in game shape.
He was on the bench Sunday for the Pacers’ narrow loss to the New York Knicks, then flew out first thing Monday morning. The rest of the Mad Ants arrived on Saturday.
The Mad Ants will play the Santa Cruz Warriors at 3:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, then the Oklahoma City Blue on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Practices and games are held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and are closed to the public.
Taylor played 14 games with the Mad Ants last season, including at the showcase. And in two G League games this season, he’s averaging 30.5 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 64% from the field.