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Mad Ants
vs. Maine
When: 7 p.m. today
Webcast: fortwaynehoops.com
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Tony Mitchell is back with the Ants after 10 days with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mitchell to use lessons of NBA stint

Set to help Ants’ playoff push after 10 days with Milwaukee

– His time in the NBA was short.

Ten days, in which he played only three games, totaling 10 minutes, where he made 3 of 5 shots.

But after waiting a season-and-a-half to get there, Tony Mitchell wasn’t complaining with having to sit mostly on the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks last month.

“It was just me watching and learning the game, so when my time comes I can be ready,” Mitchell said.

It was surprising that it took so long for a team to give Mitchell a shot.

He was the D-League’s Rookie of the Year last season. He is a two-time league Slam Dunk champion.

,He’s averaging 20.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 games this season for the Mad Ants (32-16), who lead the D-League heading into tonight’s game against Maine (19-29).

There are two games left in the regular season, and the Mad Ants have won 15 of their last 18. Guard Jamaal Franklin was recalled by the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, after averaging 17.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his last 13 games.

Mitchell’s been coming off the bench since returning March 14 and trying to take what he learned with the Bucks and apply it here.

“It was a pretty good experience,” he said. “I learned a lot of things about the league and how it works and how different it is from the D-League. I liked it.”

If the Mad Ants get the top playoff seed – Los Angeles is in second at 30-17, and it plays at Memorial Coliseum on Friday – then they will get to choose their first-round opponent from seeds 4 through 8 and likely start a best-of-three series on the road.

Mitchell will be an important part of that, especially with NBA scouts watching the stretch run.

“I need to work on everything,” he said. “Not just one thing, but everything. You never have the perfect game, so you have to work on everything and get everything in.”

Mitchell said he hopes he handled himself well while with the Bucks.

“They didn’t call you for no reason,” he said. “It’s a job, and you’ve got to go out there and do it.”

Maine has lost four in a row and features Frank Gaines, the former IPFW star, who averages 22 points, second to MarShon Brooks’ 27.4.

jcohn@jg.net

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