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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, August 24, 2017 7:10 pm

Mad Ants release schedule

STAFF, NEWS SERVICES

The Mad Ants will begin the 2017-18 NBA G League season on the road Nov. 4 in Uniondale, New York against the Long Island Nets. The Mad Ants will have their home opener at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 when they play host to the Greensboro Swarm at Memorial Coliseum.

The opener against the Nets will be the first of 50 regular season games for the Mad Ants. The Ants will play 16 of their 24 home games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

This season, the NBA G League season has been moved up one week and will conclude prior in March 2018. Each NBA G League team will play 24 home games and 24 road games and an additional two games at the annual NBA G League Showcase from Jan. 10-13 in Mississauga, Ontario. 

Much like their NBA counterparts, G League players will no longer endure stretches of four games in five nights. Eliminating that for the first time was a key component of this season's NBA schedule, and it's now gone from the G League schedules as well.

The average number of back-to-backs also dropped in the G League, from nearly nine per team last year to seven this season.

The NBA G League will feature 26 teams, an expansion of four teams since last season, 22 of which are owned and operated by NBA franchises.

The expansion franchises are the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (LA Clippers), Erie BayHawks (Atlanta Hawks), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies) and Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks).For the first time this coming fall, NBA teams can sign up to two "two-way" players to NBA contracts. These contracts allow "two-way" players to be with their NBA parent team for up to 45 days, spending most of the season in the NBA G League.

To accommodate the NBA G League’s continued growth, the two conferences have been realigned and divided into three divisions each for the 2017-18 season: The Mad Ants will be in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference along with the Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons), Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee Bucks), and Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls).

The full schedule can be found on the Mad Ants website, www.ftwaynemadants.com.