CHICAGO — Glenn Robinson III has a good thing going.
An NBA lifestyle. Great team. Fun city. Growing fan club.
And the Pacers are quite fond of him, too.
The Lake Central grad started Saturday night’s preseason game against the Bulls, as Indiana coach Nate McMillan chose to rest All-Star forward Paul George.
Robinson responded with 17 points, a team-high six rebounds and game-high 37 minutes in a 121-105 loss.
Through three preseason games, he’s averaging 13 points, five rebounds, shooting 60 percent from the field and 67 percent beyond the arc.
“Glenn has been working really hard and that’s why we wanted to take a long look at him,” coach Nate McMillan said afterward. “Nothing’s set as far as a rotation.”
Through offseason trades and free agent signings, team president Larry Bird has constructed a team to challenge Cleveland in the Eastern Conference.
Bird acquired veterans Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young, Al Jefferson and Aaron Brooks, but it will take time for the new faces to fit in with the core group of George, Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey.
Fighting for precious minutes will be Robinson, free-agent addition Kevin Seraphin, rookie second-round pick George Niang and youngsters Joe Young and Rakeem Christmas.
“Glenn’s been doing some good things all summer long,” McMillan said. “He’s had a really good training camp and I wanted to give him more minutes at that ‘3’ position, and I think he did a pretty good job.
“Just being more aggressive out on the floor, coming off screens and making good decisions, are the main things he improved on.”
In training camp, the Pacers have been focusing on speed and conditioning. McMillan had players scrimmage with a 14-second shot clock; 10 seconds fewer than allowed.
It forced them to play, think and react faster than usual.
“All my teammates believe in me. I hear them from the bench say ‘Shoot it,’” Robinson said. “(Saturday) was a big night for me when I was guarding Jimmy (Butler), when I was guarding Dwyane (Wade). They’re both really good at coming off pick-and-rolls and the iso game.
“A couple times when I got to them, I did pretty good, especially against Jimmy.”
Butler had 15 points but missed 11 of 14 shots.
“I continue to play with confidence and I’ll see what happens with (McMillan),” GR3 said of his minutes in the regular season. “A lot of being aggressive is mental and having confidence in your abilities, your game. I’ve put in so many reps and worked so hard, I figure why not go out there and play my game: shoot the ball and be aggressive.”
And under control, with three turnovers in three games.
McMillan’s uptempo style is a refreshing change from Frank Vogel, who was fired after the 2015-16 season.
“He wants to play fast and I like to get out and run,” Robinson said. “I just kinda take off and guys find me. I’m really good at playing off others.
“I want to keep it in the back of (McMillan’s) mind — Glenn as the ninth or 10th man. I want to keep playing hard and instilling that in his mind: ‘I gotta play him.’”