|Posted by B-PAUL on November 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM|
Being originally from Maine, and residing about an hour south in Manchester, NH I am very interested in what is going on up in Portland recently. If you did not know by now the Celtics now have a Developmental League team in Portland called the Maine Red Claws. The Red Claws will replace last year's affiliate the Utah Flash and try to develop some of the Celtics younger talent, and talent of their own.
Having this team so close to home gives me something to look forward to during Christmas break this year. For a fairly cheap cost I can attend a "professional" basketball game. I might even get to catch a glimpse of some Celtics players such as Bill Walker, who recently got sent to Portland. Along with the Celtics I will also try my hardest to keep up with the Red Claws this season and relay the happening to you, the reader.
Tonight the Red Claws opened up their inaugural in a preseason game against the Springfield Armor. The game took place an hour north of their home court at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, Maine. Here is the game report from NBA.com:
"The Maine Red Claws and Springfield Armor took the final step in preparing for their upcoming inaugural seasons Monday night .... In front of 3,147 eager fans at the Augusta Civic Center in Maine, the Armor defeated Maine by a score of 86-78... Despite outshooting the Armor 41.7% to 37.3% from the field, turnovers proved costly as the Red Claws committed 25, seven more than their opponent. Darnell Lazare scored eight straight Red Claw points in the third quarter as they cut an eight-point halftime deficit to two at the end of three. They tied it twice in the fourth but were never able to take the lead. Lazare led Maine with 19, and Tony Bobbitt chipped in with 14. Recently assigned Celtic Bill Walker had 13."
The outcome is not what we all wanted but hey, it's preseason. Coach Austin Ainge and GM Jon Jennings both have high hopes for this team. As far as the Celtics are concerned Bill Walker had a decent game scoring 13 points. This is not bad for a guy who has only played two minutes of basketball in game situations the past six months. Like I have said before having the D-League team in Portland is great for the Celtics organization. It gives guys like Bill Walker playing time while being only a short drive from Boston if they need him.
The Red Claws open up their regular season Friday against the Sioux Falls SkyForce. Lets hope the Red Claws come out of the gate hot and give New England another team to cheer for. From what I've been hearing tickets are going FAST. So if you are trying to get to a game make sure to get your tickets as soon as possible, the Red Claws will be the hottest tickets in Portland this year.