Published Date Written by Ken Levinsky
The Maine Red Claws (19-26) last five contests of the season include three home games this weekend and then two final games on the road. They are a very competitive 13-9 at home, but only 6-17 on the road.
Maine is undefeated at home on Sundays in March, having won on March 2, 9, 16 and 23. In fact, with wins on Friday and Sunday vs. the Sioux Falls Skyforce (27-19) and on Monday vs. Fort Wayne (29-16), they will achieve their best home record ever.
The fourth-place Red Claws are 10 games behind first-place Fort Wayne in the six-team Eastern Division. Each of the three division winners in the 17-team league, and five "wildcards," teams with the next best records regardless of division, will qualify for the playoffs. Maine was eliminated from playoff contention last week.
Frank Gaines, the Claws 6-foot, 3-inch D-League rookie of the year contender from Indiana Perdue Fort Wayne, has the team lead in scoring with an average of 21.6 points per game. The NBA- undrafted Gaines, who played high school ball in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has made an impressive 40.6 percent of his three-point shots.
Six-foot, 8-inch forward Chris Wright has returned from his 10 day call up to Milwaukee and will give the Red Claws a boost with his19.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. In two games with the Bucks, Wright had 12 points (shooting 4-7 from both the field and foul line), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block and no turnovers in 33 minutes.
Big man Daniel Orton leads the team with 1.95 blocks per game, and has an average of 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. The 29th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Orton holds career averages of 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game over 51 NBA games (Orlando, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia) over three seasons, This season the Kentucky product appeared in 22 games (four starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds.
Damen Bell-Holter, the 6-foot, 9-inch rookie from Oral Roberts, is averaging 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in only 17.7 minutes per game.
The 2013-14 season marks the fifth season that the Celtics have used the Maine Red Claws as their NBA Development League affiliate and the second under a hybrid affiliation, in which Boston is Maine's sole NBA affiliate and has full control over the team's basketball operations. Red Claws Head Coach Mike Taylor is also in his second year with the team.
Radio broadcasts of each game can be heard live on WJJB 96.3 FM with Chris Sedenka (play by play) and Rick Simonds (analysis) calling the action. Sedenka, a 1999 Gorham High graduate, is co-host of the PM JAB sports talk show, heard from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays on 96.3 FM. Simonds was a very successful basketball coach at St. Josephs College, winning 11 conference titles in 23 years.
Maine Red Claws
Yearly Win/Loss Record
2010 27-23 (15-9 at home) missed playoffs
2011 18-32 (13-11 at home) missed playoffs
2012 21-29 (11-13 at home) missed playoffs
2013 26-24 (13-11 at home)
Playoffs: lost in first round
2014 19-26 (13-9 at home) as of March 27