Tip: 3:00 p.m., Portland Expo Building, Portland, ME
Streaming: YouTube, CBS Sports Network
Record: 15-21, fourth in East Division
Off. efficiency: 99.9 points per 100 possessions, 16th
Def. efficiency: 101.0, 3rd
Net rating: -1.1, 11th
Pace: 101.8 possessions per game, 10th
Effective FG pct: 49.4, 14th
Turnover pct: 18.6, 14th
Off. rebound pct: 28.0, 9th
FTA rate: .337, 5th
Opp. effective FG pct: 48.2, 1st
Opp. turnover pct: 16.3, 11th
Def. rebound rate 71.0, 12th
Opp. FTA rate: .314, 10th
Points: Frank Gaines, 20.1
Rebounds: Chris Wright, 7.6
Assists: Abdul Gaddy, 4.4
Blocks: Ty Walker, 3.5
Steals: Chris Babb, 1.2
The Maine Red Claws are 3-7 in their last 10 games, dropping to third in the East Division and 5.5 games behind the eight-seeded Los Angeles D-Fenders. The D-League’s third stingiest defense, allowing 101 points per 100 possessions this year, has allowed 106.5 in this stretch.
A deeper look at the schedule reveals a startling truth: Maine, a below .500 team prior to Feb. 1, was never an especially good team to begin with. The Red Claws played five playoff teams (three against Canton, two against Reno) and another against a team on the cusp of playoff contention, the Idaho Stampede. Perhaps Maine’s defense isn’t good enough to clamp down on the best teams in the D-League.
Where they excel
Maine’s defense gets by while ranking in the bottom half of turnover percentage, defensive rebounding and free throw rate, particularly because they limit the best shots on the floor — shots at the rim and the restricted area. Maine is first in effective field goal percentage, the most important factor of the “Four Factors”, and they allow the fewest 3-point attempts in the D-League.
Where they struggle
Maine’s 16th-ranked offense is rough around the edges, but it isn’t completely terrible. The Red Claws take a lot of 3-pointers, which in itself is a good starting point if you want to build an efficient offense. The problem lies in their ball security or lack thereof; the Red Claws turn the ball over on 18.6 percent of their possessions, the fourth-highest percentage in the D-League. Turnovers inhibit any well-meaning offense, especially one that doesn’t do many other things well.
Player to watch
Ty Walker. He’s a 6-foot-11 center blocking 3.5 shots per game. Maine’s defense is 4.3 points per 100 possessions better when he’s on the floor.
Stats: NBA D-League/Stats
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