Following thier back to back victories to bring in the New Year, the Maine Red Claws headed to Boise, Idaho for the 2010 NBDL Showcase. The Showcase is an event which goal is to let the players in the NBDL get noticed for all their hard work. The event gives NBA scouts an opportunity to evalute the players of sixteen NBDL teams in four day. All the games are aired on NBA Futurecast and a selection are available on NBA TV.
Yesterday the Red Claws played their first of two games in Boise taking on the L.A Defenders. For all you Celtics fans out there, former Celtic Gabe Pruitt was in the starting lineup for the Defenders. I wasn’t able to watch the game but I have read recaps and watched highlights, and let me tell you it was an exciting one.
The Red Claws had a three-point lead with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game. After a failed steal attempt by Mario West, Defenders guard Frank Robinson hit a three point basket to tie the game. Following the failed steal attempt Mario West wanted rebuttal. West came down the floor and with .6 seconds left in the game he hit a driving lay up to secure the Red Claws 113-111 win.
Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, was at the showcase yesterday evaluating some of the talent. Danny took the time during halftime to talk with NBA TV. This interview really got my attention when they started talking about Danny’s rub off on his son Austin Ainge, coach of the Red Claws.
The topic was something that we brought up on our weekly podcast. I brought up the fact of how similar the Red Claws and Celtics are in the way that they play. Similiar to the Celtics, the Red Claws really spread out the distribution of scoring. It is not just one player that takes over games, like in yesterday’s game (eight players in double figures) the teams use a total team effort to come out on top.
I think that Danny pretty much proved my point by stating that the Red Claws run some of the same plays and sets as the Celtics, and that he is also in constant contact with Austin. Austin has been around the Celtics organization for a great period of time now and I think it is very cool to see how this is rubbing off on the way he is coaching they guys in Maine.
The full interview is available in the video above. I would reccomend you take the five minutes to watch the interview, it is great insight on the way Danny is, and plans to, use the D-League as a resource for the Boston Celtics.