Maine Red Claws (7-2) vs. Bakersfield Jam (2-10)
1:00PM Saturday December 26;
5:00PM Sunday December 27, Portland Expo, Portland, Maine
This afternoon and tomorrow evening, the Red Claws square off against the Bakersfield Jam, the worst team in the D-League. Like the Armor, the Jam have the benefit of no NBA assignees. Like the Armor, they’re associated with thoroughly mediocre NBA teams: the 7-21 Golden State Warriors and the 12-17 LA’s Other Team. In fact, last spring the Jam almost ceased operations entirely.
The team leader so far this season for Bakersfield has been 6’11″ C Brian Butch from the University of Wisconsin. While his high school career was notable, and Wisconsin made strides during his collegiate career, he has yet to receive a serious look from an NBA team. 6’6″ G Reece Gaines has the most NBA experience on the Jam roster. He played for Louisville in college, then was drafted and signed by the Orlando Magic in 2003, where he sat on the bench. He’s played with the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks since then, seeing his playing time decrease steadily, and hasn’t been in the NBA since the 2005-2006 season.
These two games should be good opportunities for the Red Claws. Although they just lost Bill Walker, the Claws still have an NBA assignee in 7’0″ Forward-Center Alexis Ajinca, from the Bobcats. Ajinca has been steadily improving over the course of his time in Maine, which should please Michael Jordon and Larry Brown as well as Maine fans.
Even apart from the assignees, the Claws have plenty of NBA talent and should continue to be a top-notch team. This organization has a lot of talent, which is reflected by their relatively balanced offense. The Jam, too, have a fairly balanced offense – just for the opposite reason. The difference between the two on defense couldn’t be more obvious; if that continues over the weekend, Maine fans won’t have much to worry about.