Maine Red Claws (13-8) vs. Austin Toros (18-10)
7:30PM Wednesday, February 10, Portland Expo, Portland, Maine
The Maine Red Claws have a rematch tomorrow against the Austin Toros, who they last saw in an overtime loss in the Expo in January.
Since then, the Red Claws have done some major retooling and the Toros have been on a hot streak. Austin is 9-1 over their last ten games and is taking a three-game winning streak into the Expo after defeating the Springfield Armor earlier this week. They’ve moved from the middle of the standings to number two in the West and number four in the D-League.
Maine still sits at number two in the East; right now they’re just one game better than Austin overall. The Claws have made some major changes to their roster since the last time they met the Toros. NBA assignees Alexis Ajinca (Bobcats) and J.R. Giddens (Celtics) both suffered injuries and were recalled by their parent clubs for evaluation. Ajinca is likely to be out six weeks with a broken thumb, while Giddens underwent knee surgery last week.
On top of the recent additions of Russell Robinson and Dominque Coleman, Maine acquired 6’11 C Paul Davis and 6’5” G Mo Ager. Davis, a Michigan State Spartan, has seen NBA time with LA’s Other Team and the Washington Wizards. He immediately started contributing, notching 20 points in his first game with Maine and adding another dimension to Maine’s defense. Ager, meanwhile, should give Maine another good scoring threat.
The last game against Austin was a high-scoring one, even without the OT – it was tied at 108 at the end of regulation. The Claws would like to keep that lower Wednesday: they’re 16-0 this season when the other team is under the century mark. To do that, Malik Hairston (a Spurs assignee) and Curtis Jerrells – the Toros’ leading scorers who decimated Maine with a combined 77 points – will have to be contained.
Tomorrow will be a good test for both the retooled Red Claws and the resurgent Toros.