Maine Red Claws (20-13) vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants (12-19)
7:30PM Wednesday, February 24, Portland Expo
7:30PM Thursday, February 25, Portland Expo
The Maine Red Claws return to the Expo after, between the All-Star break and a road trip, two weeks away. They face off against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Indianapolis Pacers) in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday.
If you think you haven’t heard from me lately due to the Red Claws’ long absence from Maine, you haven’t heard of the Mad Ants for an even longer period. The Red Claws last played the Mad Ants January 12 in Fort Wayne, and before that at the end of December in Portland, back at the beginning of the season. Since then, not only has the Claws’ roster changed dramatically, but the Celtics have shipped their three D-League players (J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and Lester Hudson) out of town, and Bobcat assignee Alexis Ajinca was injured. Right now, neither team has any NBA assignees, but they do have some powerhouses.
For the Mad Ants, their primary scoring threat remains Ron Howard, who scored 25 or more points against the Claws in both games. However, despite their struggles, the Mad Ants, like Maine, have a balanced offense, with four of their current players averaging more than 15 points a game. Since their last matchup, though the Claws have changed dramatically, adding Morris Almond, T.J. Cummings, Russell Robinson, and Mo Auger, among others. All of these players are likely to be big contributors down the stretch as Maine pushes to secure a playoff spot. The team has also seen the recent return of team captain – and official first player – Billy Thomas from injury; he played during the recent road trip.
This will be a good matchup between an excellent defense and a team with some offensive powerhouses. With the Red Claws starting off February 2-4 after snapping a five-game win streak to end January, this is an excellent chance for the team to return to their winning ways.