The Maine Red Claws are still in first place and scouts are clearly taking notice at this point, which led to shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt – who had been averaging 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.2 APG – signing a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat.
But the team kept going without their starting shooting guard and posted a solid 2-1 week thanks to the continued success of Ryan Kelly and strong scoring output of Abdel Nader. If Georges-Hunt is not resigned by the Heat when his contract expires in a few days, he will probably be able to return to the Red Claws which would only give them a boost.
Thursday: 97-91 win over Northern Arizona Sun
Ryan Kelly and Jalen Jones completely stole the show in this one, guiding the Red Claws by combining for 53 points and 23 blocks as Maine overcame a ten point halftime deficit to pull off this victory. Kelly took on the bulk of the scoring load, finishing with 32 points on 9-for-13 shooting with a perfect 11-for-11 mark from the line while Jones had a full night consisting of 21 points, 15 rebounds and three assists. Abdel Nader also chipped in with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists while Demetrius Jackson would also go on to finish with six points and five assists.
Friday: 99-85 win over Westchester Knicks
Guess who? Ryan Kelly! In just a few short weeks, the former Laker and Hawk center has established himself as the most dominant player on the Red Claws and he came up big in this win once again, finishing with 21 points on 9-for-18 shooting while also grabbing ten rebounds and dishing out three assists as well. Nader did lead the squad with 23 points on 8-for-19 shooting but his bad habit of committing turnovers did reappear after a one game hiatus against Northern Arizona. The 2016 second round pick committed five of them in this one and he is still among the league leaders in that category, which is something that fans in Boston would really like to see change before he gets a real shot in the NBA. Dallas Lauderdale put up a double-double as well consisting of 13 points and 12 boards.
Sunday: 97-79 loss against Grand Rapids Drive
The offense was ugly in this one as Maine shot just 40% from the field and turned the ball over 18 times, while the Drive kept the ball protected and committed only five turnovers. Nader led the way with 19 points while stuffing the stat sheet with seven rebounds and six assists, but he also led the way with six turnovers as five different players on the Red Claws gave the ball away multiple times in this one. Kelly matched Nader’s 19 points and also brought in eight rebounds but after that no player really stands out. Former Celtic Jordan Crawford is on Grand Rapid’s roster but he received a DNP – Coach’s Decision in this one.