In Game One, the Austin Toros got the better of the Maine Red Claws, in what was a turnover-infested event. Game Two took on a different look. It was a hard-fought and deserving win for the Claws, 93-88, to bring their record to one-and-one.
The energy in game one spilled over into the second game, and Maine raced to a 49-42 lead at the half. Maine then got out-scored 28-14 in the third quarter, leading to a potentially-nasty deficit. But, Maine recovered with 30 fourth quarter points of their own to secure a win.
Overall, the game was much different than the first game. Maine controlled the ball much better, and even though the steal numbers were down for both teams, the turnovers from Maine totaled seven less than the night prior, meaning a cleaner and more enjoyable game for Crustacean Nation. Still, Tiny Gallon and Paul Harris lead the League in turnovers, each with ten in two games.
On that, Tiny now is one of two from downtown. Why, you may ask, is the second tallest player on the team launching treys? …Good question…
Still, this particular Claws team have one thing going for them that is also a cause for concern: their height. On the roster, on the Claws website, they have a total of four players over six-foot-six, and only one over six-foot-nine (Rolle). A smaller team can race around the court much faster, get defensive stops earlier in the possession, and get to the free throw line frequently.
Maine had 56 attempted free throws in their first two games. They also committed ten less fouls than the Toros on Saturday Night. This says that Maine played good position defense, using their feet and not their hands to defend. (a good lesson for the kids out there).
Now, the downside is the lack of ability to rebound as a team. Currently, Paul Harris is tied with Toro big man Marcus Cousin for fourth in the League in rebounds. Other than that, with their size, Maine will consistently be out-rebounded this season.
Now for some good stats. Magnum Rolle is third in the NBADL in blocks, while Tiny comes in tied for eighth. Thanks to his five-of-six three-point shooting last night, Jamar Smith is now tied for eighth in that category. He had 25 points in game two. Champ Oguchi added 21, Rolle had 12 points and four blocks, and Harris added 14 rebounds with his nine points.
Next on the docket for Maine is the Springfield Armor. The Claws will be spending their “Black Friday” playing the first of a back-to-back in Springfield (1-1).
Thanks for reading this less scathing report from the Maine Red Claws Examiner. We hope you enjoyed the ride. Thanks!