Boston Celtics: Maine Red Claws

Joseph traded by Claws

February, 11, 2013
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Celtics second-round draft pick Kris Joseph, cut by the team in January, was traded from the Maine Red Claws on Monday.

Joseph, who had recently signed a D-League contract with Maine, was flipped to Springfield in exchange for forward James Mays. From the Claws:
Mays, 26, averaged 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds in 26 games (all starts) for the Armor this season. Originally acquired by the Armor out of Brooklyn Nets training camp under the NBADL’s Affiliate Player rule, Mays was recently selected as an NBA D-League All-Star. Mays will join new teammates Micah Downs, Chris Joseph, Shelvin Mack and DaJuan Summers at the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game next weekend. Also making the trip will be the Red Claws coaching staff, led by Head Coach Mike Taylor, who will coach the Futures Team.

“James is one of the best rebounders in the league,” Boston Celtics Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge said of the acquisition. “He can bring energy, toughness, and leadership to our team.”

Between Mays and Chris Wright, the Claws now have two of top rebounding power forwards in the D-League. Wright was named the D-League Performer of the Week on Monday after he averaged 26.3 points (shooting 66 percent form the field) and 14.3 rebounds over his last three games.

The Celtics have two open roster spots and promised to fill them out by the end of the month. While Boston clearly needs to fill one of those spots with an NBA-ready body -- likely in the frontcourt -- it could err on the side of youth with the other depending on its post-trade deadline needs.

In other Red Claws news: Celtics camper Micah Downs will participate in the D-League 3-point contest at All-Star weekend in Houston.

Melo reassigned to D-League

February, 8, 2013
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Fresh off scoring his first career NBA basket, Boston Celtics rookie Fab Melo has been reassigned to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.

Melo, originally recalled due to a quad injury, stuck with the team after fellow rookie Jared Sullinger was lost for the season due to a back injury. Melo appeared in two games, logging a total of eight minutes against the Magic and Lakers. His first career field goal and block came in Thursday's lopsided win over the Lakers.

Melo looked raw in his brief court time and will get more game reps back in the D-League. Hop HERE for more on Melo's night against the Lakers.

Melo to Maine to resume game reps

January, 11, 2013
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BOSTON -- The Celtics re-assigned Fab Melo to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League on Friday.

Melo had been with Boston for nearly two weeks after suffering a concussion while walking through a low-hanging doorway while on assignment with the Claws in South Dakota last month. With all the necessary tests passed, the Celtics immediately sent him back to Maine, which had back-to-back games scheduled starting Friday night.

"He needs to get back to playing," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He’s got to watch the doorways and all that kind of stuff, [but] he just needs to get back to play. I think it’s important for him. It was good having him around. You could see he was antsy and really wanted to get back to playing."

Melo, a 7-footer center and the 22nd overall pick in June's draft, has appeared in 12 contests for Maine this season, averaging 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Melo put up some eyebrow-raising numbers before his freak off-court injury, but the Celtics remain committed to nurturing his development in the D-League, even with available active roster spots to carry him with the parent club.

[Update: Melo produced a winning layup with 1.2 seconds remaining in Maine's 102-100 triumph over Springfield on Friday night. He finished with six points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 29 minutes during his first game back from the concussion.]

Fab being Fab

January, 2, 2013
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Otto Kitsinger/NBAE via Getty ImagesFab Melo suffered a concussion off the court while with the Maine Red Claws.
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers couldn't quite hide the smile when asked before Wednesday's game how rookie Fab Melo suffered a mild concussion in an off-the-court incident while on assignment with the Maine Red Claws.

"What did you have, Manny being Manny?" said Rivers, referencing the often mindless antics of former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez. "I think in five years, when Fab is playing terrific for us here, we’re going to have some Fab being Fab moments. He just got a head start."

Literally.

Initially coy on the details of his head injury, Melo later divulged that he sustained the concussion while banging the top of his head on a middle-hanging metal door hinge that typically seals a double doorway at the team hotel in South Dakota. The 7-foot Melo, tabbed by Boston with the 22nd overall pick in June's draft, sheepishly admitted that he's often cognizant of low-hanging objects, but his awareness escaped him for a fleeting moment in Sioux Falls last week.

"I still have a little headache sometimes," said Melo. "I can't really focus on something for a long time. But that's it."

Melo's lore is growing and he has yet to play in a regular-season game for the Celtics.

Back at rookie orientation, Melo demolished a metal folding chair in a humorous moment preserved on YouTube. After a slow start up in Maine, he started to come on late last month, registering a monster triple-double that included a D-League record 14 blocks against Erie, then following it up with a 32-point, 9-rebound, 9-block effort against Idaho.

The only thing that could slow his development: a door hinge.

On the positive side, the mishap afforded him a brief stint back with the parent club. Melo was all smiles as he huddled with teammates inside the Celtics' locker room before Wednesday's game. He was expected to be examined by the team's medical staff during the game and was officially recalled Wednesday in order to see the training staff. He hopes to be back on the court with Maine later this week.

Melo at least seems to have a sense of humor. When Rajon Rondo shouted across the room asking if he'd be sitting on the bench tonight, Melo shouted back, "If there's room," then playfully noted how he sometimes takes up two chairs with his size.

Just Fab being Fab.

Celtics recall Melo from D-League

January, 2, 2013
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The Boston Celtics recalled Fab Melo from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League on Wednesday.

The move is likely procedural as Melo sustained a mild concussion and sat out Maine's last game on Monday. In order to be treated by the team's training staff, Melo must be formally recalled to the parent club.

In need of big-man depth after Chris Wilcox suffered a thumb injury last month, the team elected to sign Jarvis Varnado out of the D-League. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has said he doesn't want to stunt Melo's development by bringing him up too soon.

Melo, a 7-foot center tabbed with the 22nd pick in June's draft, has appeared in 12 games for the Red Claws this season and is averaging 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Melo came on strong at the end of December, posting a triple-double against Erie with 15 points, 16 rebounds and a D-League record 14 blocks on Dec. 22. He followed that up with a 32-point, 9-rebound, 9-block effort against Idaho.

The Celtics recalled Melo in December to treat him for a quadriceps issue. He was quickly returned to Maine.

Update: Melo later confirmed the reason for his call-up via Twitter:

FabWatch: Concussion sidelines Melo

December, 31, 2012
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Celtics rookie Fab Melo, who had a couple of monster efforts earlier this month, was sidelined for Monday's game due to a mild concussion. From the Portland Press Herald's Kevin Thomas:
 

Hop HERE to check out Melo's D-League stats and game log.

FabWatch: 32-9-9 effort

December, 27, 2012
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Coming off a triple-double effort in which he posted a D-League record 14 blocks, Celtics rookie Fab Melo followed up that performance by going for 32 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 blocks during the Maine Red Claws' 108-94 win in Idaho on Wednesday night.

Over his last two games, Melo is averaging 23.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.5 blocks per game. Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressed a desire for Melo to be "dominant" in the D-League when he was first assigned there and that's what he's been the past two games.

The Celtics remain committed to letting Melo develop the D-League, signing Jarvis Varnado this week to add depth while Chris Wilcox is out with a thumb issue.

In 10 appearances for Maine, Melo is now averaging 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game.

Joseph details Melo's breakout night

December, 23, 2012
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Rich Obrey/NBAE via Getty ImagesCeltics rookie Fab Melo at work for the Maine Red Claws.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics rookie Fab Melo broke out with a monster triple-double -- 15 points, 16 rebounds and an NBA Development League-record 14 blocks -- in the Maine Red Claws' 85-78 loss to the Erie Bayhawks Saturday night, easily the finest performance of his young professional career.

Fellow rookie and former Syracuse teammate Kris Joseph, whom the Celtics have assigned to the Red Claws and recalled numerous times already, was on the court for Melo's eye-opening night, which spoke to the potential the Celtics saw when they drafted Melo 22nd overall in June.

"That was great, man. I know that's what he's capable of," said Joseph, who was recalled to the parent club for Sunday's practice. "He had a few games like that where he blocked a lot of shots at Syracuse, so I knew that he was capable of it. It was just a matter of him getting the rhythm and getting it under his belt and being able to do it.

"I'm sure he knows he's 7 feet, but when you're 7 feet, you have such a great impact on the game, and I think that he really realized that yesterday. I've been telling him, 'Just effort.' All you need sometimes is effort when you're that big. Grab a rebound, offensive rebounds. You know, your height and your size will take you a long way, and with that extra effort, you'll be able to do great things."

(Read full post)

Eyes on Claws: Melo's 14 blocks

December, 22, 2012
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Rich Obrey/NBAE via Getty ImagesFab Melo at work for the Maine Red Claws of the D-League.
The Celtics reassigned Kris Joseph to Maine of the D-League on Saturday to get game reps when the Red Claws hosted the Erie Bayhawks. Joseph could be back with Boston as early as Sunday as he is expected to travel with the team on the upcoming four-game road trip to add emergency depth (Boston dressed a mere 10 players during Friday's overtime loss to the Bucks and Jeff Green left in the final moments after taking an elbow to the face).

Joseph had an off-shooting night against Erie, connecting on just 3-of-16 shots for 10 points and seven rebounds over 37:19 in an 85-78 loss. Maybe more noteworthy was fellow Boston rookie Fab Melo, who posted a rather ridiculous triple-double with 15 points, 14 blocks and 16 rebounds over 36:47.

Melo set a new D-League record with his 14 blocks (yes, not even Greg Stiemsma did that).

Read on to check out the highlights from Melo's block party.

(Read full post)

Melo recalled from Red Claws

December, 10, 2012
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The Boston Celtics recalled rookie center Fab Melo from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League on Monday.

The move is somewhat of a surprise given that Boston appears healthy, while Melo has been battling a strained quadriceps. With the Claws not in action until Friday night and Boston set to practice on Tuesday, it could be an opportunity to get Melo some some reps (and treatment) with the parent club that's thin on pure size after the departure of Darko Milicic last month.

Melo averaged 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 23.4 minutes over five games for the Red Claws.

Celtics rookie forward Kris Joseph has been bouncing back-and-forth from Maine since originally being assigned last month.

Taylor named coach of Claws

September, 21, 2012
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The Boston Celtics announced Friday that Mike Taylor will be the new head coach of the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. More on the move from the team's official release:
Taylor joins the Red Claws after previously working as the top assistant coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League. As an assistant with the Vipers, Taylor was responsible for developing game plans, scouting, practice plans and player development. Taylor also has international experience as an assistant coach for the Czech Republic National Team during the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Taylor also was the head coach for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany from 2003-11 when he took the team from the 2nd Bundesliga and helped guide them to promotion to the Bundesliga and into the Bundesliga playoffs. In his 10 seasons in Europe between teams in Germany and England, Taylor amassed a record of 188-115.

“Mike impressed us with not only his coaching experience, but his enthusiasm and ability to develop young players,” said Boston Celtics Director of Player Personnel Austin Ainge. “He brings a blend of international and NBA D-League experience that will benefit the Celtics’ players assigned to Maine and the entire Red Claws’ roster.”

The 2012-13 season will mark the fourth season that the Celtics have used the Maine Red Claws as their NBA Development League affiliate and the first under the new hybrid affiliation. Under the new agreement, Boston will be Maine’s sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the team’s basketball operations.

The Red Claws will tip of their 4th season on November 23 with two games on the road before returning to Maine for their home opener on November 30 vs. the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the NBADL affiliate of the Lakers. For information about the Red Claws schedule and tickets, visit www.maineredclaws.com or call (207) 210-6655.
 

(Read full post)

Soundbites on Red Claws' plans

June, 21, 2012
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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined NBA D-League president Dan Reed and Maine Red Claws chairman Bill Ryan Jr. on Thursday to announce a single affiliate partnership between the Celtics and Red Claws that will see Boston take control of Maine's basketball operations. The full story can be found HERE. Below are a few more excerpts from the news conference held Thursday morning in Portland.

Ainge on the Red Claws' general manager role and coaching void: "Well we won't have a general manager per se, but we will be running the personnel from our office in Boston, so my entire staff will be working toward acquiring the players. And then the coaching search, you know, I do have some initial ideas, but I can't share those with you now. The coaching search will probably take place sometime later in the summer when we take care of our draft and free agency."

D-League president Dan Reed on the potential for every NBA team to be affiliated with one D-League team: "In a very long-run scenario we think that's a favorable model. We've certainly been moving in that direction. We're not in any hurry to get to that endpoint. We're very pleased with the footprint that we have today and the success that we have today, and we expect that this will continue to grow organically, as NBA teams and NBA D-League teams do what they feel is best for them."

Ainge on finding and developing a coach for the Red Claws who could help the Celtics in the future: "Yes, ideally. Yeah, somebody that we can develop that we think has a bright future in coaching. But ideally somebody that has some experience as well."

Ainge on wanting to develop players in a winning environment: "Well it's always better to develop players in winning environments, I think. Learning how to win is an important part of development. But to be quite honest, it won't be a top priority. The character of the people, like I said, around the organization, is huge, and the development of our players is on the forefront. Winning is important, it always is important. I don't want to diminish that, but it won't be the Boston Celtics' number one priority, and I think that you'll see good results as we bring in high-character guys and focus on developing our players."

Ainge on the Red Claws potentially mirroring the Celtics: "We have a lot of different things that we run offensively, so it's tough to mirror Rajon Rondo. Not only is he a special player, but he's a very unique player, so I don't think it'll look exactly the same, some of the things that we run. But our defensive schemes will be the same, so when a player is playing down here and we need a player up because of injury, he'll be prepared to come up and play our defense. He'll know the terminology of the offensive sets that we run. But often times it won't look the same. But they'll run a similar system, yes."

Celtics take sole control of Red Claws

June, 21, 2012
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PORTLAND, Maine -- The Boston Celtics, Maine Red Claws, and the NBA Development league announced on Thursday that the Celtics and Red Claws have formed a single-affiliate partnership that will begin at the start of the 2012-2013 NBA D-League season.

The Red Claws will now be affiliated solely with the Celtics -- a relationship also referred to as a "hybrid affiliation" -- after formerly having shared their affiliation with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Charlotte Bobcats as well. The Celtics will control basketball operations for the Red Claws, making decisions on coach and player personnel and will cover the costs of basketball operations expenses. The teams have come to terms on a three-year agreement, the standard model already in place.

Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, who represented the team at the announcement Thursday morning, said he and his staff will oversee basketball operations for the Red Claws, with an emphasis on developing players while incorporating a system very similar to the one run by the Celtics.

"We're very excited about this partnership," said Ainge, joined at the press conference by D-League president Dan Reed and Red Claws chairman Bill Ryan Jr. "I think it's good to have our own coach who will be a member of our staff that will be on the same page as our head coach, Doc Rivers and his staff, running the same system, running the same defense, running the same offense, with the same goals in mind of the development, without having to share the affiliation with other teams."

The focus on development and continuity benefits both organizations. Red Claws players will be a part of a structured system that will help their overall development, while the Celtics will now be able to call up players, who will be far more familiar with their system's terminology -- an issue that has hindered the impact of players the Celtics have called up from the D-League in the past.

"The challenge is putting good people around the players that you're really dedicating yourself to develop," said Ainge. "One thing I'm excited about this year is we can have players practice with us in Boston if we do have injuries and they can come up that night and play a game in Portland and be back to the Celtics' practice the next day, because there's no limit on how many times they can come and go, and I think that is big progress for this association."

The Red Claws saw their most recent head coach, Dave Leitao, step down to serve as an assistant coach for the University of Missouri, but Ainge said a search for a replacement is already under way.

"We'd like to [hire a coach] sooner rather than later, but we've already received, as rumors of this have been leaking out, applications," said Ainge. "We have our own ideas of guys that we'd like to bring in. But we won't focus on that or hire that person in the near future."

While Maine's basketball operations will be overseen by the Celtics, Ryan and his staff will still maintain ownership, responsible for off-the-court business operations. Ryan will also serve as the team's president, taking over for Jon Jennings, who left the Red Claws recently.

The Celtics become the fifth NBA team to enter into a "hybrid affiliation" with a D-League team, joining the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.

Davis still has sense of humor

December, 30, 2011
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Former Celtics swingman Ricky Davis made his D-League debut for Maine Thursday night, chipping in six points, two rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of play as the Maine Red Claws fell to the Canton Charge 111-98. Not quite a triple-double, but Davis still has a sense of humor about such accomplishments. From the Canton Repository:
A high-flying guard with flair who could score in a variety of ways, Davis gained a reputation for being a high-volume shooter and a me-first player.

A parent now and a man who has played in three countries since last playing in the NBA with the Clippers in 2009-10, Davis seems a bit more introspective today.

“It brings a whole different perspective on life,” Davis said of his experiences. “But I think it’s a good journey. I don’t regret anything really.”

Davis pauses a beat before adding with a laugh, “Well, the triple-double, but ... that’s my only thing.”

Davis gained infamy when he shot at the wrong basket during a March 2003 game in an effort to gain a rebound and record his first career triple-double. It’s a moment that has seemingly overshadowed an otherwise strong pro career.

“You’ve got to carry your skeletons with you,” Davis said. “I’m not trying to hide them at all. They’re there.”

Ricky Davis joins Red Claws

December, 28, 2011
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David Sherman/NBAE via Getty ImagesRicky Davis with the Timberwolves.
One year after old friend Antoine Walker gave the D-League a whirl in hopes of resuscitating his NBA career, former Celtics swingman Ricky Davis has signed on with the Maine Red Claws. From the team:
Davis, 32, has played in 736 NBA games in a career that began in 1999 as the first round selection (21st overall) of the Charlotte Bobcats. His 12-year NBA career saw him play for six NBA teams, including three seasons with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics traded the high-scoring swingman on January 26, 2006 to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, Justin Reed, a 2006 second-round draft pick (Craig Smith) and a 2008 second-round draft pick (Nikola Pekovic) for Dwayne Jones, Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak and a 2009 first-round draft pick (Jonny Flynn). He scored a career-high 20.6 ppg in 2002-03 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Davis last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2009-10 and has spent the last season and a half playing abroad in France, Turkey and China. Once considered a one-dimensional yet prolific player, Davis has developed into a formidable rebounder and steady mid-range jump shooter over the years.

“Ricky Davis brings a veteran element to the Red Claws and will undoubtedly become an instant fan favorite at the Portland Expo where many of our fans will remember him from his days with the Celtics,” said Red Claws president and general manager Jon Jennings. “Ricky is someone who knows what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA and is someone who is hungry to return there. We are all excited to welcome him to Maine.”

Davis is expected to join the team in Canton, Ohio where they will face the Canton Charge [Thursday] night in the second game on a two-game set. He will make his Maine debut this weekend as the Red Claws host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 1 at 5 p.m.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9