Relive Top Moments from Red Claws' First Year Under Celtics Ownership
BOSTON – An exhilarating first year has passed since the Boston Celtics finalized the purchase of their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
Under the ownership of the Celtics, Maine logged the fourth-best record among the 28 G League teams this past season as it continued to gain popularity and notoriety within New England. The Red Claws, who play their home games in Portland, Maine, reached 103 percent of crowd capacity this season and sold out 17 of their 20 home games before the season ended due to the pandemic.
Those large crowds, which were also drawn on the road, were due to the star power on Maine’s roster. The Red Claws were led by Celtics two-way players Tacko Fall – a social media phenomenon – and Tremont Waters, while Celtics rookies Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards and Vincent Poirier also made appearances with Maine throughout the season.
Those players, and the team as a whole, delivered some extreme highs throughout the last 365 days. Let’s relive some of them on this first anniversary of marriage.
Hiring of Darren Erman
Darren Erman was hired as the sixth head coach of the Red Claws on Sept. 12, 2019. His hiring brought instant credibility to Maine.
Erman won a championship on Boston’s coaching staff during the 2007-08 season and had just come off of a four-year stint as the associate head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans before joining Maine. In his first year at the helm, Erman played a critical role in the development of the Red Claws and Celtics players, all while leading Maine to a productive season as a team.
Maine’s 66.7 winning percentage was its best since winning 70.0 percent of its games during the 2014-15 season.
Claws Set Team Record for Points in a Game
Maine set a new franchise record by scoring 155 points during a 24-point blowout of the Greensboro Swarm on Nov. 27 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The Red Claws shot a ridiculous 57 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range during this win. Eight players scored at least 13 points, led by a game-high 33 from Waters.
Maine’s 155 points ranked as the second-highest total in the G League this past season, trailing only the 163 points totaled by the Stockton Kings on Jan. 11.
Bryce Brown’s Perfection from Downtown
Bryce Brown turned into the greatest shooter of all-time back on Dec. 7, when he dropped a career-high 43 points on the Delaware Blue Coats. This performance was about scoring, yes, but that scoring was underlined by shooting.
Brown’s incredible night was buoyed by his perfect shooting from long distance. He shot 11-for-11 from beyond the arc, setting a new franchise mark for made 3s in a game and a new G League record for most 3s made in a game without a miss.
Kaiser Gates Beats Buzzer in Triple-OT
Kaiser Gates gave the Red Claws one of their most exciting wins of the season when he beat the buzzer in triple-overtime to give Maine a 120-118 win over the visiting Capital City Go-Go on Jan. 9. His game-winning bucket arrived via a reverse layup in transition.
Gates, who totaled 24 points and 10 boards on the night, caught a transition pass from teammate Jaysean Gates, rose up off of two feet and dropped in the layup between two defenders with his left hand to finally put an end to this back-and-forth game that lasted three extra sessions. The play was so incredible that it made it onto the SportsCenter Top 10 that night as the No. 4 play in all of sports.
Tremont Waters Drains Game-Winner
Gates wasn't the only player who sent the Portland Expo Building into hysteria, however. Waters did the same just a few weeks later, on Feb. 1, when he beat the buzzer with a step-back jumper from the top of the arc to gave Maine a 119-117 win over the visiting Greensboro Swarm.
Waters used three crossovers before getting into his step-back and firing up a jumper from the top of the arc. His shot, which was originally ruled a 3 before being overturned to a 2, barely touched the rim and fell through the net with 0.2 seconds left to give the Claws the win. That moment was undoubtedly one of the loudest moments in Red Claws history inside of their own building.
Carsen Edwards Goes Wild with 41 Points
Waters wouldn’t have had a chance at his game-winner on Feb. 1 had it not been for Edwards’ superstar performance the rest of the night. Edwards dropped a professional career high of 41 points that night on Greensboro, thanks to a 14-for-28 shooting performance from the field that included six made 3-pointers.
Tacko Feasting on Opponents
Fall, a 7-foot-5 gentle giant, is the most popular player in the G League. His size attracts attention, but so does his play.
Fall logged 10 performances this past season that featured double-doubles of at least 14 points and at least 12 rebounds. One such game, played March 8, nearly led to a triple double.
Fall dominated the Windy City Bulls that night to the tune of 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine blocked shots – all in just 25 minutes of action. He made all seven of his attempts from the field that night.
Another one of Fall’s top performances featured career highs in both scoring and rebounding. On Dec. 29 against the College Park Skyhawks, Fall tied his career high with 21 points and set a new career high with 18 rebounds.
Tremont Waters Wins Rookie of the Year
Waters achieved his greatest individual achievement of the season on June 18, when he was named the G League Rookie of the Year. He became the fourth Red Claws player to win the award after averaging 18.0 points, 7.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game over 36 appearances.
Winning the award bodes well for Waters’ future, as two of the first three winners from the Red Claws, Tim Frazier (2014-15) and Abdel Nader (2016-17), have gone on to have successful NBA careers.