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HomeBasketballG-League playoff preview: Maine Celtics start postseason run tonight in Portland

G-League playoff preview: Maine Celtics start postseason run tonight in Portland

The Maine Celtics (21-13) start a possible playoff run tonight with a single elimination sport in opposition to the Delaware Blue Coats (19-15). Winners of 10 of their final 12 video games, the Celtics’ G-league affiliate loved a powerful end to the season en path to securing the #2 seed within the Jap Convention.

In flip, they confronted the #6 seed Blue Coats — Philadelphia’s G-League affiliate — who received their first playoff sport on Tuesday evening to safe their spot in tonight’s matchup. The Blue Coats are the defending champions, however have been led final 12 months by a unique solid of gamers, which included the Celtics’ now very personal Jaden Springer taking dwelling the Finals MVP honors.

Tonight’s sport will happen on the Portland Expo in Portland Maine, and can tip-off at 7 pm on ESPNews.

Gamers to Watch

Two-way guard JD Davison has been the engine that’s made all of it go this season, averaging 20.8 factors, 8.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per sport in his second full 12 months with the Maine Celtics. However he sprained his left ankle final week in a sport in opposition to the Faculty Park Skyhawks, and his standing tonight is unsure. Sources instructed CelticsBlog it’s potential he may return from a week-long absence in time for the primary postseason sport.

DJ Stewart, who has been the workforce’s second-leading scorer, additionally in jeopardy of lacking tonight’s matchup, additionally with a sprained ankle. Stewart, who’s averaging 19.4 factors and 4 assists, is listed as questionable, and has been a key contributor off of the bench all 12 months lengthy, significantly in Davison’s absence.

Within the entrance court docket, Neemias Queta has solely performed in eight video games for Maine — however he’s had a large influence, placing up 14 factors, 8.8 rebounds, and a pair of blocks in simply 22 minutes an evening. Queta performed a extra important function on the massive membership earlier within the season, however as of late, he has spent extra time with Maine.

When CelticsBlog caught up with Queta final week, he stated he was wanting ahead to creating a playoff run together with his Maine Celtics teammates.

“It is likely to be a time the place I include Boston,” Queta stated. “However hopefully I can preserve enjoying, with the ability to assist the workforce right here in Maine.”

Jordan Walsh, the Celtics’ second-round draft choose who has been on project within the G-League for many of this season, has been enjoying his finest basketball as of late. He’s coming off a career-high 27-point evening, which included a game-clinching free throw that secured the workforce’s first-round bye.

Walsh has averaged 14.7 factors and seven.4 rebounds this season, whereas usually being tasked with essentially the most tough defensive project of the evening.

Drew Peterson, one other two-player on the Celtics, has been some of the well-balanced gamers on the roster. He’s averaged 16.1 factors, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, and put up two triple-doubles in current weeks. His skill to be a connector within the Maine Celtics offense can be one thing to observe, particularly if Maine is with out its two main scorers.

Joe Wieskamp, the previous Iowa College standout acquired mid-season, has been extraordinarily environment friendly offensively – placing up 16.8 factors on 52.9% capturing, together with 42.4% from downtown. If Davison and Stewart miss tonight’s sport, Wieskamp will possible be relied upon to step up offensively.

For the Blue Coats, two-way gamers Ricky Council IV and Jeff Dowtin Jr. are anticipated to guide the cost. Council has put up 23.1 factors per sport this season — and got here third in G League rookie of the 12 months voting — whereas Dowtin has averaged 19.1 factors. Kenneth Lofton was an enormous a part of the workforce for a lot of the season, however is not with Delaware.

The Boston Celtics may present as much as help

Final week, the Maine Celtics performed two video games in Faculty Park, George — and their Boston Celtics teammates, additionally spending the week in Atlanta, confirmed as much as watch. Jordan Walsh stated his teammates’ presence served as motivation for him on the sideline.

With the Celtics off tonight, some gamers and members of the group are once more anticipated to make the journey to help the G League affiliate and teammates Walsh, Queta, Davison, and Peterson.

Playoff Image

The winner of tomorrow evening’s match-up between the Maine Celtics and the Delaware Blue Coats will advance to the Convention Finals. Whoever wins tonight will face the winner of the Osceola Magic and the Lengthy Island Nets in one other single-elimination sport. Lastly, the winner of that sport will head to a three-game G-League Finals sequence, slated to start on April ninth.



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