“Swish! Nothing but net.”
It’s a feeling everybody’s had, whether playing on an organized team or shooting hoops in the back yard. Few experiences carry the simple satisfaction of a perfect basketball shot. Then there are those of us that fall in love with the game, join the school team, rack up some favorable statistics, and take a shot at playing for a living. Not everybody can do it. The rest of us have to go and watch the games. We get to hear the ‘chirp, squeak’ of sneakers on the court, hear the yelling of the coaches, follow the ball as it flies from the center’s hands to the guard’s, back again and into a beautiful arc through the air to that field goal. Sound like your cup of tea? Here are two games coming up this week:
First, the Maine Red Claws, Portland’s own NBA Development League Celtics team, take on the Los Angeles D-Fenders (Lakers) at the Portland Expo (239 Park Ave), on Saturday the 17th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $7.00 to $75.00 depending on seating, at dleague.nba.com. At press time, the Claws had one game to play before meeting L.A., but are going into that game in the midst of a two-game winning streak. In last Saturday’s game against the Long Island Nets, Jalen Jones led Maine (9-3) with 28 points, and Marcus Georges-Hunt nearly finished another triple-double with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Watch them closely this weekend. You may be looking at future Boston Celtics.
Next, the University of Maine Black Bears men’s team is up against the Quinnipiac Braves, at the Cross Insurance Arena (1 Civic Center Sq), on Sunday the 18th at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 at ticketmaster.com. The Black Bears will be trying to extend their own two-game winning streak, fresh off a victory over Dartmouth last Saturday. In that game, junior transfer Wes Myers was the one to watch, with a game-high 31 points, 27 of which he scored in the second half, including the game-winning layup. The Black Bears (4-6) have a losing record on the road. But their record at home is 2-1. Go see if Coach Bob Walsh can fire up his team and defeat the Braves.