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Saturday, June 22, 2024

The (Maine) Celtics might win a championship on Monday, host deciding Recreation 3

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It’s been 14 years for the reason that Celtics have the prospect to win a championship — since Recreation 7 of the 2010 Finals.

They (type of) get that probability once more on Monday, when the Maine Celtics host the OKC Blue for Recreation 3 of the G-League Finals at 9pm on the Portland Expo.

Sure, it’s the G-League, and no, the reward shouldn’t be a Larry O’Brian trophy.

However, should you ask anybody on the Maine Celtics roster, a championship would nonetheless be fairly candy.

“It could be actually cool,” Neemias Queta, one of many crew’s high performers, stated. “All the fellows put within the work throughout the entire yr for one purpose and one purpose solely, and that was to win this championship, and we’re only one win away at this level.”

Maine turned it round midseason

The Maine Celtics started their season a .500 crew, profitable 8 of 16 exhibition video games and 11 of their first 22 common season sport. However, they caught fireplace towards the second half of the season, finally rising victorious in 10 of their final 12 video games.

Then, within the playoffs, they defeated the Delaware Blue Coats 119-112 within the Convention Semi-Finals, after which beat Lengthy Island Nets 99-77 within the Convention Finals – each single-elimination video games they hosted in Portland. DJ Steward performed a pivotal position in each of these wins, exploding for 19 fourth-quarter factors within the win over the Nets.

A best-of-three Finals sequence started with a 106-86 Recreation 1 win towards the Oklahoma Metropolis Blue final week. In that sport, Maine dominated from begin to end, led by JD Davison (23 factors and 12 assists) and Neemias Queta (20 factors (Sept. 11 FG), 13 rebounds, and three blocks).

Maine then struggled in Recreation 2 — their first highway sport of the postseason — falling to the Blue 99-89. Lindy Waters III, who had been with the Thunder all through the playoff run, joined the Blue and exploded for 27 factors on 10-13 capturing. In the meantime, except Drew Peterson (29 factors), everybody struggled offensively for Maine.

Now, a whole season culminates in a single 48-minute sport, in entrance of one of the vital raucous dwelling crowds in your entire G-League.

“We’re fairly assured about it,” Queta instructed reporters on Friday evening. “We’re simply going to go about it like every other day and simply attempt to convey dwelling a win our manner.”

Members of the Boston Celtics will probably be in Portland to help

Joe Mazzulla stated he’ll be there in Maine for the decisive Recreation 3, and will very effectively be joined by gamers and others from the group. Brad Stevens was at Recreation 1 of the G-League Finals, and Allison Feaster (VP of Staff Operations and Group Development) and Mike Zarren (VP of Basketball Operations) have been each current for the convention finals.

Final month, six Celtics gamers attended a Maine Celtic sport in Faculty Park, George on their day without work in Atlanta.

Mazzulla has stated on a number of events that the Maine Celtics’ success is indicative of a connectivity between the 2 groups and the group at massive. He’s in common communication with Blaine Mueller, Maine’s head coach, and famous that Blaine and different members of his workers have been in Boston for coaching camp.

“It simply validates what you’re making an attempt to create so far as the event, and understanding that all the pieces that everyone does is tremendous necessary, and that once you work at it, you may obtain these sorts of outcomes,” Mazzulla stated.

Since Neemias Queta signed an ordinary deal final week, Maine now two fully-guaranteed Celtics gamers on its roster (Queta and Jordan Walsh). The crew additionally has two two-way gamers, JD Davison and Drew Peterson.

All 4 of these gamers acquired prolonged minutes with the mother or father membership on Friday evening, and three of these guys – Walsh, Queta, and Peterson – set NBA career-highs on Friday evening towards the Hornets. Walsh completed with 8 factors (3-4 FG), Queta with 16 factors (8-10 FG) and Peterson with 8 factors (3-4 FG). JD Davison (7 factors) was just one level shy of his profession mark.

“These guys have carried out a terrific job, and after they’re two-ways, and the fellows have provide you with us, they don’t miss a beat,” Mazzulla stated. “Blaine and the workers have carried out a terrific job of type of making it their very own, however on the similar time, type of following the rules and the schemes, culturally and on each ends of the ground. So, I’m completely happy for them.”

The Maine guys will probably be lively with the Celtics on Sunday towards the Wizards, earlier than heading as much as Portland for the championship. The most cost effective tickets to that sport are listed for $100, a steep enhance from the earlier Maine playoff video games, which have been listed at $15.

That’s as a result of keen followers know this might be their final probability to see the Celtics win a championship — till June, that’s.

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