Celtics enter into single affiliation partnership with Red Claws

745276.jpg

Celtics enter into single affiliation partnership with Red Claws

The city of Portland, ME is a little more than 100 miles north of Boston, MA but both cities basketball teams are closer than they've ever been

The Boston Celtics, the Maine Red Claws, and the NBA Development League today announced that the Celtics and Red Claws have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2012-13 NBA D-League season. Boston will be Maines sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the teams basketball operations.

This "hybrid" partnership, which is the fifth of its kind, allows for the C's to secure control of and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of the Red Claws while partnering with existing local ownership, which maintains responsibility for the Claws' off-the-court business operations.

Six other NBA teams are singly affiliated with their NBA D-League affiliates.

The Red Claws and Celtics have been affiliated since the 2009-10 season, when Maines entered the NBA D-League.

"We are excited to formalize an already great relationship we have established with Maine. Not only is it a perfect fit geographically, but the people of Maine are some of our most loyal Celtic fans, and Bill Ryan Jr. and the Red Claws staff have been great to work with," said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. "What a great opportunity for our young players to get game reps and develop their skills, while still maintaining the continuity and direction of our organization."

The Charlotte Bobcats and the Philadelphia 76ers were previously affiliated with Maine during the 2011-12 season, but will be forced to look elsewhere for the 2012-13 season.

The NBA D-League celebrated its 11th and most successful season, where records were set with 60 GATORADE Call-Ups and 67 assignments, while 27 percent of players on 2011-12 NBA end-of-season rosters spent time in the NBA D-League. For the third consecutive year, the NBA D-League saw more than one million fans attend games across its 16 cities.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.