Portland Expo Center

Maine Red Claws

The Maine Red Claws play at the Portland Expo Centre in Portland, Maine. The venue is easy to locate in Portland and is well signposted/advertised outside.

There is a small amount of parking adjacent to the venue and plenty of car parks nearby. The team website suggests a specific nearby car park but we used the lot opposite that car park as it was cheaper.

Seats

The type of seat depends on which section you sit in. The most expensive sections have the best seats. We sat in the section that was $22 a seat and got small hard plastic bleacher type seating but with a small back. The cheaper seats were bleached style and the most expensive seats were the more common hard plastic seat variety.

Concessions

A good range of food and beverages was on offer.

Food – pizza, hot dogs, burgers, pretzels, popcorn, fries

Drinks – soft drinks, water, beer, spirits

It was reasonably priced and we got two cheeseburgers and a Diet Coke for $12.

They had a stall selling team merchandise and, a 50/50 raffle and a stall selling balls for the lobster toss (a competition played during the 4th where you through the balls at a lobster pot and if you get the ball in the pot you win a prize).

Entertainment

They have a dance squad and we had a special half time performance by Bronson Arroyo.

On the way in we were given a magnet featuring the schedule and a programme.

Overall I really liked this venue. The staff were friendly and helpful, it was well laid out and signposted and I was able to enjoy the game.

Maine Red Claws v Erie Bayhawks

The G-league season has only just started (the G-league is the d-league renamed for sponsorship purposes).

This was not my first time seeing Maine but it was my first time at their venue (there is a separate post on the venue).

Maine seemed shaky at the start of each quarter, defending poorly and demonstrating poor shot selection.

However in the first two quarters they managed to fight back and end the quarters only a point behind.

The third quarter was poor for both teams with only five points being scored in total in the first five minutes. The Bayhawks were having the worst of it with five fouls.

Josh Longstaff, recently released from the Knicks, is in his first season as head coach of the Bayhawks. As we were sat behind the bench we were able to witness his coaching style up close. It’s fair to say he hasn’t fully gotten to grips with the differnce in rules between the NBA and the G-league.

At the end of Q3 Maine had the lead and while the final quarter was close they fought hard and kept the lead. The tried and tested technique of playing for fouls did little to help the Bayhawks (who had a worse FTA-M ratio than Maine over the course of the game).

For the most part this was a close game. Being so early in the season most of the players were trying to prove themselves. One stand out for Maine was Trey Davis who made his debut in this game. He showed good knowledge and hussle and was rewarded with game MVP.

Raptors 905 @ Westchester Knicks – Friday 23 December 2016

It was the Knicks last game before Christmas and the festive spirit was in full flow. The Knicks had gone all out to make sure Santa was present for the smaller attendees. They also had a special winter hat giveaway for the first 1000 fans through the door. Presents for almost all.


 The Westchester Knicks are the d-league affiliate of the New York Knicks and they know how to put on a show, very much taking the lead from their basketball ‘big brothers’. They have cheerleaders, in the style of the Knicks Dancers, a mascot (Hudson the dog) and frequent entertainment during the game breaks including t-shirt giveaways and competitions for children.

The entertainment highlight on this occasion was the half court shot, the guy made it and the entire place erupted.


The Westchester Knicks had access to some of the NY Knicks players for this game (N’dour, Baker and Plumlee), so the fans were treated to discounted performances from some NBA stars in addition to the d-league stars. This doesn’t happen at every game but it also not unusual in a league that allows the NBA teams to send players down and recall them as needed.  

There are some talented players on this team – most notably Crawford (he’s small but he’s fast with a wicked three point shot), Randle (I would not be surprised if he is in the NBA next season) and Wafer.

The Knicks had some good plays but they seemed to run out of energy on too many occasions. It also has to be said that while the NBA players got good minutes they did not live up to expectations and were pretty much outplayed by the d-league players (this may have been because they had assumed it would have been an easier game).

The Westchester County Centre is a friendly local centre that feels like home. I don’t know what the venue is used for on non game nights but I can imagine that it is very much part of the local community.

Raptors 905 @ Westchester Knicks – Friday 23 December 2016

It was the Knicks last game before Christmas and the festive spirit was in full flow. The Knicks had gone all out to make sure Santa was present for the smaller attendees. They also had a special winter hat giveaway for the first 1000 fans through the door. Presents for almost all. The Westchester Knicks are the d-league affiliate of the New York Knicks and they know how to put on a show, very much taking the lead from their basketball ‘big brothers’. They have cheerleaders, in the style of the Knicks Dancers, a mascot (Hudson the dog) and frequent entertainment during the game breaks including t-shirt giveaways and competitions for children.

The entertainment highlight on this occasion was the half court shot, the guy made it and the entire place erupted.

The Westchester Knicks had access to some of the NY Knicks players for this game (N’dour, Baker and Plumlee), so the fans were treated to discounted performances from some NBA stars in addition to the d-league stars. This doesn’t happen at every game but it also not unusual in a league that allows the NBA teams to send players down and recall them as needed.  
There are some talented players on this team – most notably Crawford (he’s small but he’s fast with a wicked three point shot), Randle (I would not be surprised if he is in the NBA next season) and Wafer.

The Knicks had some good plays but they seemed to run out of energy on too many occasions. It also has to be said that while the NBA players got good minutes they did not live up to expectations and were pretty much outplayed by the d-league players (this may have been because they had assumed it would have been an easier game).

The Westchester County Centre is a friendly local centre that feels like home. I don’t know what the venue is used for on non game nights but I can imagine that it is very much part of the local community.

Westchester County Centre

Venue – good sized dedicated venue, helpful staff, the upper level seats are padded and comfortable. There is no obvious ‘kids zone’ unlike some other d-league venues, the children who were present were actually paying attention to the game.The fans were really involved with the game and this made for a good atmosphere.

Accessible – ample parking, close to town and easy to access via train from Manhattan

Concessions – usual range of hotdogs, popcorn, soft drinks on sale.

 

 

Bob Carpenter Center

Venue – Good sized venue in a Uni gym. It’s not like the NBA venues but it is a big improvement on UK venues.

Access – We drove to the venue, they have a large free car park. I did not see any nearby bus stops but there is an AMTRAK station near by.

Concessions – There are a couple of stalls, with what seems to be a good range of food and drinks available but the staff do not seem to know what is on offer or what prices to charge. The hot food really isn’t worth it.

Merchandise – they have a small merchandise stall with a surprisingly large range.

Maine Red Claws @ Delaware 87ers

Saturday 20 February 

This was a strange game between the D-league teams linked to the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. 

The Sevens (the nicknames of the Delaware 87ers) had set up a kids zone alongside the court and for out of the game there was a large crowd of children and their parents in that area. This area had inflatables for the children to play on. As a result I’m not sure how much of the game the children actually saw.

The cord that were sat, supposedly watching the game, did not seem that interested in the game. There was little recognition for good plays from the Sevens, no chants of defence. There was a crowd of away fans and they were definitely supporting their team. 

The Red Claws took an early lead and they were able to maintain this for the entire game. The Sevens were not playing well, but the interesting thing was the high fouls count for the Red laws. Given the performance from the Sevens they did not need to foul them to prevent them from scoring. 

The high fouling from both teams made the game feel slow, as the insistence of the referees to review calls.

At times it felt that the referees did not have control of the game. This was especially true in the early period of the third quarter. A technical was called on the Sevens, with no explanation. The enraged coach walked on to the court seeking his explanation. I’ve seen this result in coaches being made to leave the game. In this occasion it resulted in a time out.  Presumably the referees were acknowledging their original mistake but it was not the way to maintain control. 

People started to leave at the beginning of the fourth, making a quiet venue even quieter. 

In the end the Red Claws won convincingly 132 – 107.

Iowa Energy @ Westchester Knicks

Sunday 21 February 

The arena was fairly busy for this D-league match up. 

The Westchester Knicks took an early league in the first quarter but then, in the last few minutes, they seemed to lose their focus. Shots were not falling for them and they had a couple of sloppy plays. They manage to keep the game close though ending the q ahead by one point.

Q1 set the tempo for what turned out to be an exciting match up. The game stayed really close the whole way through and up until the last few minutes of the game it was difficult to predict who would win.

The D-league has different rules to the NBA. In this game we saw two coaches challenges. The coach gambles a timeout on the challenge (losing the timeout if the call on the floor is upheld). One call was held and one was overturned, both not helping the Westchester Knicks.

Both teams played well, although fouling was an issue for both teams. This is something the W-Knicks needs to watch as two of their best players in this game also had high fouls counts. In the last minute of the game W-Knicks appeared to be playing for fouls but they left it too late for this tactic to be effective – not giving themselves enough time to make use of their possession. 

The game finished Iowa Energy 84 Westchester Knicks 80.
The crowd at this game were behind the home team throughout the game. It was good to see this level of support and to see the children in attendance get in to the game as well.