Caught my first in-person Maine Celtics game last night.
First, if it wasn't already known in these parts, it's really the best bang-for-your-buck pro sports option in New England, if you ask me. The basketball talent is very high and you sit basically 10 feet from the court for $30 a ticket. It's incredible how close every seat in the place is to the action. You can hear all of the coaching instructions, hear the players talk to each other, etc., from even the "bad" seats.
As for observations:
- Samanic wasn't playing. Bummed about that, but I guess he's hurt? Very hard to find Maine Celtics news, in general.
- Davison seems pretty legit to me. For people saying he's small, I don't see it. He looked plenty big on the court last night, and even got 7 rebounds to go with 10 assists and 16 points. He's also a gifted finisher and generally attacks the hoop really well - lots of finishes high off the glass, to the other side of the rim, etc. Plus, he seems to have real court vision - his 10 assists was his fourth straight game in double-digits with assists, and he didn't even start last night. The fans really key on him and he gets people out of their seats with his passes.
Unfortunately, while he got back to block a couple of fast break layups after turnovers last night, he also just ole'd his man from the top of the key four or five times. Maybe he was funneling to the shotblocker, but it looked like he just couldn't body up his man.
- Kabengele is really fun to watch, because he's animated and plays up to the crowd, but was an absolute foul machine last night - 6 and tossed from the game with 11 minutes to go in the fourth. He came back in with 5 after sitting much of the 3rd and my kid correctly predicted he'd be gone in 30 seconds. I believe it was only 14 seconds of game time and he played just 18 minutes total. Just brutal. He did look good from three, though, nailing one from the top of the circle and pulling up on the fast break for one that went halfway down.
He does come down with a lot of boards, though, and clearly has NBA-level size and athleticism.
- Marial Shayok looks like an NBA player. He handles the ball well enough to be a 2 guard at 6-5 and he's currently at 49% on 4.5 threes a game over the last 11 games. He was raining threes last night on the way to 32 points, and he's averaging 19.5 a game, after averaging 23 a game for Delaware in the 19-20 season.
He's had a weird career so far, coming out of Ottawa, and playing three years at Virginia, then taking a year off, then doing a year at Iowa State where he was the leading scorer in the Big 12. Philly drafted him late in the 2019 draft and he played 4 games for them while assigned to Delaware. Then he went to play two years in the Turkish league before being waived by Philly in May of 2022 and signing a one-day contract with the Cs in October of 2022. (Not sure why he was signed and waived the same day?)
Now, of course, he's 27 and probably as good as he's going to get, but there are NBA rosters who could use him on their second units I think.