GAME 3: RED CLAWS 124, MAD ANTS 119
Player of the Game: Red Claws F Guerschon Yabusele — 26 points, 10/14 FG, 9 rebounds
Play of the Game: Red Claws F Abdel Nader blows by the defense for a clutch slam
GAME 2: MAD ANTS 111, RED CLAWS 11O
Player of the Game: Mad Ants F Tyler Hansbrough — 27 points, 8/11 FG, 15 rebounds
Play of the Game: Red Claws F Abdel Nader hammers down a ferocious jam
GAME 1: RED CLAWS 110, MAD ANTS 106
Player of the Game: Red Claws G Demetrius Jackson — 30 points, 9/16 FG, 6 assists
Play of the Game: Red Claws F Arthur Edwards’ block in final seconds
In a league where rosters shuffle year after year, these two teams have managed to instill a winning culture. Both teams are making their fourth postseason appearance in five years, though the Mad Ants have a title under their belt while the Red Claws are still searching for their first playoff series win.
The common thread between the two teams this year is NBA talent. Celtics rookie Abdel Nader has a strong case for NBA D-League MVP while spending the entire season with Maine. Guerschon Yabusele, Boston’s No. 16 overall pick this past June, recently joined him in the frontcourt, and guard Demetrius Jackson has also played much of his rookie season with the Claws.
For Fort Wayne, the NBA talent comes in the form of veteran Tyler Hansbrough, who has been a double-double machine since joining the Mad Ants last month. The veteran squad also features NBA vets Marquis Teague and Travis Leslie in the backcourt as well as intriguing rookie Ben Bentil.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
**Would have to be assigned by NBA parent club
MEET THE RED CLAWS
NBA Affiliate: Boston Celtics
Regular Season Record: 29-21
Key Stat(s): The Red Claws led the league in three-point attempts (34.6) after ranking second in each of the past two seasons.
MEET THE MAD ANTS
NBA Affiliate: Indiana Pacers
Regular Season Record: 30-20
Key Stat(s): Hansbrough enters the playoffs having posted a double-double in six of his last seven games, averaging 23.6 points and 13.4 rebounds over that stretch.