February 1, 2013

Undermanned Claws vulnerable vs. Vipers

Injuries, waivers and NBA call-ups deplete Portland of the depth it has enjoyed up until now.

From staff reports

PORTLAND - There are times when the Maine Red Claws can show off their depth. And then there are times like now when the team is looking for healthy bodies.


WHO: Red Claws vs. Rio Grande Vipers

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Portland Expo

Maine (17-11) would like some depth Saturday when it plays the Rio Grande Vipers at 7 p.m. at the Portland Expo.

The Vipers (15-9) lead the D-League's Central Division, while the Red Claws are tied with the Canton Charge for first in the East.

Maine had a chance to take first place by itself, but lost 115-109 at Fort Wayne Thursday. In that game, Maine Coach Mike Taylor used only seven players.

The Red Claws are down a player after guard Champ Oguchi asked to be released so he could play overseas. Also, two starting post players, Fab Melo (strained quad) and DuJuan Summers (strained hamstring), have been out since Sunday.

While Maine may be missing the 7-foot Melo, now a member of the Boston Celtics, Rio Grande will likely be without its 7-foot center, Dontas Motiejunas, who has been recalled by the Houston Rockets.

Taylor, who was named as a head coach for the D-League All-Star Game in two weeks, was an assistant coach last year with Rio Grande.


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