They didn’t win the title, but the Maine Celtics certainly are not losers

They didn’t win the title, but the Maine Celtics certainly are not losers

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“We didn’t need a championship to see how special this group was,” said Maine Celtics Head Coach Blaine Mueller, after his team’s 117-100 defeat in Game 3 of the G League Finals.

Maine came up short in their first-ever appearance in the championship round, going the distance but falling to the Oklahoma City Blue on Monday.

Despite that, the season did not feel like a disappointment at all.

Sure, there was a somber tone to the postgame press conferences, but it wasn’t necessarily because of the result.

This season’s G League Celtics group had a special feel to it. The team grew close over the course of the campaign, and it showed in the results. A squad that had a .500 record 22 games in managed to earn themselves a first-round bye and then play their way into the G League Finals.

“Top to bottom, great human beings, great to be around,” Mueller said of his team. “They all bring their own personalities and own kind of mix of interests and likes and — some way, somehow, it all gelled together and it was a wild run.”

The way that the Lobster Cs managed to mesh together this year was impressive for sure. Forward Drew Peterson joined the group back in mid-December and fit right in.

For him, the season was full of success, both on and off the court. Not only did he help his teammates pick up wins on the hardwood, but he built relationships that will last far into the future.

“Being echoed around a lot is just how proud of the guys we are. You know, how connected we are. I think it’s being said a lot, but it really was a special group of guys. The friendships and the relationships with the staff will last a lot longer than tonight. It’s frustrating (to lose) but I’m really proud of the season we had.”

Though the year didn’t end with Maine raising its first title, they certainly fulfilled the ultimate goal each G League group strives towards.

They got better.

Second-year guard JD Davison tallied a team-high 22 points and 10 assists in the Game 3 defeat. He was someone who stepped into a leadership role this season. He called the season a success as he felt he grew into the role and managed to do so both on and off the court.

Coach Mueller also mentioned that he and Davison have come a long way since getting into shouting matches at the Auerbach Center. He described Davison as an extremely smart basketball player and added that he has come out of his shell as a leader this year, which was the young guard’s ultimate goal.

“Yeah, my goal was just to come out of that shell that I was in,” Davison told reporters postgame. “Going from high school to college to the pros, I was just a quiet guy. So, I wanted to come into my second year as a pro and be more talkative and be more of a leader on the court. Off the court, I wanted to talk to the guys, be with the guys, be the one to get the group together. So, I think my goal was successful.”

Though Mueller’s group wasn’t able to capture the team’s first title, they certainly were not losers. They made history, made memories, and got better.

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