Friday, April 2, 2010

Thoughts heading into the Iowa series

I had a chance to talk to Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts yesterday about Wednesday's big win over Austin and the big games toward the end of the season with Iowa (Friday and Saturday at home) and Reno (Sunday on the road).

Kevin: What does the win in Austin on Wednesday night do for this team?
Nate: Certainly it gives us a little momentum. Any loss at this point is tough with us trying to make a push into the playoffs. A big comeback win like that gives us confidence.

Kevin: Your bench really led the comeback in the fourth quarter. How important is it to have everyone contributing like they did on Wednesday night?
Nate: I think that does two things. First, it gives our bench confidence. Second, it shows our starters that if they're not ready to play, we have guys behind them who can play. In the fourth quarter Wednesday night, our starters were on the bench giving those guys support. That was good to see.

Kevin: With Iowa already clinching the top seed for the upcoming playoffs, what do you expect from the Energy this weekend?
Nate: We expect their best effort. If we're going to make the playoffs, we're going to have to play and beat the best teams in the D-League to get there.

Kevin: Have you talked to the team much about the importance of these final three games?
Nate: We haven't talked much about playoff scenarios. We explained the playoff picture a week to 10 days ago, but we haven't talked about it much since. We know we have to keep winning. That's the bottom line.

Kevin: Is there any scenario where you wouldn't have to play the makeup game in Reno on Sunday night?
Nate: I don't think so. I think we have to play that game. The situation (postponing the game from Monday to Sunday because of weather in Reno) is unfortunate but I'm glad we got somewhere safely. It is what it is. It makes us play three games in three nights, but they have to play three in three nights as well. Unfortunately, their three games are all at home.

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