Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Williams, Owens selected for D-League challenges

Will post more soon as we head into the All-Star break, but here's some news on two of Tulsa's All-Star participants...

Tulsa 66ers forward Latavious Williams has been selected to participate in the slam dunk competition and forward Larry Owens has been chosen for the NBA D-League Haier Shooting Stars Competition during the NBA Development League Dream Factory Friday Night presented by Haier on February 18. The competitions will begin at 10:00 p.m. CT at Center Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by Adidas inside the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Williams and three other participants will attempt to complete two dunks in Round 1, with five judges each awarding between six and 10 points for every made dunk. The two players with the highest composite scores after Round 1 move on to Round 2, and the player with the highest composite score of the possible two dunks in Round 2 wins.

Returning for its second year is the Haier NBA D-League Shooting Stars competition, which features 12 NBA D-League stars competing in four teams of three in a two-round timed shooting event. The contest features six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time.

Each team will select a specific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot must be made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up to two minutes to complete the entire shooting course. In the case of a tie, a shoot-off will be used to determine the champion.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dyson earns D-League honor

Jerome Dyson of the Tulsa 66ers was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Jan. 24.

Dyson, a 6-3, 180-pound guard out of Connecticut, led the 66ers to a 2-1 record on the week, averaging 28.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals.

After scoring 21 points in Tulsa’s 107-101 win at Springfield on Jan. 27, Dyson shot 6-of-9 from three-point range, scoring a game-high 37 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the 66ers 118-98 victory over the Armor the next day. Dyson also scored a team-high 27 points in Tulsa’s 109-106 loss to Maine on Sunday.

You can read my Tulsa World interview and feature on Jerome Dyson by clicking here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tulsa win streak stops at 14

Maine topped the Tulsa 66ers, 109-106, in Portland on Sunday, marking the end of Tulsa's 14-game winning streak and the first time that Tulsa had been defeated in 2011. The 14-game streak will go down as the third-longest in D-League history.

The 66ers look to start a new streak on Friday when the Utah Flash pay a visit to the Tulsa Convention Center at 7 p.m. Friday’s game will mark the 66ers annual Thunder affiliate night which will feature an appearance by Rumble the Bison, performances by the Thunder Girls and Thunder Drummers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tulsa wins 14th consecutive game...

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Jan. 28, 2011—The Tulsa 66ers (22-6) rolled to their 14th consecutive victory Friday night against the Springfield Armor (9-18) on the road 118-98 behind a game-high 37 points from guard Jerome Dyson and double-doubles from Cole Aldrich and Latavious Williams inside the MassMutual Center. 
Aldrich posted 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and Williams notched 20 points and 10 boards.  It marked the third and eighth double-doubles for Aldrich and Williams this season, respectively.
Dyson’s 37 points is the most scored by a Tulsa player this season.  He shot 12-20 (.600) from the field, including 6-9 (.667) from beyond the arc. 
Also scoring in double figures for Tulsa was Robert Vaden with 15, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, and Garrett Williamson with 10. 
Tre Whitted led the Armor in scoring with 21 and Craig Brackins picked up a team-high nine rebounds.
Tulsa, who led by as many as 25 in the game, used a big first half to jump out to a 69-53 halftime lead.  That point total marked a season-high for most points in a half for the 66ers.
Defensively, Tulsa forced 18 Springfield turnovers and picked up seven steals.  The 66ers outrebounded the Armor by a 46-41 margin.
Offensively, the 66ers recorded 25 assists and shot 14-27 (.519) from 3-point range.
Tulsa will continue its road trip this Sunday, Jan. 30, by traveling to Portland to take on the Maine Red Claws at 4 p.m. CT.
For more information on the Tulsa 66ers, log onto

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Make that 10 in a row

Tulsa defeats New Mexico 100-95 for its 10th straight win. Big night on defense by Cole Aldrich and some big shots from Latavious Williams.

Tulsa wins ninth straight, holds D-League's best record

Elijah Millsap posted 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Cole Aldrich and Marcus Lewis added 18 points each to lead the Tulsa 66ers (17-6) to a 113-107 road victory over the New Mexico Thunderbirds (11-11) Friday night, marking the team’s ninth consecutive win.

Tulsa has not lost since Dec. 28 at Reno.

Inside Santa Ana Star Center, the 66ers never trailed in the contest that earned them their sixth consecutive road win dating back to Dec. 30. Tulsa currently stands in first place in the West Conference.

In addition to scoring 18, Aldrich posted five rebounds and two blocked shots. Also scoring in double-figures for Tulsa was Jerome Dyson with 17, Tweety Carter with 15, Latavious Williams with 13, and Robert Vaden with 10.

Offensively, Tulsa went 39-72 (.542) from the floor and dished out 28 assists compared to New Mexico’s 20. The 66ers improved to 14-1 this season when recording more assists than their opponent. The 66ers also forced 19 Thunderbird turnovers and recorded seven steals.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Larry Owens heading to San Antonio?

The rumor mill is swirling this morning that Larry Owens will be offered a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs. You can read more about it by clicking here, which includes my thoughts on the possible call-up.

If it happens, it would be the second 66ers player signed to an NBA contract in a 10-day span. No other team has had a player signed by an NBA team, which is yet another signal of Tulsa's strength this season.

Monday, January 10, 2011

66ers keep rolling, win in South Padre

The Tulsa 66ers' win streak has now hit seven games.

Latavious Williams posted his sixth double-double of the season, Cole Aldrich tallied 12 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots and the Tulsa 66ers (15-6) outscored the Sioux Falls Skyforce (2-15) 60-31 in the second half to earn their seventh consecutive win 103-83 in the opening game of the 2011 D-League Showcase in South Padre Island.

Additionally, the seven consecutive victories is the most in 66ers team history. The 66ers currently stand in first place in the West Conference.

Inside the South Padre Island Convention Center, Williams led all scorers with 18 points and tied for a game-high 12 rebounds. Also in double-figure scoring for Tulsa was Brandon Brooks with 16, Tweety Carter with 15, Larry Owens with 14 and Jerome Dyson with 11. Brooks also dished out a game-high six assists.

The 66ers overcame a 12-point deficit by forcing 22 turnovers and seven steals and blocking eight Skyforce shots.

Offensively, Tulsa tallied 19 assists as a team and recorded 17 fast break points compared to Sioux Falls’ four.

Tulsa, winners of 12 of the last 14 games, will return to the court at the 2011 D-League Showcase on Wednesday, Jan. 12, when it takes on the Dakota Wizards at 4:15 p.m. CT.

66ers head to Showcase without Dowdell

As reported here last week, Tulsa point guard Zabian Dowdell missed Friday night's game against Fort Wayne due to being in Phoenix to try out for the Suns. Apparently, they liked what they saw.

The Suns signed guard Dowdell for the first GATORADE Call-Up of the 2010-11 NBA Development League season.

“Zabian has really committed to getting better each and every day during his time in Tulsa and has been a great leader on the floor for our team,” 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said. “I am happy to see that his hard work has given him an opportunity to play at the next level and we all wish him great success.”

Dowdell started all of Tulsa’s first 18 games this season, leading the team to a Western Conference-best 12-6 record. He averaged team highs in points (14.5), assists (4.6) and steals (2.4) in 29.3 minutes per game. His steals average currently ranks second in the league, and he's one of only two players all season to have six steals in two separate games.

The 66ers (now 14-6) will carry a six-game winning streak into the 2011 D-League Showcase held this week in South Padre Island, Texas. Tulsa’s first of two games at the Showcase is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 10 against the Sioux Falls Skyforce (2-14) at 11 a.m. (CT), followed by a matchup with the Dakota Wizards (5-14) on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 4:15 p.m. Both games will be played inside the South Padre Island Convention Center.

Tulsa will be the home team on Monday and the visiting team on Wednesday. Both games will be televised by NBA TV and can be heard in Tulsa on KAKC 1300 AM.

The 66ers are coming off of a 96-95 overtime win against the Texas Legends on Saturday evening to earn their 11th win in the last 13 games.

Tulsa is 1-0 against Sioux Falls this season, as the 66ers topped the Skyforce on the road 120-102 on Dec. 10. The 66ers own a 9-7 all-time record against the Skyforce. Wednesday’s game will mark the first matchup between Dakota and Tulsa this season. The 66ers are 6-5 all-time against the Wizards.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dowdell not in uniform tonight as 66ers prepare to face Fort Wayne

As previously reported by several sources on the Web, Zabian Dowdell is not in uniform tonight for the Tulsa 66ers. Although it is not being confirmed officially by 66ers representatives, Dowdell is in Phoenix -- one of four D-League players trying out for the Suns and a potential 10-day contract.

Who will start for the 66ers in Dowdell's place? It's likely that Tweety Carter will get his first Tulsa start at point.

Also, it appears that Robert Vaden will miss his second consecutive game with an injury, definitely leaving the 66ers short-handed.

My article on Jerome Dyson from this morning's Tulsa World

Click here to read it

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dowdell, Owens mentioned among potential D-League call-ups

Today is the first day that D-League players can sign a 10-day contract with NBA teams. Two Tulsa players (Zabian Dowdell and Larry Owens) were among just a few mentioned as potential signees.

You can read the article from AOL Fanhouse by clicking here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gutty win by Tulsa in Frisco

Tulsa wins it 99-94 and it is because of defense and a great effort from the bench.

Tulsa's bench outscored Texas 43-10 in the contest, with Robert Vaden hitting 15 and Jerome Dyson adding 12 in reserve.

"I do not look at it as a bench," Tulsa head coach Nate Tibbetts told me after the game in the bowels of the Dr. Pepper Arena. "We have 11 guys on our team who can play. The guys who do not start the game are an extension Of those who do. Our subs came in and gave us a lift."

Elijah Millsap led the 66ers with 17 points, including two nice driving layups in the third quarter. Larry Owens added 14 as he hopefully shakes free from a recent slump.

Another big factor in the game? Tulsa only had seven turnovers and forced 18 by the Legends.

Big third quarter for 66ers, still trail by 1 point

Tulsa rediscovered its defense in the third quarter ... until the final minute of the period. Texas' Booker Woodfox and Dominique Jones hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Legends a 74-73 lead after three.

The 66ers had a 13-4 run during the quarter to take a 70-65 lead before Texas began hitting its shots, including the two big ones from long range.

Robert Vaden came up big for the 66ers in the quarter, scoring seven of his team-high 15 points in the period.

Thoughts on the first half in Frisco

Tulsa trails 49-47 at intermission, but here are some of the things that stood out to me in the first half...

1. Elijah Millsap made a couple of nice shots penetrating the lane and waiting until the last moment to shoot. Good to see him being aggressive like that.

2. Tulsa trails by two points despite a rough opening half from Zabian Dowdell. He's just 2-of-7 from the field with no assists.

3. Larry Owens is still struggling from the field and the 66ers need him to find his shooting touch. He has seven points in the opening half on 3-of-7 shooting, but one of his shots was a biggie for Tulsa as he just beat the shot clock for a 3-pointer to tie the game at 40 with 3:42 to play in the half.

4. Texas is shooting 51.4 percent in the opening half. Tulsa is shooting 38.8 percent but has only turned the ball over four times in the first half.

5. Someone needs to stop Joe Alexander (14 points) and Dominique Jones (13 points) in the second half.

Texas dominates inside in first quarter, leads 29-21

Texas owned the inside in the first quarter, posting a 29-21 lead over the 66ers after one period. Joe Alexander is the difference-maker right now for the Legends, with eight points and four boards. Not sure the 66ers have figured out an answer for him yet.

66ers enter 2011 with some changes, game at Texas

Hello from Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. I've made the drive down to the Lone Star State to see the 66ers (9-6) try to overtake the Texas Legends (8-5) in the D-League Western Conference standings.

Tulsa is coming off an impressive 107-93 win at Austin. The 66ers started out strong, posting a 20-point lead at halftime on its way to the win. Robert Vaden came off the bench to lead the team with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, the highest for any member of the 66ers this season. Coach Tibbetts has said time and time again Vaden could be the best shooter in the D-League, and the rookie may have shown a glimpse of that in Austin.

Also making a difference for Tulsa in Austin was the return of Cole Aldrich. Once again assigned from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Aldrich had six points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action. While the numbers may not be over the top, Aldrich got in some playing time and helped the Tulsa inside game.

Latavious Williams continues to shine, notching his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

How will Tulsa do tonight in Frisco? We'll see shortly as Tulsa goes for its second consecutive win over the Legends and its fourth victory in its last five outings.