Despite Devin Green
s 11 first quarter points the Los Angeles D-Fenders got off to a slow start Friday night while at home against the Tulsa 66ers. Scoring just 3 points in the first 5:30 of play they were lucky to be only down by 7 at the end of the half.
All that changed in the second half, however, as the Los Angeles Lakers NBDL franchise went on to score 59 more points, finishing with 90, and holding Tulsa to 77 for the game, improving the D-Fenders record to 5-3 so far in this young season.D-FendersDevin Green
Devin scored 25 points tonight and pulled down 6 boards in a team-high 41 minutes. He also dished 7 assists and shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range. He didnt settle for outside shots the whole game, however, still managing to get to the free throw line where he went 7 of 8. He started out the game draining a 3 from the corner, then gave a nice hesitation dribble to lose his man for the lay-up And-1. He pump-faked his man out of position and the shot a smooth little 6 jumper. He hit a couple more 3s and then drove through the defense for a pretty finger roll. He dished a nice assist on a feed to Aloysius Anagonye and threw an alley-oop to Chet Mason
. He showed some nice speed and recovery on defense on a run-out to the corner blocking a Tulsa players 3 point attempt.Aloysius Anagonye
Aloysius is listed at 68 but plays more like 610. Hes a PF/C in a SF body, and in the D-League he appears to be able to hold his own against bigger players. Part of that is his very large build (listed at 260lbs), but he also has good timing which he used in conjunction with his long arms to block a couple shots and alter numerous others. He scored 17 points tonight (7 of 11 from the free throw line) and made some key plays down the stretch. He made a great block on a player and then managed to control the ball and outlet it. He took two dribbles into the lane and then spun for an absolute facial over the 72 Cezary Trybanski
, crossed his man over and dunked him, and threw down a third dunk on a tri cut from the high post. He threw a nice drop pass out of the pinch post to his teammate for a lay-up, faked a shot and then passed it in the air to Chet Mason
for a lay-in and threw an over-the-top post-entry pass for a bucket as well. All-in-all a very well rounded and solid game for Anagonye.66ersCheyne Gadson
Cheyne is 16th in the NBDL in scoring at 17.8 per contest. The 62 guard out of Oklahoma St. has a smooth outside stroke and showed it tonight by scoring 19 points on 50% shooting (2 of 3 from behind the arc) and dishing 7 assists. He hit a couple of 3s early, grabbed an offensive board and shot a pretty fade-away 18. He faked another 3 and then stepped in as the defender ran by him and shot a long-range baseline 2. He gave a subtle hesitation and completely threw his defender allowing him to get to the basket uncontested for the lay-in. He also threaded the needle through the paint on a pass to Mustafa Al-Sayyad for a bucket. Cheyne is an interesting player and I look forward to seeing more of him in future games.Will Conroy
I love watching Will Conroy
ever since I saw him in the Long Beach Summer Pro League a few years ago. Hes just a solid basketball player who plays fundamentally sound basketball and displays a lot of heart, hustle and leadership on the court. He dropped 11 dimes today with only 1 turnover in 43 minutes of action. I wish there was more I could say about him, but thats both the beauty and curse of Conroy: he plays the game right and rarely makes mistakes, but he also never does anything spectacular. His game never elevates to that other level that makes you believe he should be in the NBA. Ill be following his progress over the course of season and I hope we get to see him grow as a player.Mike Hall
Hall shot 6 of 13 for 18 points and grabbed 10 boards for the games only double-double. He talked up a storm to start out the game: calling out picks, taunting players and just generally being very vocal on the floor. He hit a couple 3s and displayed a very Gilbert Arenas
-esque free throw ritual where he wrapped the ball around his body before shooting.Chris Ellis
Speaking of strange shooting, I thought I would add just a little mention here about Chris Ellis form. Staples Center recently changed their lighting configuration and at first I thought my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but when Ellis shoots, the ball actually seems to spin sideways. Almost slightly diagonal really. For whatever reason, when he releases the ball, his hand spins off it on the side causing it to rotate almost like a bowling ball. He shot 3 of 6 for the game, but in the two outside shots that I witnessed it didnt look very close. How he got out of Wake Forest shooting like that is a mystery, but at the very least its an amusing one.Update
Basketball guru, and head honcho around these parts, Jonathan Givony, was kind enough to inform me that Chris Ellis is the son of former Seattle Supersonic and Denver Nugget Dale Ellis
. Its from his father that he inherited his unique stroke. For what its worth Dale was a career 49% shooter and hit an impressive 40% from behind the arc. And Chris? He shot just under 50% during his tenure at Wake Forest.