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The difference between Game 1 and Game 2 is that we won Game 1 and lost Game 2. It’s the playoffs. Whoever’s up when the buzzer sounds at the end is what counts.
Lennox and the Storm face a must-win Game 3 yet again.|
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They just came out of the half more aggressive in the zone. They didn’t really change defenses. They played 2-3 and 3-2. But Mwadi Mabika was a big reason why they got off. They shot the ball a whole lot better in the second half, which pretty much was the turnaround. They capitalized on almost all of our turnovers and they created turnovers. Mwadi was that spark for them and they fed off her momentum.
After the game Lauren made a point of saying that she has to be more involved in Game 3, which is true. She has to work to get the ball, but we have to work on getting her the ball too. When she is there, she is a big part of our offense – she is the offense. It’s nothing that we went away from during the game, it’s just that she wasn’t open a whole lot and the times that she was open, we just missed the opportunity of getting her the ball. We definitely have to focus on getting her more touches and have everyone feed off her. It comes down to being really aggressive on defense, focusing on offense, and trying to hold LA to one shot.
Pretty much everybody is banged up and they feel that their body just can’t go anymore, but we all realize that this is the playoffs and we have to continue to push ourselves and not even worry about it. Just look at Sue. She is going to be wearing a mask for the game after getting hit in the face. We know she is a tough player and that she is somebody we can count on. She’ll be out there on the court. There was no doubt in my mind that she was going to play. At this point in the season, it’s all about being mentally tough.
Obviously our intention versus San Antonio was to go in there and try and get a victory. It was a very important game for us but we just didn’t start the game as aggressive as we should have and it cost us. Our defense kind of killed us again and 19 turnovers never helps when you are trying to win a ballgame.
Our last game of the season in Houston will be big, not only for us, but for the Comets who are really struggling to clinch that playoff spot. The one thing in their favor is that they are a veteran team that’s been in tough situations before. For us, a team that is relatively short on experience, we have to try our best to mentally outthink them. They know the pros and cons to the game and they know what it takes to get the job done, so we really have to be focused and go out and have that mentality that no matter what it takes, we’re going to try and make it happen.
The Comets are going to have Tina Thompson back in the lineup. She looked great against Phoenix the other night. Obviously no rust formed on Tina while she was out. She looked like she hadn’t missed a beat. Our game plan will be to play aggressive defense and make her and Sheryl take some really tough shots. They’re two great players and we have to really limit their touches. There’s no such thing as stopping those two players. Every shot that they take, we have to make sure to contest it.
That might be a little more difficult since we’re going to be without Lauren (Jackson) for the game, but we’ve played without her earlier in the season and we’re prepared for it. Our mentality is we know we can win games without her, but everyone has to be on the same page and everyone has to be mentally ready and focused to go out and compete. It’s important that we buy her some time to rest.
Houston will be real hungry to get that win, but we’ll be ready for whatever they throw at us.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to Diana Taurasi and offer her congratulations on that MVP performance against Houston. She showed a lot of heart and is going to be one of the greats in the league.
Even though we’ve been playing some pretty good basketball recently, we’ve got a tough task Tuesday night heading into Detroit. They’re a big, tough team, especially with Deanna Nolan and Cheryl Ford, who had a huge game against us last time.
You really can’t hope to shut anybody down, but we have to do a better job of containing her.
Surprisingly, we’ve been better on the road this year than at any other time that I’ve been with the team, including a few years back when we won the title. I really can’t explain it, but it’s definitely a good thing since our last three games are on the road.
I guess I have to tell the girls to keep eating what they’re eating, wear the clothes they’ve been wearing and just prepare in the same way that has led to our success on the road.
Such a large part of our success this year has been attributable to Lauren, Sue and myself having good years.
But maybe the biggest factor has been the play of Janell Burse who has been huge for us. It means so much when you can add that fourth scorer. She’s really been playing well and we’ve needed it as we battle it out with Houston for playoff positioning.
I can’t say we’re really focused on what the Comets are doing because when you do that you get in trouble, but we definitely are aware of what happens with them. It is going to be hard for us to close the season with three wins, but that’s the goal. Obviously, it has to start against Detroit.