Postgame Quotes: May 28, 2004

Lynx 73, Mystics 62
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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"I thought we got off to a great start. We had great defensive energy, and our offense was very effective. We made good decisions. Basketball is a game of runs. We got off to a quick start. With our substitutions, they gained some energy and got back into the game. Our players needed to pick up where the starters left off. They made adjustments. We need to be able to handle the full-court pressure better. We were a little too lackadaisical with the ball, but we did a good job extending our lead at the free-throw line."

"Both players were a spark off the bench. Amber Jacobs did a tremendous job handling the pressure. She ran the offense well. She's an offensive threat out there. She hit a big 'three' that opened up the inside game. She plays with a lot of confidence. Tasha Butts was also a spark. She hit two big 'threes', and is always providing defensive pressure on the floor. She'll play a lot of minutes for us."

"(Smith's three-pointer) was huge. Katie has hit a lot of big shots in her career. It was huge. It gave us the cushion we needed with the shot clock running down. We want the ball in her hands in those situations. We need her to be aggressive. We talked about that before the game. We need her to be aggressive, obviously with her offensive game, but even if it's just penetration and getting others involved, she gets her teammates going. The team feeds off her."

"We played the entire team. Last year we were maybe eight-deep. Vanessa got her feet wet tonight, and Michele Van Gorp is not completely healthy yet. She will be on an as-needed basis until she gets healthy. Our depth will be a key for us the entire year. We have two players to back up Teresa at the point, and we have depth in the post. Once we get our rotations down, players will be more comfortable with their roles."

"We watched (Washington) on tape. They were down 13 in the game (against Los Angeles), and their press got them right back in the game. They can disrupt the tempo. Their defense is very good."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"What we've seen from Day 1 since they (rookies) have been here is hitting big shots. Tasha Butts made a bunch of plays — hustling back, getting her hands on balls, rebounding, her two 'threes'... I expect that game-in, game-out from them. They've come from programs that have been successful, been competitive, and they're not afraid to take big shots. I'm just excited... Amber playing the point has the biggest transition from college to the pros. She's got a lot to worry about."

"In the first half, we were up big early. But you've got 30 minutes of basketball left — anything can happen. We maintained it. They got it within three, and we made a nice little run again in the second half. We kept our distance. We made it a little more stressful, but I don't think we ever felt it was out of our hands."

"That's the way this league is. When you make a run on somebody, and when you have a lead, no one is just going to sit back and give up. We expected them to make a run, but obviously we'd like to make it a little harder. We turned the ball over too many times and gave them too many easy points. That's something we have to address."

Lynx Guard Tasha Butts
"I think I can say we needed energy tonight, because in our last game (at San Antonio) we didn't have any energy at all. I felt in the first half that I didn't really bring the energetic Tasha out there, so I felt like I needed to make my presence felt out there in the second half. I knew my defense would lead to my offense."

"It's not about finding our identity. It's about doing the little things it takes every night. I think we know exactly what it takes to win these kind of games. I think we know what our identity is. It's just up to us to bring it every single night."

Lynx Guard Amber Jacobs
"This team has really shown confidence in each one of us, especially the rookies, in really bringing us together and making us feel like a team."

"I just want to come in and play my part, come in and continue what 'T' has been doing and not skipping a beat. It's a hard job coming in off the bench. You just want to try to be that spark — bring some energy, give a little lift to the team."

Mystics Coach Michael Adams
"That doesn't help us any when we have to come back from so many points down. That's the second or third time that's happened. It looks like we have to get better energy from our bench, because our starters have not come out with the enthusiasm and the frame of mind that we've got to play defense at the start of the game."

"When we cut it to two, we got out of our offense again. We started going one-on-one, we didn't run the sets I called, people forced shots — and when that happens, obviously, they get on another run. It's a game of runs. When we got back into the basketball game, we forgot how we got there. That was executing and playing solid defense. We stopped executing once we got close."

"They turned the ball over 23 times, and we didn't win the ballgame. That's some bad shooting that we ended up doing. We didn't make a lot of shots... We have people that can guard (Smith). She has some tricks of the trade up her sleeve in drawing fouls, and she got the job done. She knows what she needs to do."

Mystics Forward Chamique Holdsclaw
"We just played flat. They came at us, and defensively we didn't really attack them. They were able to get some easy baskets. Katie Smith was just 'out there,' having her way with it. A player like her, you have to come out and contain her."

Mystics Guard Alana Beard
"Even if I wasn't a rookie, I'd still be learning in this league. It's learning any time you go to the next level. I want to learn, and that's what I'm taking this as — a learning experience."

"Katie Smith is a great player. She's a smart player. I guess she taught a rookie today. It was hard to get back in the groove. Actually, I never got back in the groove. I don't think I was in the groove at the beginning anyway."

Mystics Forward Stacey Dales-Schuman
"It's just defensive effort. We need to stop people. Minnesota started out with a lot of energy. It was their home opener, (so) we know they would do that. Katie Smith, you can't give her space — and she got space early. You've got to slow her down, and you can't allow her to touch the ball."