Detroit Shock Quotes - Sept. 12

Kara Braxton, Detroit Shock

On Game 4:
Braxton: “I expect us to come firing, just to come out and do what we know and what we do best and play hard. We know it’s going to be a hard game because it could be a last game, but the possibility of having the fifth game in Detroit, we know that they’re going to come out and play real hard and play strong and motivate each other and we should be pretty good.”

On the physicality of the series::
Braxton: “It’s physical – I can say that our most physical opponent was last year against Sacramento hands down in the playoffs. This year, it’s physical but we’re a physical team. Everybody knows that, that’s why they say the Beast of the East against the Best of the West, or whatever they want to label us as, but everybody knows we’re physical and we’re going to come out physical every day and play.”

On the 2007 Finals vs. the 2006 Finals:
Braxton: "I don’t know, all of them are different – I haven’t been in a lot, this is my second one – but they are both different in their own ways. Location, team, style of play – it’s all different. Sacramento was aggressive as well, Phoenix is more of a running shooting team, so they’re totally different but we have to lock down on them and take care of them.”

On her expectations of Phoenix:
Braxton: “I expected everything that they’re giving us because they have a lot of great players all the way down the bench, so we knew that we were going to have out hands full, but we know the things that we have to do as the Detroit Shock and if we execute those we should be good.”

Katie Smith, Detroit Shock

On the differences between the 2007 Finals and the 2006 Finals:
Smith: “It’s different – obviously last year we knew that we had a chance, but it wasn’t a back to back and we were trying to take something someone else had. Sacramento was in the position last year that we are in this year. But this year it almost feels like we didn’t win last year, it’s kind of odd because you forget that last year happened. It’s such a different journey, with injuries, Cheryl [Ford]’s been out, not shooing the ball as well as I did last year, Plenette [Pierson] doing her thing, Kara [Braxton], everybody. The whole journey is different so it doesn’t seem like it’s a repeat of last year, but we’re just glad to be where we want to be.”

On the physicality of the series:
Smith: “Obviously, we get drawn into that, they hit us, we hit them, we bump, they rebound, they body, nobody backs down – at this point of the season it’s the Finals. It goes for them and it goes for us. That’s the way the game is, these are bangers. By no means is this just us. Do we have those attributes? Yes, we have some nice post players, we have big guards, they have big guards, they don’t have as much size down low, but other series, like in Indiana, we’ve had teams banging us – it’s the way the game is - athletic, tall, strong women and nobody is trying to give into anybody and I don’t think that the series is out of hand, free throws last night was different, the other night was ours, this was theirs, who knows. It’s just that everybody is going out there and nobody wants to lose. They call a good game and try and keep it under wraps and we do the rest.”

On what it will take to win:
Smith: “Patience, play on the edge of being patient and attacking.”

Deanna Nolan, Detroit Shock

On playing with their backs against the wall:
Nolan: “Well it’s the truth. You’ve seen it and everyone has seen it, especially when our backs are against the wall or when we need to redeem ourselves from Game Two. You see how we come out and play. We came out those first five, six, seven minutes and set the tone early. They never had the lead and we kept the lead the whole game.”

On Game 4:
Nolan: “We still want to close it out. I don’t think any team has won a [WNBA] Championship on the road and that is something we look at and something we know we can do. Especially when we won Game 3 here, a pivotal Game Three, we know it’s something we can do.”

On the most important aspects of a close-out game:
Nolan: “Really just playing hard and focusing, especially being on the home team’s court. It’s an elimination game for them. They’re going to come out and be extra aggressive, especially on the scoring end. On the defensive end, it’s just a matter of being patient.”

On what has impressed her about the Phoenix Mercury:
Nolan: “Really just making threes and how much they rely on it. I’m not saying that they’re not a great two-point-shooting team or have a great inside game. Just shooting threes and how much they rely on it.”

On being on the road:
Nolan: “It helps us a lot being on the road. We’re not at home where you have all the interference of having to do this with family or having to go there or do that. It’s not like having a lot of distractions. You might have family friends, but it’s nothing big compared to the distractions you have at home.”

On the role of championship experience in Game 4 or a potential Game 5:
Nolan: “The experience is an advantage that we have. Being here and knowing that a Game Four, especially not on your home court, is going to be hard. It’s going to be the hardest game to win in the whole series, even Game 5. I think Game Four is the hardest, especially for us being a close-out and knowing how hard they’re going to come play.”

Plenette Pierson, Detroit Shock

On the incident at the end of the game:
Pierson: “They have. They’ve asked me my side, and I’m sure they’ve asked Penny Taylor her side. It’s under investigation as far as I know right now, and whatever happens, happens.”

On her actions:
Pierson: “I feel like I shouldn’t have retaliated, yes, but I don’t feel like I punched her.”

On the positives and negatives of all of the emotion on the floor:
Pierson: “It’s the Finals. You put everything on the line or go home. So, it’s definitely a lot of emotions out there. It’s a game, and we’re a bunch of women. We have a lot of emotions and we’re going to fight hard. We all want that trophy to come home to our respective cities, so we’re going to do anything possible, by all means, to get that trophy.”

On the possibility of being suspended:
Pierson: “I don’t feel that I should be suspended. I don’t feel like I threw a punch. I didn’t do anything that hadn’t been done in the first two games. I shouldn’t have retaliated. That was wrong on my part. I understand the situation. It’s the Finals and things are going to be blown out of proportion. If they suspend me, I’ll take my punishment and learn from it and move on.”

On Penny Taylor’s actions:
Pierson: “We were up by four or five so I didn’t think that was necessary. I was actually trying to get away from her. It happened. What can I say? I can’t take it back now.”

Bill Laimbeer, Head Coach, Detroit Shock

On if he expects any disciplinary action against Plenette Pierson:
Laimbeer: “For what? Altercations happen all the time.”

On Penny Taylor saying Plenette punched her:
Laimbeer: “We know differently, don’t we?”

On approach for Game 4 being up 2 games to 1:
Laimbeer: “We know that we are expected to be here and we are expected to be in this situation at some point in all the series, and so far, we have done a good job of closing it out. We know how hard it is going to be. We know how desperate they are going to be. We’re going to plan accordingly.”

Since it is do-or-die for Phoenix, does it make it hard to prepare for Game 4?:
Laimbeer: “No. They are not going to change much. They are going to run and shoot. They are going to play their zone defense. They are going to try a little man-to-man sprinkled in. At this point, there is nothing anybody can do X’s and O’s-wise that will throw anybody for a major loop.”

On being outrebounded in Game 3:
Laimbeer: “It is something that we are concerned about. They had too many offensive rebounds. That is not normal for us to give up that many. That is one of the areas of focus that we are going to be talking about.”

On the bench being a factor:
Laimbeer: “I don’t know if it is an important factor in the series, but it is an important factor for us. We have good players. We can play different combinations and throw different lineups at people. We can go to a hot hand. You try to find the players who are contributing because the starters can’t do it every night. Our bench is a very fine bench.”

Are you worried about complacency being up 2 games to 1?:
Laimbeer: “As a coach, you always worry about everything. With our history of being up and down with our focus, you still have a concern, but so far I haven’t seen any complacency at all.”