Indiana Fever Practice Quotes: Sept. 30


Q: Can the Fever afford to resemble the Mercuryís pace?
Dunn: Why wouldnít we do it if we shoot 55 percent when we do it? It comes down to maybe three things. One, we foul too much. I donít want to use the term stupid but bad fouls, inexcusable fouls. Two, I donít think we did a good job of finishing our defense with box outs to get the rebounds. When you give someone 24 second chance points, thatís a problem and I donít think we do the things that we do well. Like some of our defensive schemes were soft, they werenít aggressive, the timing was off. It wasnít anything they did it was us, just paying attention to detail. I donít think our transition defense was as good as it has been, I thought we had people at times that werenít sprinting, that werenít getting back. All the things that I thought that put them in a situation to win the game were things we can correct.

Q: Do you want to use the bench more or are you content with the way the distribution went?
Dunn: I donít think we played too many minutes, beside the fact we went into overtime was a factor. If I had to do it over again, I probably might have played Dixon a few more minutes but I thought we had some size matchup problems there that precluded me from staying small for too long.

Q: It didnít look like the players are long in the face or distraught?
Dunn: Why would we be? They are supposed to hold serve. They are supposed to win at home and we are supposed to win at our home, and we have to steal one somewhere. We had our chance. A lot of people say did Phoenix beat you or did you beat yourselves. You look at the tape and tell me. If you are going to give up 24 second chance points and have them get to the free throw line 38 times you have to hold yourself accountable.

Q: Do you guys win the series if every game looks like it did last night?
Dunn: If we finish the job, there is no reason why we shouldnít have won that game last night. I think in crunch time the offensive rebounds they got and they break downs in defensive that were our own fault helped them win the ball game. You need to stay mentally focused and mentally tough and do the little things when you are in somebodyís gym.


Q: Did the offensive explosion surprise you last night?
Catchings: I think the West plays a lot more up tempo than the East does. I think thatís why a lot of people look at it like, oh, Indiana, theyíre not really an up tempo team. Thatís just how we play in the East. For us, one of the things weíve been really successful at is playing up tempo. Transition, getting steals, getting easy buckets. The fact that weíre playing the best up tempo team in the league, people sort of underestimate us, and question whether or not weíd be able to get up and down with them. I think the biggest thing we have to focus on is that when they start hitting back-to-back-to-back shots, we have to slow it down. We have to be able to play their pace, but we also have to be able to pull it back.

Q: Do you think you need to use the bench more?
Catchings: I definitely feel like our bench needs to be utilized more. Tamecka Dixon came in and she hit a big shot for us. Jessica Davenport came in during the Detroit series and did some big things for us. Itís only one game. Weíre down 0-1. The best thing about it is that itís a five-game series. Itís not like itís a three game series. We have to come out and be ready tomorrow night. Whether or not the bench steps up, or whoever plays, we just have to be ready.

Q: How did you sleep last night and what is your mindset right now?
Catchings: Today, Iím thinking, thank God, itís another day. He woke me up this morning. Iíve gotten a lot of positive feedback, a lot of motivation from different people. Just coming out and being positive. My teammates have been very supportive. Just trying to stay motivated. I know what I need to do. I definitely have to be more aggressive offensively. Defensively, I have to do a better job on Diana, not getting myself into foul trouble. We have to adjust to how the game is being called.

Q: Should you guys continue to play up tempo?
Catchings: Well, I think it was definitely entertaining for the people that watched. Theyíre going to play up tempo no matter what. I think the key for us is just making sure if they got on a bit of a roll, we have to slow things down a bit. We have to get into our sets and force the ball inside to Tammy (Sutton-Brown). Ebony Hoffman had an unbelievable game. Katie Douglas, of course, hitting some big shots down the stretch.


Q: Tamika Catchings says you are the outspoken one on the team and she is more the quiet one.
Douglas: I am. I think a lot of people are surprised by that. I have definitely had some great leaders that have taught me how to become a leader and be vocal. I used to like to be like Tamika and lead by example and Tamika is a phenomenal worker, hardnosed, and goes 110% no matter what. I think that I learn a lot from her. Iíve learned from other people that have led me and took me under their wing. Iím definitely vocal out there for my teammates. Somebody has to be out there talking and reassuring and providing confidence. I am that person that in the huddles is chirping away.


Q: How is the ankle?
Hoffman: It is what it is like I said last night. I will be OK for tomorrow. Itís not swollen or anything like that.

Q: You can deal with sore.
Hoffman: Yeah, irritating, I would say.

Q: Yesterdayís game begs that question can the Fever afford to play at the Mercuryís pace and still win the series?
Hoffman: I think they do a very good job of baiting you Ė I think I had a transition shot here a three that I was wide open for . I think I had just went off for another two/three. They were baiting me to take that and we had no rebounders everybody was still back. They wanted me to take that shot, miss, and they go on to a transition bucket. They do definitely have that capability to bring you into it . We just have to play better defense. Our one on one defense was terrible. They had way to may offense boards. Thatís insulting to us. Those are the little things we can take care of and know we can still win here.

Q: So it was that and not pace of the game that was a Fever deficiency?
Hoffman: Definitely, not the pace of the game. It had everything to do with our defense. We can play fast but we can also slow people down. Thatís one thing we didnít do. Off course they scored 120 points how do we slow them down in any way. Penny Taylor went off, Cappie went off late, Diana came in and did some things. We have to take one of those things out the picture completely.

Q: You shot an extraordinarily amount of field goals Ė 45 field goals plus I donít know how many threes. I think you scored about 100 points on field goals?
Hoffman: The way the game is set up for them to run like that there is going to be a lot of field goals. A lot of rebounds that we didnít get. People are going to miss so theyíre hoping on the percentages that they miss and get the rebound back and theyíll have as many field goals as they can to get more points on the board.


Q: What can the team do differently in Game 2?
Bevilaqua: Thereís a lot of things that we can do different starting with rebounding. We gave up 20-something second chance points. Thereís the ball game right there. We will go over the game plan again today. We didnít do exactly what we spoke about before the game. That was the disappointing thing for us, but credit to Phoenix. They knocked down some big shots, but we need to take care of the boards.

Q: Usually you are a more defensive team, was it fun last night to be in a high scoring game like that last night?
Bevilaqua: It looked good on TV having a high scoring game, but clearly thatís not where we want the score to be. I think for us to win this sereies we need to get the back down into the seventies. Entertainment value A-plus right there. But, we are certainly hoping for it not to be in the hundreds.

Q: How much do you like the frenetic style of play that was going on during Game 1?
Bevilaqua: We definitely try to push the ball offensively, but Phoenix is the quickest team up and down the court offensively. Our game plan wasnít to allow them to run as much as what they did and score some early points. We do prefer to try and slow them down a bit more when they get the ball and not allow some of the long passes they did to get some fast break points on us. Itís fun. It tests our fitness level, thatís for sure.

Q: You were in a little bit of a shooting slump against Detroit, what did you do to get yourself out of that?
Bevilaqua: I dug myself a big hole for about three weeks.


Q: Did you think the team had 116 points in them?
Dixon: Definitely, I definitely did. We didnít put points on the board like Phoenix did throughout the season but I feel like when you look at the offensive talent we have on this team, weíre capable of matching them. So it didnít surprise me at all.

Q: Is it fun for you to play in such a high scoring game as opposed to the games against Detroit?
Dixon: Itís a little bit freer. Detroit definitely was a grind-out type of series and this one is more run-and-gun, up-and-down. Itís a little bit more fun to play, definitely.

Q: Did you expect Ebony Hoffman to score as much as she did now that sheís not playing against the Kara Braxton and Cheryl Fords of the world?
Dixon: For Ebony, it was like she finally got a chance to breathe. When youíre in a series against Ford and Braxton and those post players when youíre constantly banging, it takes a little bit out of you. But to play against Tangela Smith and DeWanna Bonner, itís a different type of post play. Itís more finesse, so she was able to do a little bit more on the block and drag the post players out a little bit more and use her talents. It was nice to see her kind of break out of it.

Q: Does it concern you that youíre playing at Phoenixís pace? Are you looking to slow it down at all?
Dixon: Well, in looking at the game tape, there were some opportunities when we could have slowed it down but weíre optimistic about our chances tomorrow. We know that when it comes to running up and down, we can run up and down with the best of them.


Q: What are some of the things you need to change to win Game 2?
Moore: For Game 2 we need to focus on our rebounding. It is something we worked on against Washington and Detroit, and its something we kind of for got about a little bit giving up second chance points, and this next game we will focus on that. And our defense has to rise up a little bit more, I think those are things we can control and people will see a big difference in the next game.

Q: What is the level of excitement like in the Indiana locker room?
Moore: Tomorrow is a must win. We need to steal one of these games here. Just to set us up. Once we get back home, we will be in our environment and we will have our city behind us and we are really excited about that. But we need to take care of business tomorrow night

Q: What is playing in the WNBA finals compared to playing in the NCAA Championship?
Moore: It is awesome to be back in a championship atmosphere. I feel really blessed to be in this situation and for us to win it would be exciting.


Q: What does making the Finals mean to your franchise?
Krauskopf: Itís everything. Itís what weíve built for every single year. At the end of each season I have sat down with our head coach and tried to look at what we need to do next year Ė add another player, do something different, changing our roster. Every year we have built the roster for the chance of being where we are today. It certainly is a huge thrilling feeling and now that we are here obviously the opportunity is right in front of us.

Q: What were your fans reactions to closing out the last series?
Krauskopf: Somebody said I saw you put your hand over your heart when you stood up in front of them because it was so heartfelt because of all the years of being so close . I heard the analogy of the Colts when they couldnít get past the New England Patriots. It was very similar to that for us. Our fans have been with us through it all. So t was meaningful.

Q: What were your reactions to Game 1?
Krauskopf: Obviously as everyone has termed it, it was one of the best games in the WNBA or maybe one of the best basketball games. I didnít want anyone to lose and totally didnít want it to be us. We have a great group of veterans and I expect us to come right back. We know how hard it is to be the road team and weíll make it that much harder for them on Sunday.