Postgame Quotes - Storm 88, Minnesota 71
On the game:
I'm just real happy with our team. We took another step forward tonight. We're not playing as well as I think we can play, but I think we're moving in the right direction.
On Sue Bird's game:
To her credit, we were asking her to run the team at two different speeds. She's the best point guard there is. She ran the show tonight and she controlled the game. Yes she had seven turnovers, but her contributions go way beyond just assists and points.
On Swin Cash's defense against Seimone Augustus:
Swin had a great game defensively. Seimone is a great player, there's no question about it, and she's proven that. But my hat's off to Swin. We had great focus and Swin did exactly what we wanted her to do.
On the game:
Defense was the number one thing for us tonight. Obviously we hit some shots, which helps, but defense is what we hang our hats on. We really had a scouting report and we were able to execute it, because obviously they've proven to be a potent offensive team.
On stopping the Lynx in transition:
They do a good job on transition, so we didn't want to turn the ball over a lot. Early on we sent three, maybe four people back instead of crashing the board. We didn't want them to get off to a good start in transition - especially on a home court, because that can really energize a team.
On defending Augustus:
Well, she is an unbelievable offensive player. She's got weapons inside and out. I just wanted to make it difficult for her to get touches. I got help from my teammates trying to force her into the defense. She made shots down the stretch, which I expected. I'm sure next time we see them it will be even more fun than this time.
On the Storm's defense:
I thought collectively as a team we took them a little bit out of a rhythm. We have a lot of players in the locker room from last year and we understand what we accomplished in the regular season. It's important for us to go into every game and try to make a statement.
On the game:
I just thought we shot poorly from the free throw line tonight, something we are really going to have to work on next week. Behind the three-point arc we shot poorly. I would love as the coach for us to shoot over 56 percent every night, but we know that's impossible. I thought we came back in the third quarter and our bench was very productive in cutting the lead down to eight. Every time we seemed to get a run they would hit a big three. We cannot let four of their players get into double figures. We need to get ready for next week and make up some of the mistakes we made tonight.
On whether she was supportive of the team at halftime:
Oh no, I let them have it. I'm not going to be easy. I told them I thought we didn't have a great practice the day before and I think it carried on to the game. I told them we will not have another practice like that. I stayed positive, but I let them know we were doing what we needed to do. I think we gave them too big of a lead for it to be effective.
On her team's mindset:
I think that with the three wins, this is a young team that thinks we can beat everybody. Reality set in. I knew it may come, but I didn't think it would come this early. Actually it was probably a good thing it came before this road trip, because we have two or three days to correct what we didn't do.
On defending the Storm:
Defensive rotations were not there tonight. That's how we won our first three games. Tonight it just wasn't there. I know they have more three-point shooters, but I just think that we didn't communicate well defensively. I also think we didn't execute very well offensively.
On suffering a first loss:
We know from last season that you are going to lose games. It's inevitable. No one has had an undefeated season. It's how you bounce back from those games. You now look at the West Coast swing and go 0-3, or do you go 3-0? It's how you bounce back. Things happen, you have rough games. Do you let that escalate into more off nights, or do you come back more mature, more experienced? Do you learn from it, and how do you come back from it?
On the Lynx's mindset at halftime:
At halftime it was moreso we were upset with ourselves, but in the back of our minds we knew that we needed to get it together if we were going to win. We knew we already dug ourselves a hole, and we had to fight to come back.
On whether Minnesota can forget about this loss:
No, you never forget a night like this. You just watch the film and see what you did wrong, where you need to improve. You use it to your advantage for the next game so it doesn't happen again.
MINNESOTA CENTER QUANITRA HOLLINGSWORTH:
On a lack of communication defensively:
There wasn't necessarily a lack of communication. The things we were saying weren't what needed to be said at the time. Everybody wanted to kind of have their input. I think at times like those, we have to look to the veterans and to the coaching staff to make calls like that, and everybody has to be on the same page.
On defending Lauren Jackson:
She is a very talented player. Obviously she can beat you anywhere on the floor. I think defensively there were opportunities where we could have gotten more stops. She capitalizes when people fall asleep or don't respect her like they should. If you can go out with the mentality that you can get stops, then you can make her job a lot tougher.
On responding to this loss:
It's important to bounce back really fast. We're a young club and we're going to make mistakes. There are going to be times when we aren't going to shoot well or we are going to do things wrong. These girls are resilient. You have to be resilient in this league, and you have to go out every night and put last night behind you and go out and fight. That's what this league is about, that's what this team is about, and that's what this organization is about.
On the proper team mindset:
You rally around each other. It's not about being individuals, it's about being a team. We realized that in order to make this thing happen, in order to be a competitor in the Western Conference, we have to play together. I don't think that we did that in the first half. We all knew that we had to do it in the second. I think we did a little bit better job in the second. When you dig yourself a hole, it's hard to climb out of it.