Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 86, San Antonio 72
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On Lauren Jackson's play:
This was one of those nights when she could have really put some huge numbers up if she would have gotten the minutes. But we got to the point where we wanted to play some other people. She was really energized tonight. She took advantage of these last two days and got some rest.
On improving to 3-0 against San Antonio:
I think if you look at the game there were just a couple of stretches that we separated ourselves. I think Sandy (Brondello) and Olaf (Lange) are doing a great job coaching. They still have some new people, and when you’ve got new people it takes time to get those people adapted to what they’re doing. But you can sort of see them playing off Becky (Hammon) a little more and Chamique (Holdsclaw). Chamique had a really good first half. She’s a tough defend. She’s a tough player. San Antonio, they’ll be in the playoffs. They’re getting better. Their games with Minnesota are going to be really important for both teams as they head down the road.
On the Storm bench:
Tonight, obviously, our bench was short because we didn’t have Sue (Bird). There’s no question that Le’Coe (Willingham), Svetlana (Abrosimova) and even Jana (Veselá) have been productive for us. Jana is not one of those players who’s going to put up big stats. She does a lot of things. She gives us versatility defensively, she can handle the ball, she can pass the ball, she’s extremely unselfish, so she’s a good compliment to what we have. I feel good about those eight players and what they do for us.
STORM CENTER LAUREN JACKSON:
On the game:
Tanisha (Wright) was unbelievable and I’m so proud of her and all the girls. On the Storm's home winning streak:
I don’t want to jinx it, but if we keep doing what we’re doing we’re going to be pretty good. I feel great about it. We’ve got to remain in control and be calm and go out there and want to win more than anything.
STORM GUARD TANISHA WRIGHT:
On the game:
San Antonio is very similar to us. We came in and executed and have been focused all year to get things done and really take pride in that. Defensively, we really get down and make sure we get things done
On whether she's more confident playing point guard now than a few years ago:
For sure. It’s a lot different now. Everything’s different. The atmosphere is different. Brian is here, Coach D (Anne Donovan) isn’t. There is a big difference in that, but the maturity level is a lot higher.
On her streak of double-digit assist games:
Everyone is looking at me like I’m making so many assists, but it’s really easy when you have a Lauren Jackson on the floor who catches everything, or Svet coming off screens and knocking things down. A lot of it is not me, it’s them. It’s them knocking down shots, in all honesty. If they’re knocking down shots it makes it a lot easier. It’s just them making plays.
On the game:
I’m glad we won’t see Seattle again for awhile. It’s just a real hard game for us to match up. I think in the first half we struggled offensively. Their congestion, they put a lot of pressure defensively – they’re very physical and athletic in those positions and put a lot of pressure on us. We want to move the ball more because it’s the only way we can get shots, but the ball gets stuck and it’s hard. We don’t have enough penetration points to really create for us. That was a bit of a problem for us. In the second half, it was more defensive. Our one-on-one defense wasn’t good at all. We allowed too many direct penetrations and that’s just knowing the scout. Too many little breakdowns and you can’t afford that against a team like Seattle.
She’s the best player in the world. She’s amazing and she gets better and better. She’s just a hard guard for us. We wanted to do some things differently, but really didn’t ever get that done. Sometimes you think Lauren might score, but you have to limit the other ones. Then you have five players in double figures and that hurts us. They’re a well coached basketball team and they’re hungry and it shows.
On takeaways from the game:
Well, we didn’t get smashed on the boards again so that was a good thing. We took away the second-chance points some. We keep honing in on the same things. Offensively we have to move the ball for us to be successful. We have to limit them to one shot per possession so we can get into the open floor because sometimes it’s hard for us to score in the half court. We’re not as athletic as other teams. I said to the girls that we now have an opportunity to go to L.A. and we need to win it. We know Seattle is a hard matchup for us and they’re the best team. We’re not there at the moment, but we have to concentrate and make sure we win the games that are coming up.
On the game:
They kicked our butt. Obviously they’re a better team than us right now. They’re better than every team in the league right now. We’ve played them three times early in the season, so hopefully we’ll be a more competitive team late in the season. We can keep getting better. There are things we can keep getting better at. It’s all about peaking at the right time, too. Seattle has done their work early. You can tell they have a lot of chemistry out there and have been playing with each other for a long time and it shows. There’s a lot we can learn from this game and a lot we can learn from them and how they play and hopefully add it to our own team.
On whether Bird's absence made a difference:
Apparently not. Sue’s obviously the leader of that team, but I’ve seen that happen so many times. When one of the best players sits out, the team just rallies and they know everybody has to bring it and you have to give every person on their team credit for stepping up in her absence. It’s not like Tanisha can’t run the team and Svetlana too. They just have a very, very good team and have people that they can (put out there) … Svetlana ran some one, Tanisha ran some one, so they’re throwing a lot of different bodies. But when it all comes down to it, they’re all looking for Lauren. So it doesn’t matter who’s out there, they’re all looking for Lauren. Everybody stepped up, but we didn’t do a good job defensively I didn’t think. What we wanted to do on our game plan, we didn’t do. We’ve got to learn and move on. Of our eight losses, three of them come from them so we just have to learn from it and move on.
On the game:
Right now Seattle is the best team in the league. They have the chemistry and have been playing together for so long. We gave it a good shot, but they’re just tough to beat, especially at home. We try to look at this team and say, OK, right now they’re better than us. We didn’t have the same intensity and same effort, but it’s about us trying to get better. Now we have to go face L.A. We just have to beat the other teams. Right now it’s a tight race in the West. We just have to get better so when we face them in August, we’re a much better team.
On Bird's absence:
It didn’t really make a difference because I think Wright brought it a little bit. Sue is a great point guard – the best in the league - but Wright brought another dimension. She came and she pushed tempo, got in the lane. She’s a big combo guard and played well tonight. They just have good chemistry and a good bench. They rotate their players and right now it’s tough for us to handle.