Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 80, Chicago 60
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the game:
We've gotten off to good starts. I guess the difference was it was nice to get out and get a big lead early. I think it's hard for a lot of teams to do that, maybe besides Phoenix. It was good. What I was impressed with about our team tonight was our focus. After playing an emotional game on Tuesday, conference game, home again, you have a team that comes in here and we don't play them a lot so we're not as familiar with them as we are the Western teams. We just tried to play a little bit more aggressively tonight. We've had a tendency to play soft against them and it just doesn't work for us. I was glad that we talked about and walked through some things and we had the ability to apply it on the floor.
On Ashley Robinson's play:
We want to get Ashley in the rotation a little bit. She helps us against (Sylvia) Fowles. I thought Ashley played well. She was real aggressive defensively, hit a shot, didn't turn it over, rebounded, so I was pleased with how she played.
On defending Fowles:
We were trying to make Fowles a passer. She made some nice passes - she saw some people. We just didn't want her to have her way around the basket.
On the Storm's passing:
We had 24 assists tonight. That was good. I thought we played both sides of the floor, we reversed it. Chicago's the type of team defensively that they really congest - they don't let a lot of things go to the rim. They make you hit shots. We were hitting shots. If you're hitting perimeter shots, you usually get assists with them. That's basically what happened.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the Storm's passing:
They really like to clog the lane. At times, they would switch, putting a guard on Lauren (Jackson). The minute the ball went inside or somebody drove, they had to collapse because of that mismatch. We were able to find people. I think our team has proven we're good at that. We're good at finding the open man, we're good at looking for each other. That's what you saw.
On the Storm's defense:
We were doubling Sylvia, we were changing up where that person was coming from, we were trying to keep them on their toes and rotating from there. We were able to recover quickly.
On having multiple three-point threats:
That's extremely important - not just from a point guard's perspective but from a team perspective. When you have a player like Lauren, there's a tendency for teams to really focus on her, to double-team her and to constantly be in help in the situations where she catches the ball low. So for us, to have people who can spot up from the outside, they have to pick their poison with that. When we're hitting our shots, we're a really tough team to play against.
STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On the game:
I was just really happy with the way our team came out today and was focused at the defensive end and came out with the win.
On the difference from a May loss at Chicago:
We were actually present and engaged, I would say, about playing our style of play. You saw that from the opening tap. We just were aggressive defensively. Our assignment was there in regards to Sylvia. It felt like everything was working. On offense, we were hitting shots early on.
On Coach Agler's halftime assessment:
It was funny because at halftime he came in here and said, 'Great first half.' I was kind of shocked because he's always talking about the next thing and you don't get that positive reinforcement a lot of the time. It was good to see he was happy with our play in the first half, I must say.
On the game:
We played selfish basketball. No more evident than in the statistic of 57 shot attempts and only nine assists. And five of those assists were from Sylvia. Offensively, we could have weathered the storm, but when we're giving up easy baskets on the other end because of missed assignments, it makes it tough.
On the Storm's strategy against Fowles:
The Storm didn't do anything defensively that any other team hasn't done against Sylvia when she's managed to get 18 points and 10 rebounds.
We know what we need to get done. We are in control of what needs to be corrected. We take ownership of that. We'll definitely have more than 57 shots and more than nine assists in our next game.
On the Storm's defense against her:
Double-teams and triple-teams. They are definitely a different team (since their May meeting). They are clicking. They've put all the puzzle pieces together. Everyone on the team is a threat; not just Lauren and Sue. You have to guard everybody. Their defense is much better than what we saw.
On a West Coast road trip:
Seattle's a good team and, unfortunately, they came out ready to play. We'll take this game and run with it and get ready for Phoenix and L.A.