Postgame Quotes/Notes: Indiana 68, Storm 66
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the game:
I thought we got outplayed the last four minutes of the game. We had some turnovers, missed shots, turnovers in the backcourt and frontcourt, we gave up some offensive rebounds. We didn't do a great job of guarding the ball one-on-one so we had to get in rotation and they found shooters. They did a really good job of doing that. On bringing Lauren Jackson back for the last three minutes:
I thought we needed some size, and I think they have a lot of confidence in her. Was there thought of not putting her in? Yes, there was thought of not putting her in, but we decided to put her in. On whether the team relaxed with a 13-point lead:
I can tell you that I didn't relax, but from the vantage point of watching the game I can see where people thought we may have. I think we were up eight or nine with 2:44 or something like that. They made some big plays. They forced us to turn the ball over in the backcourt and scored. I thought they did a good job. They got to the free throw line more than we did. They got there 20 times and made 19. They're a good free throw shooting team. On the final sequence:
I thought we had a good look. We missed the shot and we don't really play on if they're going to call a timeout or not, but we did what we wanted to do in the pick-and-roll situation. We rotated and they found a shooter in the corner. On Jackson's 2012 debut:
I thought she did well. Like I told our team, I'm really still optimistic about our team. We're getting better. We've got to dig down a little bit deeper right now though the next four or five weeks. I thought in both (our last two) games we did a lot of good things. There comes a point in time that you've got to make plays at the end of the game. We've got a team in there that's used to winning those games, you've got a coaching staff that's used to winning those games and you've got fans that's used to winning those games. We didn't. We've got to get to a point when we're put in those situations, either at home or on the road, that we're making the plays we've got to make.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
I think they stole one. I think the last two or three minutes we had a chance to put them away. We just kind of relaxed and let them stay in it. They slowed crept in and before you know it the buzzer is going off and they're hitting a three. That's definitely the worst way to finish - not only because we had a chance to take control, but also you don't really have an opportunity to try to win. Credit to them.
On missing shots down the stretch:
Shots sometimes go in and sometimes they don't. You can't live and die necessarily by that. I know you have to score points, but to me it's the turnovers and lapses on defense and things like that. You can truly control that. That doesn't have to happen. And then hopefully you knock in shots and that can save you. But I don't think you hang your hat on that necessarily. That's what is most disappointing about this game.
On Indiana running the final play without a timeout:
I have no problem with it. When you call a timeout it allows a team to set up their defense and talk about things. It's just more set. Whereas in that situation you just have to figure it out on the fly. I think there are advantages to doing it. It just depends on time and score and how the team is feeling. But I definitely see an advantage to that. You don't always have to call a timeout.
On Jackson's play:
There has to be a comfort level and for Lauren she has to get comfortable with what we're doing both offensively and defensively to get into the swing of things. It's not easy, you know. I think the hardest part of going from one team to the next is philosophies and trying to figure things out quickly. Sometimes it's not easy to switch back and, when you think about it, she hasn't been coached by Brian in basically a year. You have to get back into it. And she's only been here a couple of days. There's a learning curve there. You're going to see I'm sure her continue to get more comfortable. No player is immune to that. When you're comfortable you're able to play at ease and you don't have to think. When you have to think it can be tough.
STORM FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:
On her debut:
I think I did better than I thought I would. I think I'm getting up and down the court better. I just didn't fit in. It doesn't help the girls with a presence like mine coming in and not knowing the plays. On how she feels:
Physically I feel good, and I think the team has the potential to do great things. There is a lot of talent once everyone gets healthy, and we'll definitely go for a run. There's no doubt about that. It's just a matter of getting to the point of getting healthy and getting comfortable with everyone. That last shot was a dagger, but what can you do.
On the game:
I thought we started the game really well and then they jumped on us a little bit. Going into the half, down two, we were in a pretty good position on the road. With three minutes left, they were up eight and we were still confident. We knew we were still in the game, we knew we were still chipping away. We had to get a couple stops and then score. We changed our offensive set and did a few different things down the stretch. We got some real good stops. (At the end) the real challenge was do we call a timeout and set up a play or do we just attack. I just decided to attack and not let them set up their defense. I give Briann January an enormous amount of credit. She turned that corner with Lauren Jackson on her and hit (Shavonte) Zellous in the corner for a big three. It was one of those games where it's never over until it's over. We just never gave up. On defending Bird:
Well, Sue Bird can beat you by herself. We made some adjustments during the game. At first we were icing some screens and not letting them use it. And in the second half, and in particular down the stretch, we switched every on-ball screen because we could not let her get a look. Somebody else had to get the shot - we didn't want Sue to be the one that got the shot to beat us. I thought our players did a really good job. Their energy level at the end was great. We did a good job on the boards. Once again we won the boards and I thought that was big for us. On her expectations for Jackson:
I didn't really know. I thought Lauren would play 10 or 15 minutes, but looks like she played 24. But that doesn't surprise me - I thought she'd play more, especially when they had a chance to win. You know she's going to be rusty, she's going to be a little unsure on where to go with the sets. You can't not be. But I thought their others players have stepped up. (Ewelina) Kobryn has been impressive, Camille Little as well, and they've all gotten a lot of reps while Lauren has been gone. When they get healthy, they're scary. I don't even want to think about it.
On the game:
Wow! I think we battled really hard so we stayed with them. One of the things that we knew coming off the L.A. loss was that we needed to have a better start. We did that but then let them back in the game. Knowing we didn't play well in the whole first half, then coming back and that shot at the end - it was unbelievable. Everybody was kind of like, 'Okay, where's she (January) going with the ball?' Then it was like the sea opened up and she (Zellous) knocked that shot down. This is a great win for us. We go on to Phoenix from here so it's not like we can get too high, but for tonight, for right now, being able to come out with a 'W' is just huge for this team.
On the team's defense late in the game:
Yeah, we picked it up. In that timeout, we knew we had to stay together, pick up the intensity - we had four minutes left to basically make our own destiny. We came out, played really good on defense, did a good job getting some stops. Everybody was focused. You can see what we have when we all focus. It's like, 'Gosh, can we just do that for the whole game instead of waiting for the last four minutes?'
On hitting the winning shot:
I actually thought Bri was going to take the shot. She does those reverse layups all the time. They left me open I guess. Two people were on Katie (Douglas) and two people were on Tamika so I was wide open and knocked down the shot.
On the team's defense:
Our goal is to get defensive stops toward the end of the game and I think every possession down there we did that. That allowed us to come on the offensive end and get good shots. Towards the end, we were focused, locked in and loaded on defense.