Postgame Quotes/Notes: Minnesota 78, Storm 70
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On whether the game sent a message:
That would be a question to ask them. I thought we did some good things, but I don't think we did enough good things though. So that being said, we just need to play better.
On how Minnesota defended Lauren Jackson differently after halftime:
They were doing a really good job of congesting her. If you watched that game and watch the film, they were really going to her on the fly off the ball. On a pass to her on the block, they were double-teaming her. They were committed to taking her out of the game.
On whether Sue Bird is healthy:
Sue is a competitor and I can guarantee you that whatever you see, she is giving everything she's got. I never, ever question her effort or what she can give. Whatever she possibly can give, she has given. She had a couple of tough turnovers but that is going to happen. I have a feeling, knowing Sue, she will respond and bounce back on Sunday.
On Minnesota opening up a lead in the third quarter:
We couldn't keep them off the free throw line in the third quarter. I don't know how many free throws they shot, but they were at the line. It seemed like the third quarter lasted about an hour and a half. We couldn't keep them off the line and they were trying to isolate Maya (Moore) and Seimone (Augustus) on the blocks. Even at times there was a switch, they were trying to isolate their post players on a block.
On Moore's play:
I have watched her play a lot since the Olympics and I felt like she was playing as well as anyone in the league in the second half of the season. She put herself in the conversation of being MVP. Whether it was the Olympics or her adjusting to our league, she has really taken a step forward. She has hit some big shots for them. I think a lot of times when they get on their runs here late in the season, it's either from them getting multiple offensive boards or her hitting a big shot in the clutch. She is a heck of a player. She is difficult to defend and she can play multiple positions. She is very valuable to their team because they can play small and put her at the four.
On defending the Lynx:
It is very difficult. We take a lot of pride in our defense and they have multiple weapons out there. Just like I have mentioned before to a lot of people here I have talked with is, if you give too much attention to any one person, someone else is going to take advantage of you - and tonight it was Lindsay (Whalen).
On the plan for Game 2:
We have to get back and get rested. We will watch the film and talk with our team about the things we can improve on, which there are plenty. We will come out and compete on Sunday.
STORM FORWARD KATIE SMITH:
On matching up with Moore:
A couple times I had to make tough shots, missed a couple, made a couple. It's fun. She is a very talented one-on-one player, so it's always fun when you get matched up one-on-one. It's kind of a test. She is a great one and hard to contain but fun because you want to compete.
On the need for adjustments:
I'm not saying we feel good about this game because we know a couple more shots or a couple more stops the game could've been different, but we are happy with our game plan. We just need to make more plays on both ends of the floor, whether it's making shots or getting stops. It's all set up for us, the mindset of what we need to do, we just need to execute and get things done. Good effort today and we will get one on Sunday.
STORM CENTER LAUREN JACKSON:
On the Lynx's defensive adjustments on her:
I think in the second half I was not getting the looks I was getting in the first half. That was obvious. I just think they changed their defense up. We definitely have to look at that and see how we are going to change that for the next game.
On the mindset going into Game 2:
They are a great team and they played well tonight. I think we have a lot to learn from the game and I think for us going into Sunday's game it's going to be important we take tonight and learn from it. We will be watching film and learning things we didn't do so well and things we did do well and try to win. We want to win.
On the game:
The hardest one to win is the first one. It was nice to get the win. I thought we played great defensively, for the most part. I thought we let the game get away from us a little bit. It's amazing what a string of threes will do to a game and to give a team some confidence. Overall, I'm happy with the way that we played.
On whether she was pleased with the performance:
I wasn't as happy at halftime. I was happy with our defense throughout the game. Just from a scoring standpoint, a lot of things that we focused on doing against them we just weren't doing in the first half. I thought we did a little bit better of a job in the second half. That's one thing that we'll be studying. You know, it's us and them. We're the two top defensive teams in the league. For us to end up shooting 46 percent against them is pretty good when the whole league's at 39 percent. We just want more. We're a team that has a lot of weapons. I thought we stalled a lot and we have to be much better in Game 2.
On the Lynx's defense:
I thought we were tremendous throughout the game. I thought we set the tone early in that regard. When they put the ball in the block, it was very challenging for them. There were no clean looks for them, with the exception of when Maya was on Jackson. Maya just doesn't have a lot of experience in playing the post and she made a couple of mistakes that got Jackson a couple of easy baskets. As far as execution of the game plan, I thought we did well as it pertained to Jackson.
On putting Augustus on Bird defensively:
Seimone did everything that we hoped she would do tonight. It was a big challenge for her and a little bit of a departure for us. Often when we play Seattle, we'll have Lindsay guarding Bird. We tried it in the game in Seattle, for Seimone to start getting some reps in guarding Bird and some of the action that she'll have to defend. I thought Seimone was ready to play on that side of the ball. Offensively (she) took a little bit to get going but then took that string of shots and she got a little bounce going. It was really good for her. Somehow our players don't get recognized for MVP performances. This is that time of year when everyone else goes for the consolation prizes and we go for the big one. Seimone played like an MVP tonight.
On the Storm getting back in the game:
That fourth quarter, we had only scored seven points up to the four-minute mark. Seven points in six minutes, I thought we got decent shots. I have to study the video but I thought that we were playing well. I know that all of a sudden we scored one time in that stretch and let them back in it. I know for us, for the Seattle Storm to get 17 fast-break points, it was really disappointing. They didn't come off of our turnovers; they came off of our shots. We've got to have that focus where when we don't score, they don't score. That's what let them back in it. A string of shots and then the barrage of 'threes' that they made.
On the game:
I think it was just a back-and-forth game, a lot of runs, and I give Seattle a lot of credit there. They made some big shots down the stretch and we knew it was going to be a tough game and a good battle. We're just happy we got the victory
On pulling away in the third quarter:
I think that in the third quarter we limited our turnovers, first of all. We got some shots, some good looks, and we put people in some good situations. We started going to the basket and we just kind of started to play our game. Everyone was a little more aggressive, I think. I think the big thing there was just taking care of the ball and making sure we didn't have any turnovers.
On a steal by Moore that set up a fast break in the fourth quarter:
Yeah, it was a huge play. I think they took a timeout right after that. It was a momentum play. Those are what the playoffs are all about, making those plays. If you get five people on the court who are willing to sacrifice their body or go get the loose ball like that, good things can happen. Maya is definitely one to go make the hustle play and do whatever it takes. I knew in that play that I just wanted to run as fast as I could to the other end. I was just hoping she was able to get up over the defender and she made a perfect pass. It was just a great play by her.
On her mindset:
Well, I think basically just being aggressive and trying to get in the lane. If they all collapse in, then I know I have great shooters all over the floor. I think it was just the case of getting a couple of looks early and getting to the free throw line. Whether you're driving and kicking or getting to the basket, it usually works out that either they're going to have a good shot or I'll have something to the basket. Of course we know that they're going to pay a lot of attention to Seimone and Maya, they're great players and great shooters, so I think we all know that we have to step it up and make plays as well.
On her mindset:
I was just trying to be more aggressive. Everybody knew my shots weren't falling like I wanted them to so the counter to that is to try to be more aggressive and get to the basket. I tried to draw fouls and get to the free throw line.
On defending Bird:
I think it was a total team effort. I just tried to use my size against her, but she's an Olympian, one of the best players in the world. I just did what I said I could as far as getting every free throw in and getting every pass, trying to block every shot. It was a good effort, a great total team effort.
On losing the fast-break points and transition points categories:
You've got the addition of Lauren Jackson. Of course points in the paint are going to go up as well as the three-point percentage. As far as transition defense, it was getting some points from us. To have them score more in transition, they're not really known as a transition team, for getting down like we do. On that point I feel like we've still got some work to do. It's effort, that's where our transition defense goes.