First Half Wrapup with Sue Bird

Behind the leadership of two-time MVP Lauren Jackson, three-time All-Star Swin Cash and six-time All-Star Sue Bird, the Seattle Storm closed out the first half of the season with a league-best record of 16-2. What's more, as of Monday afternoon, the team's 13-0 Western Conference record has them standing atop the rest as a dead lock for the number one seed come playoff time.

During Stars at the Sun festivities at the Mohegan Sun last weekend, Bird took a few minutes out of her hectic schedule to talk a bit about the Storm's first half and what it's going to take to close out strong in the remaining weeks. Not a bad start to the season, huh?

Sue Bird: Thereís no complaints over here. Weíve come out and really got off to a great start and just kind of built on it. And the best thing is weíve gotten better as a team we each game. And you want to do that throughout the season.

How does the leagueís best team approach the second half?

Bird: Itís tough. You donít want to lose focus. You donít want to get ahead of yourself. You donít want to get excited or cocky. And the beauty of that is that our coach does not let us. He really coaches in a way that keeps us in the moment and weíre really focused on making the playoffs, having home-court advantage throughout. Thatís really what drives us. And when you have short-term goals like that itís easy to kind of maintain your focus in the moment, because we know teams are going to make pushes. Second half of the season. Itís go time. For us we have to stay up with our intensity as well.

Mid-season grade, A through F. What do you give it?

Bird: I would say a B-plus. The plus is for our record, the B is for how weíre playing. Some people would say A but thereís definitely been some games where weíve struggled. I think you have to keep that in mind. For us, anyway. We like to keep that in mind. And thereís been some games where weíve actually won where we didnít play well, which is a good thing because youíre not always going to play well and you have to figure out ways to win anyway. But you want to strive to be more consistent.

So is consistency the one area the Storm will look to work on as we close out the season?

Bird: Absolutely. Weíve won a lot of games but weíve also won a lot of tough games. Weíve had to come back a few times. It hasnít been 20-point wins. People can kind of look at your record and think itís been easy and it really hasnít for us.
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