Strategy Q+A With Bill Laimbeer

Ros Gold-Onwude

What are the points of focus for this week of practice?
Playing harder, taking care of the ball and learning the plays we’re supposed to know by now.

What happened in the third quarter vs. Indiana?
We were beaten 31-6. We turned it over and then we got down on ourselves. Our body language hasn’t been good from the start of the season. We’re trying to find our way. There’s only so much you can say. You only have so many timeouts. Indiana played harder than us in the third quarter.

Were there moments as frustrating as this back when you were coaching in Detroit?
In Detroit we turned it over a fair amount, but not like we do here. The Detroit team was more talented and had a higher basketball IQ and that could get us through those turnovers. Our team right now is not quite as talented.

How has Cappie progressed at the lead (point guard) position?
It will take a couple of years. It’s not going to happen over night. I see that she is learning and embracing the role. I think she realizes this move is best for her future and the future of the team.

What questions are you and Cappie asking each other regarding the lead role?
Cappie will ask me questions that are play specific. I usually talk to her about big picture concepts.

What is a good shot for Cappie?
One she thinks she can make. Shot clock awareness is important. Obviously contested shots are never good unless it’s a bailout shot, and Cappie often has to take bailout shots for us.

Why did Leilani Mitchell come out of the starting lineup?
It was time for Cappie to move on and be what she needs to be. Leilani got us through a tough time, however, that would not work in the long run for what we’re trying to achieve.

Would you look to make any roster changes/additions? What is possible?
Depends on what people want to give up. I’d look for the best player available that is good for the team in the short and long term. We know we have Essence coming back next season. There’s no sense making crazy moves for a shooting guard. We just have to eat it.

What adjustments do you want to make against Chicago?
We need to play harder, smarter, and better defense. They have many strong options so we want to take one thing away from them. We haven’t been able to do that so far.

What are your impressions of rookie Elena Delle Donne so far?
I think she is a very fine player. Her biggest asset is her ability to get her shot off versus anyone at anytime because of her length. Very few players can do that.