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A Record and a Race
Posted by Diana Taurasi on Aug. 11, 2006

What can you say about last night’s game but “Wow” – for both the fans and for the players. We really needed to win the game and with the last two games against Houston having gone down to the wire – which we had unfortunately been on the losing side of – it was even more important that we pull this one out. Nothing this year has been easy for us. Luckily everyone pitched in and we got it done and for us to come out with the win meant a lot for our morale and our confidence.

Coming into the game, we knew what was on the line, but we really didn’t treat it any differently. If you treat games differently, then you play differently. We prepared the same way in terms of watching video, practicing, the shootaround. We went in there with the same mindset as any other game.

A lot of people might see that I scored 47 points and want to make that the story, but it really was a total team effort, especially after I fouled out in the second overtime. Fouling out is never fun because you want to be in the game during the crucial moments. It was terrible, horrible and demoralizing all at once.

But that is why you have teammates and it made it all that much better when they came through. Down the stretch we got big plays from a number of people, including Kelly (Miller) and Jen (Derevjanik), who hit a huge shot to pull us within one.

For Jen, it just shows why people stay ready the whole year, for an opportunity to come out and perform like that in crunch time and produce. It is something that all the players on this team have been doing all year.

If we don’t make the playoffs, it will definitely be disappointing, but we put it all out there every day and that is all you can ask. This is a hardworking, strong character team that is going to fight until the end.

The hardest thing right now is waiting to see what happens with Houston, because we really can’t control what the Comets do. But no matter what happens we still need to win out, which is what we’re concentrating on. Every time we’ve had our backs against the wall, we’ve been able to band together as a group and kind of charm our way to wins. Let’s hope our luck doesn’t run out.

A Night After Scoring 41 Points, The Playoff Race Is On
Posted by Diana Taurasi on July 28, 2006

We’re heading down the home stretch here and pretty much every game is a big game for us. The last two years we’ve gotten caught up in making the playoffs instead of taking care of business every game. So as far as right now, as crazy as it sounds, I’m not even thinking about the playoffs. Every night that we step on the court, I’m thinking about the team that we’re playing and that’s it. If you get lost in thinking about making the playoffs, then you forget to win the games along the way. Obviously everyone wants to get there and this team wants to get there really bad, but every night has to be our playoff.

It’s still tough, though, to lose to a team that is in front of us in the standings like we did the other night in Houston. We made a big run from 17 down at halftime to take a lead in the final minute, but Michelle Snow made a big shot and I missed a good look. Even though Cappie (Pondexter) and I had big nights, it seems that games always come down to a couple of plays – one in the middle of the game, one at the end of the game. They just didn’t go our way. We’ll take the good and bad from it and move on.

Cappie is having an unbelievable season so far. There has been an excitement from people around the league regarding her – as there should be – but as far as everyone in the inner circle, we’re not surprised one bit that she is playing at such an amazing level. That’s what we know from her.

Maybe the most impressive thing about Cappie has been her willingness to listen and learn. A lot of rookies come into the league and don’t want to listen and don’t want to take advice from anyone, whether it is a 30-year-old player or a coach. But she has come in with an open mind and open ears and she’s just taking things in. That’s really helped her become so successful this early.

As for myself, I can’t really say I am doing anything different as far as my own game that has allowed me to lead the league in scoring. The first two years that I was in the league, I played the point, so it was more distribute first and score second. Playing the off guard this season as I’ve been, you obviously get more looks and the team goes to you a little more. It’s basically been a change in position and style more than anything else.

On Sunday we’ll get Houston in our place, so we’ll see what happens. The one thing about this team, our confidence never gets rattled. We’re going into every game planning on winning. It seems like every night when we have our backs against the wall we come up big, so we just need to play well.

I think we’re right there. We’ve beaten a lot of the good teams. In the end, though, the thing that sets good teams apart from average teams is consistency, so we have to find that among ourselves. Once we do, we’ll be really good.