Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 87, Phoenix 83
On the game:
We wanted to be able to play at two speeds. We wanted to be able to attack them if we had our opportunities, and if we didn't, we just didn't want to come in and take a quick shot and let them go down. We wanted to make them play defense for a while. I thought we did a little bit of both of that in the second half. They just want to run and run and run and get quick shots and they did and they started missing some shots too. That gave us some opportunities.
On the keys to the comeback:
Lauren (Jackson) is stepping up and, you know, it's just a team of some serious competitors. A couple people might not have been on top of their game, like Sheryl (Swoopes) tonight, but even Yo (Griffith), take away those free throws at the end, she competed like crazy tonight, especially early in the game. Of course Sue (Bird) and Lauren and Swin (Cash) did a great job. Our defense stepped back up in the second half and it wasn't quite as easy for them to score in the second half.
On the comeback:
That's pretty much how we've played all season. The first three games, we have been down quite a lot of points at halftime and we come back in the second half. For us it's just a matter of playing four quarters.
Phoenix is so tough. Cappie (Pondexter) and Diana (Taurasi) are without a doubt two of the best players in the league and to guard them is just a task on its own. In the second half, nobody else really stepped up for them. Those two were great, but for us it was about playing defense and trying to get back into the game
On the Mercury:
They played very well in the first half. I think they shot 70% from three; they seem to be everywhere on the court, forcing us to turn the ball over and getting their offense through that. You name it, they were quicker offensively. For us, you hope that a team can't keep that up for 40 minutes. Now with a team like theirs, you never know.
On the comeback:
The first thing Brian said coming into the locker room in the second half was by the fourth quarter we want to cut it to eight and I think we had it at six. That's when we were like, 'OK, it's a six-point game, let's see what can happen in the next 10 minutes,' and we battled. It was a very tough game to come back like that, but it shows the poise we have on this team.
On the difference between the halves:
We ran out of juice. We got tired and couldn't run anymore. They got tired - the first half was a good pace and the second half was no pace. Shots don't fall when you get tired and we just couldn't push it. It became a halfcourt game and they're better in a halfcourt game than we are.
On whether he's disappointed in the team's effort:
No - the first half was nice. But we're not in shape. We're not in shape to do what we do, which is run. If you're not in shape to run, it turns into calling out plays and running down and trying to set stuff up - it doesn't run.
On three close losses to start the season:
It's getting later and later each game. At first, it was the second quarter that hurt us. This time the second quarter was still good and the third quarter you get a rest and you come out and you come out hard - but you still have to push. The push is what we do.
On whether fatigue was a factor:
We lost. I don't think it was because of fatigue, it was because we were not focused on one end of the court which led to more mistakes on the other end.
On whether the Storm made adjustments:
No. We just didn't execute the way we did in the first half. It was the same team out there. This loss is solely on us.
On the team's upcoming break:
If a team can use eight days, it's probably us to get our stuff together. These three games have gone pretty quick and we haven't had that much time to get back to what we were doing last year. So these eight days might be the best thing for us right now.
On the difference in the halves:
In the first half we did a good job of pushing the ball and getting stops on defense. In the second have we just didn't get any stops on the defensive side. We let them get too many easy shots on defense and we didn't rebound. On offense, we stopped pushing the ball a little bit and stopped playing our game.
On starting the season 0-3:
We have played some really good teams and are right there in all of them. We just need to finish games and close out games; once we learn that we'll be fine. We'll continue to get better. Some of these players, it's their first time playing with everyone. We'll get to know each other better and things will turn around.