Postgame Quotes/Notes - Washington 80, Storm 71
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the difference in the game:
They shot the ball well from the three-point line. I donít think we came out with a great focus offensively or defensively in the third quarter. We had nine turnovers in the third quarter alone; that was the difference.
On the Storm's road trip:
Weíre coming into a very physical conference with some teams that are really fighting for their lives and trying to maneuver. We have to stay focused on what we have to do to try and get our people to playoffs. Weíve experienced not being 100 percent in the playoffs the last two years and we donít like that. We have to keep people rested, healthy and sharp. You have to have a feel for what your team needs and now weíre closing in on the stretch run so we have to get these people back ramped up going in the playoffs.
On Monique Currie and Crystal Langhorne:
Moniqueís had two big games against us this year. Sheís going to be Most Improved Player in mind. From what she was as a role player to what she is now - and that is a go-to player in a tough conference - sheís really playing well. Langhorne is tough to guard. Sheís just active around the basket. I think that those are two really good pieces that this team is going to build around for a long time .
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
After the Connecticut game, we regrouped and came down here. Obviously we wanted to get a win, but unfortunately that didnít happen. Everythingís still OK for us; weíre still first in the West and have home-court advantage for the playoffs. On mentality for the last week of the regular season:
The last week for us has been a combination of getting rest for some players, staying in rhythm for some players, getting more playing time for other players who donít necessarily get that much. Itís been a balancing act. For myself personally, not playing the minutes that I normally play, I can feel a difference. Going into next week, Iím pretty sure weíre going to be all out for those games getting ready for the playoffs. Hopefully this rest now will pay off at the end. On the Mystics:
They shot really well from three. It seemed like every time they went on a run, they were hitting threes in some form. Theyíre a tough team to guard at times because they have players who can shoot, drive and they look for each other. To me, that was one of the big keys - them knocking down shots.
STORM FORWARD SVETLANA ABROSIMOVA:
On her readiness for the playoffs:
It didnít really change much. I am still there. I am getting a little more minutes. Obviously in the game when you have more opportunities to score, you do certain things. It helped me. Itís not about me; itís about the team getting ready for the playoffs. Whatever I can do to help, thatís all we need. On the physicality of the game:
Thatís what youíre going to face in the playoffs, so it was good preparation for us too. Sometimes it was too much contact, but sometimes you just have to fight through it. Some teams are really fighting for their playoff spots and theyíre stepping up. We took a step back. But itís OK; Iím confident.
On the game:
Iím really proud of our team. I thought everyone that went in the game contributed. The second half I think we did a much better job of sharing the ball and moving the basketball. We ran some sets with a lot of different action it and I thought we played very poised down the stretch. I was a little concerned in the fourth quarter when they got in the bonus so early, but I thought our team did a nice job of playing without fouling. A big difference was free throw percentage. We shot 19 of 22 and we only turned the ball over 10 times. We talked about that before the game. We are such a good field goal percentage shooting team that we have to get shot attempts. I thought our team did a great job of not only taking care of the ball but sharing the ball.
On the Storm's approach to playing starters:
We just have to expect everybody to play. I donít know what they are doing, but we know that we just have to win. We expected Lauren Jackson to play and we were prepared to purple her and we did a lot of switching. They are a great team and they didnít win 25 games playing just their starters. They are a deep team, they are big, well-coached and we were expecting them to play.
On the game:
I think we played a really good game today. We worked well together and we executed. Seattle is great. They have a lot of great players. It was good for us to get this win in there the way we won. Itís really good for our confidence. Playing a team like that and winning is great for our momentum going in to the next game.
On focal points going into the playoffs:
We need to take care of the ball. We did a good job of that tonight.
On a series of strong third quarters:
Weíre evaluating what they are doing by halftime and then we make adjustments. We take those adjustments and play really well.
On facing the Storm:
Every game you need to concentrate on yourself more than the other team. We are not going to see Seattle again unless we get to the finals. You want to do the things that you need to do to be successful. They play hard and they are physical.
On the importance of playoff positioning:
Getting into the playoffs is a big deal. Obviously, home-court advantage would be really nice. The bottom line is you get in. You slates are clear and you start a three-game series with somebody. Itís hard to set yourself up in a position where you donít have to worry about teams winning or losing. But Iím excited about it and finish this thing strong.