Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 87, Atlanta 84
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On combating Atlanta's defense:
Right out the gate we saw that they were switching a lot of screens - everything from pick-and-roll to down-screens to whatever, so once you see that you have to run things that will let you take advantage of it. Then they switched to going under the pick-and-rolls. And I think thatís when T (Tanisha Wright) really took off; thatís when she hit a lot of big shots, both in the first half and in the second half because they were going under. And then, yeah, in terms of Coco Miller, I think Ė but that was the same from Game 1, only (Armintie) Price was on me, picking up full court. I think itís probably better for them to have Miller on me, because then thereís not so much of a mismatch with Miller guarding Swin (Cash) or whatever. Other than that, at the end they started trapping me with a pick and roll, so throughout the game they made some changes. But overall, it was very similar to Game 1.
On winning close games during the WNBA Finals:
Iíve been doing this enough. Iím not mad right now. Iím not mad. We won. Sometimes, especially in final games of any sort, championship games, you canít expect it to be Ė pretty. Youíre not going to go out there and win by 20 and everythingís going to be hunky-dory; itís just not going to happen. You've got to grind it out. Brian (Agler) came in here and said he knows thereís some people in this room who arenít necessarily happy with how they played, or happy with some of the plays and how they transpired. But when we needed to make good plays, we did, and thatís what youíve got to take from this and go into Game 3 with.
On whether she thinks going to Atlanta makes a difference:
Yeah, it does. Iím sure their owner does. Se bought out Sesame Street on Ice to have Game 3 at home, so Iím sure theyíre excited about that, Iím sure their fans will come out. But Brian made a good point. Everyone likes to talk about our home record, and we had an amazing season at home. Weíre also the best team on the road in the league. So a lot of that speaks to our age, being around, knowing that youíve got to block it all out. Itís not going to be easy. Game 3 is not going to be easy.
STORM FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:
On the game:
I'm really happy we got the win tonight. Those guys played really well again and, you know, we pulled it off, thank God, so I'm happy.
On heading to Atlanta:
At this point in time I don't feel overly confident in going to Atlanta. I think that home court advantage plays a big part in the series and going back to Atlanta it will be difficult for us to get the win. So I think we're going to have to keep doing what we do, play defense, better defense all game, and then try and get the win down there.
On the Dream's ability to hang around:
Well, you know, they're one of the best two teams in the league. They've got great players, they've got players that will never say "die." Izi (Castro Marques) and all of them, they play really quite hard out there, so it's just one of those things where - like I said last game - it can be a battle 'till death, virtually. It's going to be hard.
On Atlanta's focus on her on the perimeter:
I think they made sure I didn't get any looks outside, generally speaking. That's OK, though - everyone played well tonight for us. I think we can get better, definitely, but I think they were more focused on stopping me from shooting outside.
On the KeyArena crowd:
Our fans have pushed us over the line all of our games this season, and I'm kind of sad the next few games aren't going to be here. But, look, our fans are definitely the best in the league, without a doubt and they've proved it time and time again. So I would like to thank you for everything and hopefully we can get it done next game.
On the game:
I think it was another great game; both teams played hard. You know, we lost by two and we lost by three, that's pretty good championship basketball. Playing in this arena with the fans it gave a little bit of an advantage to Seattle, but I was pleased with the way that we played.
I think there are some things we need to adjust to once we go back and practice before Thursday night's game. But those are correctable errors and I think we did a really great job of making some adjustments during the game and I thought we fought hard.
On trying to keep the ball out of Bird's hands:
I thought we did that, but then Coco Miller did a great job defending her, so they ended up letting Tanisha Wright bring it up a lot, so I thought we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish along those lines.
On the Storm's free throw advantage:
I haven't had a chance to look at the videotape of the game, but we did foul a lot. You know, I don't have any answer for you on that one, except that I thought we were aggressive and we got called for fouls. I thought there were way too many fouls called in this game.
On adjustments for Game 3:
I'm not going to say that because I haven't look at the tape yet, and that would go directly to Brian Agler; not going to do that. We'll let them figure that out when they come to Atlanta.
On staying around in games:
We never die. We never stop. We always play all the way to the end of the game, no matter the score, and we play as hard as we can. I thought we fought back from a couple of deficits that maybe Seattle should have taken advantage of. I feel like we never quit, we keep coming at you, and we've got speed and quickness and balance and depth and we're going to continue to use that.
On playing Yelena Leuchanka extended minutes:
She is a veteran post. She hasn't played in the WNBA that many years, but she is accomplished in the international scene. She brings in physicality and she posts up well and she is a good defender, so we looked to go to her a little more because we had players in foul trouble and we had to be physical. You can't be soft out there; this is a very, very physical series.
On attendance in Atlanta:
What we saw tonight and on Sunday afternoon, you'll see the same thing in Atlanta. We've got tickets selling like crazy. I think there will be well over 12, 13,000, at least that many.
On the gameplan:
We beat a lot of teams with this defense, that's how we got here, so just trying to fight from the beginning of the game, that's all.
On trying to push the tempo:
I think everybody was just focusing on leaving early and looking out ahead, rebounding and running, that's our game plan all the time. The other team stops us from doing that, and tonight anytime anybody got a rebound we were saying 'push the ball' and we were fortunate in doing that.
On getting hit in the nose during the game:
I think Tanisha got her hand on my nose, and I broke my nose a month and a half ago, so now I had to have the doctor see if it's OK.
On heading home for Game 3:
We got confidence going home that we can win (by playing) a two-point game, three-point game, so we think we can have the win at home with offense and the advantage for us. Just focusing on winning the third game; of course it's crucial for us, but we're confident we can do at home. Just have a few things to adjust and the game could go either way, both games that we played here, so there it would be a different scenario.
On committing 21 turnovers:
They play an excellent defense, so I think especially the first five minutes we just have to be more focused on what we are doing in the moment. But we were able to bounce back, and that's important, and you just have to watch the tape and see what we did wrong to correct for the next game.