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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 78, Phoenix 71

June 4, 2011

STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:


On the pregame ring ceremony:
In all honesty, I’ve been through it before, Sue (Bird) and Lauren (Jackson) have been through it before, Swin (Cash) and Katie (Smith) have been through it before, and as nice as you’d think it might be and I’m happy for our players to experience it, for us to go through that emotion and try to get back on track to another kind of mindset is hard to do. We started talking about this right when we came back. Who we’re going to be playing, they’re a difficult opponent, and we warned and cautioned what we were going to go through that day. I thought I’m probably more pleased about how we played going through that than the win.

On Camille Little's performance:
Camille has been an excellent player ever since she came here. Her game has steadily gotten better. She can do a lot of things for us and does a lot of the dirty work like rebounding, taking charges, and now her game is polished where she is a very good back-to-the-basket player – whether she can get to the rim or shoot up over the top of people. She is a great complement to Lauren and she can really be a versatile defender when we play against Phoenix, who has players like (Diana) Taurasi so when we get in pick-and-roll, she can stay with those people.

On the last five minutes:
We didn’t address that after the game - I wanted them to enjoy today - but we didn’t finish this game off. We’re better than that. We have the ability to finish off games and it’s just a matter of communicating and understanding what we want to get accomplished. And give credit to Phoenix. They’ve got great players. Taurasi is a great player. She can make the game look so easy. And she’s so smart. She can draw fouls, and by herself she can keep her team in the game.

STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:


On the ring ceremony:
It was a great day. I have to be honest; winning makes it a great day. The rings are gorgeous. Blue Nile did an amazing job. We get to share it with the fans. I thought us introducing each other was kind of cool, more personal, and then getting to thank the fans at the end. For me personally, the last 10 years have been truly enjoyable. We could have maybe have had more rings, but two is pretty good. Hopefully, we can get that third one this year.

On the game:
Tonight was a very tough game. It was physical and two teams that pretty much have seven or eight players back from last year. Playoff teams. The last two teams to win (the title). There was a lot of experience out on the floor. So even though it was game number one, it certainly didn’t feel that way. For us we just wanted to make our presence be felt and form our identity for 2011 and I think tonight was a great start.

STORM CENTER LAUREN JACKSON:


On the game:
There is a lot we can still work on at the moment. Today was really, really good because we got the win. I think that was the first step and now we have a few days to work on what we need to work on and get ready for Minnesota. First game of the season against one of the best teams in the west and Diana had a hellava game. She’s out there to prove something so to go out there like we did was good.

PHOENIX HEAD COACH COREY GAINES:
On the Storm:
They came out and played hard. We didn’t shoot the ball well or play well, but I can’t take anything away from them – they played well enough to win. They’re the champions. It’s tough on the road, first game against the champions … it’s tough.

On the third quarter:
We missed a lot of layups and that does not go well with us. We just need to go back home and get some work in before the L.A. game.

On areas for improvement:
We didn’t execute that well. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter we did, but before that we didn’t. We need to work on it.

On whether the Storm has added this season:
Yes, Katie. She’s an excellent player and came in and hit some big shots. She plays great defense on Dee (Taurasi) … she holds her a lot, but be that as it may, she’s a great defender.

PHOENIX GUARD DIANA TAURASI:
On the game:
We did some good things. There are a lot of things we still need to work on, which is good because you don’t want to peak too early in the season. We’re going to go back to Phoenix and work on some things that hopefully will put us in a better position throughout the game.

On areas for improvement:
I think we did a pretty good job on certain areas on the court, but as a collective group we didn’t finish plays here and there. And that’s what it takes to beat teams on the road.

On starting the third quarter slowly:
At this level, it’s whether you’re mentally strong enough to execute as a group. We showed we can do it, but we’re just going to have to do it for a longer period of time.

On the Storm:
They’ll be just as tough as last year. You add Katie Smith, who is a great piece for them. She’s someone that stretches the defense. So yeah, they’re going to be same old Seattle.

PHOENIX FORWARD CANDICE DUPREE:
On the game:
It was a tough one. Seattle played really well. I thought defensively it was a little better on our end than it has been in the past, but we had some problems on offense as far as spacing, setting screens, waiting for screens. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed early in the season. If I had to lose, I’d rather lose now than later on. It’s early and we have a few new players so we’re adjusting. We’ll get it.

On playing the Storm after the ring ceremony:
It's nothing I thought about, but I can’t speak for everyone else. You still have to prepare for it like it’s a regular game regardless of whether they’re the defending champions or not. The coaches prepared us well with the scout, but we just have to play a little harder, get those loose balls. That’s something Corey talked to us about – we have to be able to get those loose balls, dive on the floor. And if anything, we can’t let them finish if they do get them.

On the Storm:
They have Katie Smith now. She came in and gave them great minutes so, if anything, she’ll help them be a better team than they were last year.

2011 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive

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