Postgame Quotes/Notes - Atlanta 92, Storm 63
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On his message to the team:
There were quite a few things I had to say in there, but it was a pretty calm conversation. It was a tough loss. We played a team that was very good tonight and we were not on top of our game.
On turnovers against the Dream:
They force a lot of people into turnovers. It was something that we talked about coming in, so we were prepared in terms of our communication, but we didn't play prepared on the floor. Our thing right now is we just have to regroup and get better. We've got 10 games left, a lot of basketball to be played. We're right in the middle of the playoff hunt and we're going to keep moving forward.
On playing reserves in the fourth quarter:
We were going to put our people back in, but once we didn't close the gap, then we decided to sit sue the rest of the way and rotate some people. Like I've told our team before - as disappointed as we are tonight, a loss is a loss. It doesn't matter whether it's by one or by 20. You've got to look at the big picture. There's no use trying to wear some of these people down when we've got some very important games coming up down the stretch.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
That was a crappy game. Definitely embarrassing.
On the Dream:
They're a very physically gifted team with size and athleticism. We know what their strengths were going in. They played to their strengths and we never got them off of that. They hit some tough shots, but they have people who can do that. That's why you have to limit your turnovers because it can create transition; you have to box out because they can get those second-chance points. You can't give the easy ones to them because they're going to hit the hard ones too.
For us, at this point, any loss at home (is). The way that happened? There's something about playing here that we've always enjoyed. It gives us energy. In a way, we owe it to our fans to give a better effort than we did tonight. That's where that embarrassment comes in. We always want to put on a good show, for lack of a better term. Tonight, I don't think we did that. The scoreboard shows that.
On whether anything needed to be said:
Not really. Of course things need to be addressed. Believe me, we'll be watching film and addressing those things. I'm sure it's going to be a long film session. But right now, we all know. We know how poor a showing this was. No one's going to want to feel like this the next time we step on the floor.
STORM GUARD KATIE SMITH:
On the Storm's defense struggling:
Pretty much across the board, whether it was rebounding, loose balls, one-on-one, picks. They did whatever they wanted to do. Individually and team-wise, defensively, we were not locked in. Give them credit for taking it to us and knocking down shots, but we definitely didn't help matters. On the loss:
Obviously, it's disappointing and disappointing more so that we lost in that fashion. It's gut-check time. There's no more shoulda, coulda, wouldas. There's no more 'We'll get better.' We've got to put our foot down and start to will our way to get stops and get wins. We're coming down the home stretch. We've got to get ourselves into a groove as we go on. On moving forward:
We're fine. There's a lot of basketball to be played. This could be motivation. Hopefully, it will be something that sits in your gut and makes you want to really hold your ground when you step on the court and make teams earn it. Not that Atlanta didn't play well, but make them work a little harder and make things a little tougher for them.
On the game:
Overall it was a great defensive game for us. Our defense created a lot of offensive opportunities for us. We had combination of good speed and we had some power in there, too. We played one of our better games tonight. On forcing the Storm into turnovers:
We just defend hard. We’ve got quickness on the wings and at the point, so I think it did probably bother them a little bit. But you can’t take anything away from Seattle. To win here is awesome because the crowd is just fantastic and they really support their team. We love playing here and it’s the first time we’ve won here. We love playing here because of the crowd; we don’t like playing here because of their record here. It was just like last year in the playoffs - terrific crowd, good energy for both teams. On the margin of victory:
I never thought that we’d win by that much. I knew that we were ready to play. Yesterday we worked on a lot of shooting. We’ve had so many injuries so we’ve had to adjust in a lot of different positions, but we’re beginning to get a little healthier. We took a lot of shots yesterday and I think that helped us tonight. On hot shooting:
Those shots went in. We’ve had those in numerous games and they haven’t gone down, but tonight they went down.
On the game:
It was just an awesome game all around. We came out very focused. I felt good before the game. You know how you just have that feeling? Everyone was good and we weren’t dwelling on the loss in Phoenix. We can build on this. Everybody knows we had a rough start. If we can get into the playoffs again, I really think we have a really good chance of getting back and winning the whole thing. That’s our goal.
On the importance of hot shooting:
That was just an all-around team effort. That’s why I tell people to dwell on wins, not losses. Things like this don’t happen all the time. Why dwell on a loss? Dwell on this.
On forcing the Storm into turnovers:
We just get a lot of deflections and were a little more aggressive in getting after it. When we start great, we usually finish great, but don’t give away our secret!.
On the game:
We know it’s always difficult to play here and they have a great fan base as the sixth man. We had great defense from the beginning and we opened up a 10-point lead and they never came back on that. It was a great defensive effort and we forced them into a lot of turnovers. They never really got going and that was good for us to get our game going. We shot a very good percentage from the field, so it was a great game.
On forcing the Storm into turnovers:
We really watched a lot of tape and we’ve played Seattle a few times since last year so we know how they like to play. We just worked on getting things done that they don’t like to do. We tried to get Sue out of her game because she’s the main person for them. Once that happened it was much easier for us to defend the rest.
We came in yesterday and got a great practice in and did the same thing this morning … got a lot of shooting in. We were just very focused. We’d just lost one game and we knew how important this game was for us. We moved to third place with this win tonight. Everybody was thinking about third place and we just all worked well together.
On whether KeyArena is the hardest place to play in the WNBA:
To me it is. When you walk in and see all of these people, it’s unbelievable. There’s no place else. And because of the closeness and how KeyArena is made, that helps a lot. They understand the game here. They know when to cheer and when to lift the team up, so that helps. Not every crowd knows how to do that and here they do that very well.