Postgame Quotes/Notes: Atlanta 70, Storm 59
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the Storm giving up size in the frontcourt:
It definitely factored into the game. No question. They scored a majority of their points in the paint. I'm not one to try to sit there and make excuses. You take the team that you have and try to figure out ways to accomplish success, and today we just could never get control of the basketball game. Foul trouble was a factor, especially with our post players early, but we just didn't finish defensively. I thought they played pretty well down the stretch on their offensive end. They played shot clock, and we just couldn't get a lot going at the rim offensively.
On Shekinna Stricklen's play:
That's her potential. She's a rookie. She, without question, played one of her better games this year. She's got a lot of talent and really showed some good signs today.
On Alysha Clark playing extended minutes:
She's being asked to defend people much bigger than her. She gave us everything she could in as many minutes as she played. She's a smart player and scored some tough baskets around the rim over size. I was real proud of her.
On coming out flat after halftime:
I didn't feel it, but we sure played that way. We had a couple stops and had an opportunity to really get control of the game and didn't do a whole lot offensively. And then they came down and had a 9-0 run on us.
On missing the opportunity to reach .500:
We talked about going into these games how we could really help ourselves in the standings if we played well, and obviously, we didn't. On Sunday we had a big win, and I thought we rested a lot before this game and tried to do everything we could to have fresh legs. Atlanta looked like they were fresher than we were today.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
We're down a couple of players, and we felt it against Phoenix, but that score was somewhat lopsided so it wasn't as stressful I guess. We definitely talked about people playing multiple positions, playing more than they're used to, and the last words we spoke before going on the court were, â€śEveryone be ready.â€ť Atlanta did a great job tonight. They're a very tough team. They got off to a good start and just never looked back. Every time we would creep in there and get close, they'd get a shot at the shot clock buzzer or they'd get a steal. You've got to give credit to them. Of course, I'm very proud of Strick and Alysha today. Hopefully now that they've experienced that they can draw from it and use it in our next game.
On the Storm:
We just did not play well. Not to take away anything from Atlanta, but we just didn't play well. You ask yourselves the reasons why, but I think we just lacked some energy and if we could have done a better job defensively, who knows what would have happened? I think you saw a team at times that was just a little bit out of sorts and not on the same page, and that's all of our fault.
On the Dream's defense:
They do have the ability, like our team when we have everybody, to switch a lot. We just didn't take advantage. That's inexcusable. We have to take advantage of those moments. If you do that then teams have to guard you a different way. Same thing in the second half, and Alysha started taking advantage of that.
STORM GUARD SHEKINNA STRICKLEN:
On her game:
I have young legs, fresh legs, and just go out there and go hard and bring some energy. That's what me and Alysha do coming off the bench. We come in and bring a lot of energy. We hustle, get rebounds, and do the little things. Today I was feeling confident. I was just being aggressive. On the Storm's energy:
The energy was a little down, and we got it going, but we got it going a little too late. On Atlanta's run after halftime:
Low energy. We were taking shots, but we weren't making stops. We went four minutes without scoring. On missing a chance to get to .500:
It's tough. We want to keep our winning streak, but it's a long season. We have to go to Phoenix and get that game.
On the game:
It is a very good thing. You have to come in and play and win. Seattle's always tough at home, especially now. They are down a couple players and we are down a couple players. Kind of even-Steven there for awhile. I just thought that we came in and played a great defensive game and got Seattle a little out of their rhythm. We were able to play man-to-man and shot the ball very, very well, especially when the clock was winding down to less than two or three seconds. So call it luck or whatever, but the shots went in. I thought it was a great game, I thought both teams battled really, really hard.
On controlling the glass:
We had to rebound and run, so that's one of the things we really stuck with at practices. Any time we can outrebound and push it up, the running game is our game, so if we can get it and push it up, we have to just rebound first.
On having four players score double figures:
We have a lot of good players on our team and Angel (McCoughtry) is also a great player, but I think that when somebody's missing, all the others pitch in a little bit harder and do things a little bit quicker - maybe make more shots and get a defensive stop and make their free throws if everybody's stepping up, but it takes all of them to win the game. We have to have the bench come in and relieve the starters. And the starters come back in and relieve the bench. I felt like we played a really, really good team game today.
On the key moment in the game:
I felt we got off to a really good start. I felt that was key for us to get off to a good start like that. But I thought we did a really good job of maintaining that lead and just playing really great defense. It was a good defensive battle for us and it created offensive opportunities.
On starting the second half strong:
We challenged them at halftime. Sometimes we don't come out and get off to a good start, but today we did.
On the game:
When we're missing one player, everybody has to step up and I think the team stepped up. When we played in L.A., we tried to but we were too tired. We definitely came out as hard as we could today and we came out with a win.
On starting well:
I wouldn't say that was important because normally we do get off to a good start, but keeping it was what I think was more important and that's what we did.
You're never happy with a losing record, but you know what, in the West and East, it is what it is. If you can keep between the one and four spots, you can make it to the playoffs, and then the tables have turned once you've actually made it.
On starting the second half well:
We just know that we had a bigger lead in the first half and we came back and cut it within three and we tried to go out in the same way we started in the first quarter. We had eight straight points. We can't underestimate teams; we go up a lot mostly and lose the lead in the fourth quarter. We just needed to carry out what we were doing into the fourth quarter and we can come out with a win.
On the Dream's advantage in second-chance points:
I wasn't even paying attention to that. I was just hoping that the time would run out with us winning.
On getting another win during a long road trip:
It is important. The first game we had, we went into double-overtime. The second game, everybody was tired and today we just rejuvenated and we came out today to play because we knew what happened in the last game. We won't say anything until we have the last road-trip game, but a win is a win and anyway you get it, you have to take it.