Postgame Quotes/Notes: Minnesota 86, Storm 73
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the game:
I thought we competed hard, and we did some good things. I thought we were outnumbered in regards to depth, and I think Minnesota is a good basketball team. I also think that we're a team that still has our best days ahead of us. On Minnesota's run during the fourth quarter:
I don't think we guarded (Seimone) Augustus real well in that stretch and we didn't get to Maya Moore a couple of times. I think they had a series of possessions where they had multiple rebounds. It would have been nice to continue to get stops defensively, but they're a good basketball team. I'm not going to sit here and criticize our team because I thought we tried hard. We've got to shore up our defense, there's no question about that. There are a lot of areas where we can get better, but like I said our best days are ahead of us. We're going to see a lot of good basketball out of this team before it's over with. On facing the Lynx:
You can't make mistakes against this team. But I thought we were doing some things very well that you have to have to beat good teams in this league. We didn't turn the ball over much, giving ourselves opportunities, and we're getting to the free throw line. So those two things right there, I like how we're helping ourselves in those areas.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On Lauren Jackson rejoining the Storm:
Obviously I'm happy she's back. I'm looking forward to playing with her again. She's someone who has been a partner in crime for the last 11 seasons. Whenever we're back on the floor together it's very comfortable. I think she puts us at ease. My experience in Seattle, when all is said and done, when I look back on it, she's going to be the one person I think about. A lot of it has been the two of us through the years. When we're back on the court together it feels great.
On the game:
Something that we already knew is that in this league it can literally come down to three minutes. I think we had some ups and downs throughout the game, but for the most part stayed with it. We were able to cut it to six with a good opportunity, then they hit three threes and got every loose ball, every offensive rebound, and that was that. You can't lose your focus and unfortunately that happened to us. You have to give them credit. They are team that has a lot of players who can flat out hit shots. And hit tough shots. A team full of people like that. Three come to mind right away and they're difficult to guard. But you can't give them easy ones either.
On playing short-handed:
As an athlete and competitor and a team, you can't think about who you don't have. You can only worry about who you do have. Am I looking forward to have people who didn't play tonight play? Absolutely.
STORM FORWARD CAMILLE LITTLE:
On Jackson's return:
It was nice to look up and see 11 players here finally. It would have been nice if she was out there. Hopefully we'll get to be full force sometime this season - get everybody healthy. That will really help our team. On the game:
We played well in spurts, but we didn't play well consistently enough defensively. They were hitting almost everything. They were hitting a lot of shots and they were comfortable. We didn't change until the third quarter where we made a run and got a couple stops in a row. Then again they went on a run after that. It doesn't matter if we don't sustain defensive intensity for 40 minutes. They're a good team. They're defending champions. They're going to be tough.
On the Storm making a run at the end of the third quarter:
It's everything you expect when you play here in Seattle. It's never over. We've had times here where we're up 25 and they can cut it to five - it's just what they do here. Make a couple good plays, they turn up their defense, the crowd gets behind them, start making shots, all the calls start going your way 0 all those things that are typical to a basketball game, it happens here in Seattle, so we were fortunate that we were able to stop the bleeding when we did. On how the Lynx responded to that run:
I thought four players for us had key moments and when we had that type of balance. Seimone had her series where she hit a couple shots, then Maya would have a couple back-to-back, then Moni (Monica Wright) would come in and she hit a couple. Then Rebekkah Brunson was just really, really good. Those guys were hard to play against today. On keeping focused after clinching a playoff berth:
Clinching a playoff spot is just part of the process. It's not anything that our players think about. We have a lot of games to play. We've got some big goals as do the teams that we're fighting with. It's nice to have that part out of the way, but it's now coming into places like Seattle and trying to be really good because we know that's what it's going to take in the playoffs.
On answering the Storm's run:
We don't stop playing. We know they're a good team and are going to go on runs. We just have to fight back, stay focused and stay aggressive. We know it's just a matter of time if we can stay together and stay focused before the flood gates break. That's what we did - we tried to attack them and thankfully our shots were going in. We finished it on a really good note.
On the keys to improving as a team:
Every day get better. Come to practice focused, concentrating, staying together. It's simple, the fundamentals - just making sure we're getting all the little details right every day. That's going to matter against the next team we play. It's such a competitive league, so the little things make the biggest difference. We just keep working on the small things.
I wouldn't call them easy. We're supposed to make certain things look easy, so that's a compliment. I'll take that. But it's definitely not easy. We work really hard, we fight, we battle, our bodies take a beating and it feels really good to be able to walk away with a win and playing well. And having your teammates play well. I'm just so proud to be on the team with these women. Our coaching staff works so hard for us. All the staff is really locked in and wanting to bring our best every day.
On the team's balance:
Yeah, I think it was 27 assists on 35 field goals so that's just fun. When we do that night after night, everybody walks away for the most part feeling good, like they contributed. It builds morale, it builds momentum.
On whether the Lynx are better than last year:
At moments. I still think there's another level we can get to as a team. We can maybe determine that by the end of the year, but right now we're still getting there, we're still climbing, we're still hungry. I'm just working to make sure I do my individual best and then our team can do our individual best and we'll see at the end of the year.
On the possibility of repeating:
It's out there. We haven't gotten it, though. It's something we strive for every day. It's exciting to step on the court every day knowing we have a chance to do something really special. We work hard for each other and knowing how special of a group we still have, we want to carry this thing as far as we can.