Learning to Beat Seattle
Posted by Lisa Leslie on August 17, 2006

We haven’t had much success against Seattle this year. The very first game wasn’t a very good one for us. We didn’t share the basketball. Then the game that we lost at home, they just outplayed us, they outhustled us and they really ran the floor. Their transition game was hard to stop and we didn’t play to the best of our abilities.

Leslie said that the Moores and Murriel Page will be the x-factors against Seattle.
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images
For us to win this series, we definitely have to match their intensity and play hard. Defensively we have to get back in transition where their guards are very good. They’re very strong. I don’t know if you can consider Betty Lennox an x-factor, but we definitely have to try and limit her because she can get hot. And Iziane Castro has played well against us too, so we want to try and slow her down.

In the frontcourt, Lauren Jackson is a great player. She shoots the ball from the outside with great touch and she can get to the basket. We would obviously love to limit some of her shots, but if nothing else, we can’t let every player on the team have an outstanding game, which we seem to do against Seattle. We have to stop somebody. Defensively we mix it up a lot and it’s really just based on where the players are on the floor.

For us, I think the Moores, Jessica Moore and Tamara Moore, along with Muriel Page are our three x-factors. It’s going to be important for all of our role players to come out and play well and knock down shots when they get them.

Some people might look and say that Chamique Holdsclaw is our x-factor, especially since she has settled into a new role coming off the bench, but if you look closely at her minutes, she is essentially a starter, which is what I think everyone in the league knows. Her coming off the bench just happened this year. Our team just developed really good defensive chemistry playing without her at the beginning of the year. Then when she started coming off the bench, it put her in a better position to score because she could come in at the one, the two, the three or the four. I think she’s just very versatile.

Tamara had done a really good job defensively for us at the three position and that really worked for us. It’s not really who begins the game, it’s who ends the game and Chamique still averages probably more minutes than everybody, or if not she is right behind me. It just became the role that she had, but she’s still out on the floor.

I haven’t prepared any differently. My body is a machine and I know exactly what to do. I get the proper rest and nutrition and I work out with weights. I’m ready to play ball. Like coach always says, “Offense comes and goes, but defense is everlasting and wins championships.”

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