September 13, 2006 Barueri, Brazil
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head coach ANNE DONOVAN, Seattle Storm
I agree with DeLisha. We came out of the gates really playing well, our
first quarter was brilliant. And then its difficult, I think, to
maintain that intensity, that drive, when the score is .. the gap becomes
that great. I think we fell prey to that a little bit.
But I will say that there were goals defensively, things we wanted to
accomplish, and we met those goals tonight. Im pleased with that.
I know that our focus can be better throughout a 40-minute game and it
will be better. Overall I thought it was a great effort. The one area
we can do much better with is taking care of the ball. This is an anomaly,
you wont see this team turn the ball over again 20 times I hope.
Most coaches would be happy with a 33-point
margin of victory. But can you speak to the turnovers (22) and the offensive
We shot almost 60 percent for the game (from inside the arc) so
theres not that many offensive boards that are coming off. It can
be better, we can be a bit more focused on that. We had lapses, theres
no doubt that we had lapses in this game and I dont anticipate,
in a closer game, well have those same lapses. Were all geared
up. Nobody looked (past Nigeria and) ahead to Russia, but we know Russia
is tomorrow and thats a good match-up. Were going to have
to play well for 40 minutes, you cant have one good quarter and
then go to sleep. Im sure well be ready and well do
a better job of taking care of the ball. We had eight turnovers yesterday,
we had 22 today, so I would say were somewhere in between those
Opening Comments about the game:
It wasn't our best game but I think it was a good game and it showed
that we can actually fight through difficulties like turning the ball
over, or like when team makes a run we can make our own run. It was a
well fought game but it wasn't our prettiest.
After the first quarter was it hard to
Yeah, but you can't get caught up in the score. Nigeria was a tough
team, they came out and started hitting some shots that they were missing
in the first quarter. But for the most part I think we were happy with
what we did in the first quarter, we just wish we could be consistent
throughout all four quarters.
What about your next opponent Russia?
We've got watch film tomorrow, but we know it is going to be a
very hard fought game. They're a tough team and they have some players
we already know from the States, so we know what they can do and what
they can bring to their team.
Was this a tough game because of the strong
start by the U.S. in the first quarter?
No. I give Nigeria a lot of credit. They played really well tonight.
They're a very physical team and I think they just did a good job of staying
aggressive even though they got down pretty badly in the first quarter.
What about tomorrow and playing Russia:
Its going to be a tough game. Because I played over there
I obviously know a lot of their players well and all they talk about is
beating the US and it is something they have been training for for the
last three or four months. So I know they're going to be ready and we
definitely have to match that.
What will it take to get the win:
I think it's going to start for us on the defensive end and hopefully
just let that create our offense, and then once we get to the offensive
end really execute. But more so on the defensive end, knowing their personnel
and playing style.
About the game tonight, was it a tough game
to play after getting the lead?
I think it was tough overall. We came out and played well, even though
we kind of had our lapses in the second and third quarters, in the fourth
quarter I feel like we came out and stepped it up a notch and that's what
we needed to do.
This game gave the team an opportunity
to run and work with different combinations and focus on continuing to
Definitely, since we really haven't had a lot of time to prepare and having
Cheryl (Ford) and Katie (Smith) come at the last minute I think Anne is
trying to take advantage of looking at any combo mix she can and she's
doing a great job. As players we don't look at how much time we've spent
together, we just try to go out and do a good job.
You've played against Russia before so you know
what to expect right?
Oh yeah, it's going to be a tough
physical game and we're going to have to come out and start how we've
been starting. We kind of jumped on China early and that's what we're
going to have do, jump on them early and keep it rolling.
How did you feel out there tonight?
Are you starting to feel you're getting
adjusted to being here?
Just a little bit. We went over some more plays at shoot-around this morning.
I'm just tired. I just have to get my wind.
What about playing Russia, a team that
is physical and strong inside. What will you bring:
My usual game. I like to play physical so I used to it. So I'll
try to play defense and rebound.
We set out with some goals before the game started
and we did a good job of achieving those goals. But overall if I had to
grade our play today I would say that we werent on our normal level
as far as USA Basketball is concerned. We really didnt shoot the
ball all that well today. I felt that if we did shoot the ball as well
as we did yesterday the score would have been larger than what it was.
But overall, when you go out to play you want to get the win ultimately,
but tonight was a game where we were playing a team that was very physical.
Theyre athletic as well, so we really have to concentrate on the
defensive end. We showed moments of greatness and we showed moments of
weakness. Im sure that this is something that coach Anne Donovan
will address in the coming days.
On playing against Russia Thursday night:
Everyone on their team is a top player, starting with their starting
five and then maybe their next three subs coming off the bench. Theyre
a vital part of their teams that they play on in Russia.
What we can expect tomorrow is ... we know that Russia is very big from
the two on down to the five. That can cause a lot of problems for a team
as far as getting into the lane and they can always contest the shot or
contesting a shot on the outside. Were going to have to play perfect
basketball tomorrow. Were going to have to move the basketball,
make them move from side to side, I think that will probably be their
weakness. When youre that tall, youre normally limited in
some area. Its normally moving laterally. Well have to attack
them that way, get out and run, and really keep the ball out of the inside
defensively for them. Because if they get it inside you can count on two
Opening Comments about the game:
The game was very physical. I thought we did
a good job of staying in control, controlling the boards. Definitely our
defensive rebounding can improve but I think overall we did a good job
of holding our own against their physical posts.
Is it hard to keep your focus in a game
like this one where you jump out ahead 20-1?
We said we're playing for ourselves, were not
playing against an opponent. That's something we've tried to maintain
focus by saying that to ourselves. But I think it got a little hard, but
we've got to think and we've got play to get better every possession no
matter what the score is.
Russia is next, what do you think?
From what I know Russia is a very good team and just hearing about
them finishing in the top two or three every year. I think they're a great
team. I hear they've got size and they can shoot the 3-pointer so we definitely
have to bring our "A" game tomorrow.