Lynx get ready for game 2 of WNBA Finals 16 Oct 12

Below are some quotes from Minnesota Lynx players and coaches as the team prepares for Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.  

Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx Head Coach

On what happened in the fourth quarter of Game 1:
“We came out and turned the ball over the first two possessions. The very first possession, I’ll
own it as a coach when you try to run some things we’re not used to running. We had put a new
play in and were trying to run that a couple times and we were trying to run that play at that
point. It got us in trouble, we didn’t handle it very well and turned it over. We were a little out
of character. Indiana is a big reason for the way that we played. We counted; of the first five
possessions we scored one time – (Lindsay) Whalen got a layup. Other than that, and even with
that, we were down three with five or six minutes to go and they made plays. They made the
tough, dirty, hard plays. We got in the lane and they blocked our shot. They competed, they
contested every shot. That led to a couple easy run outs for them and as soon as they got that
separation it was basically over.”

On the impact of Erlana Larkins, who spent 2010 and 2011 off of WNBA rosters:
“We see that all the time. When you see them come back the way that Erlana did, it’s like Jessica
Adair for us – that story kind of died down a bit because of her knee issues this year. Sometimes
players think that they’re really good and they’ve been good for so long and they’re really
good in college and all of a sudden they get cut and they don’t know what to do. It is how you
handle those moments. I don’t know Larkins that well, but clearly she was a player that listened
to whatever advice she got – whether it was the coaches when they cut her or people like Taj
(McWilliams-Franklin). You go overseas and you have to figure it out. You have a choice, you
can think it was everybody else’s fault except yours or you can accept the information, absorb it
and imply it and clearly she did.”

On the mirroring of Indiana’s position this year to the Lynx’ in 2011:
“It is on our minds. We want to make sure that we’re not a team that gets out-hungered. That is
really important. We all understand the situation with Indiana, we’re well versed in it. We know
there are a lot of people pulling for Tamika Catchings, we understand all of that. We’ve got a lot
to overcome and we’ll see if we’re able to.”

Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx Guard

On the main takeaways from Game 1:
“We just got to come out and be more aggressive on the defensive end. We had a few little
mishaps here and there. Our team is composed of a lot of talented players that can to score the
basketball, so that’s not our main concern, but defensively we definitely want to try to get out
there more and get to action a little bit more than we did in Game 1.”

On making shots versus execution being the larger factor in Game 1:
“I think that it was a little bit of both. I think that the execution wasn’t as sharp as…the shots
we normally take we make, and we didn’t make them last night. But that comes back around
to defense. If we’re not scoring, they can’t score either. I think more so than anything we’re
focused on defense over offense.”

On the resiliency of the Lynx:
“I think that we got a lot of competitors on our team that really hate to lose, so I guess in Game
you’ll see the different. You’ll see us come out and be a little bit more aggressive from start to
finish – we’re going to play and give it all that we have.”

Rebekkah Brunson, Minnesota Lynx Forward

On takeaways from Game 1:
“Of course, we would have hoped that we would have come out and played better than we did,
had a little bit more energy, tried to dictate things more, and did our game plan. We had a great
week of practice. We went over everything we could have possibly gone over, but they came out
and they were ready to win. They played great.”

On stopping Erlana Larkins:
“We have to find her early and put a body on her. She is aggressive and she is going to keep
going – that’s the reason she is out here. She is going to go and crash [the boards] and get them
some extra possessions. We have to match her will and match her intensity.”

On what changes will be made for next game:
“We are still trying to look at the video and see what we can do differently, but we will see what
happens tomorrow when we get a good day of practice under our belt.”

Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Minnesota Lynx Forward/Center

On adjustments the team needs to make going into Game 2:
“There are no big adjustments we make going into Game 2. We’ve played the way we’ve been
playing to get us to this point. [If] we sharpen what we need to sharpen as far as our execution
goes, I think we’ll be fine. We’re not going to sit down and change who we are. We were 27-7,
so you don’t change fundamentally who you are, you just sharpen what you do well. Sharpen-up
our execution; sharpen-up our fast breaks – basics.”

On what the Fever did differently in Game 1 after dropping their two regular-season
meetings to the Lynx:
“It was what we did not do. Our mistakes were glaring when you have a team running back at
you and second and third opportunities. The Fever played a great game plan. It was about what
you expected in the Finals, and then we compounded it with our mistakes. We’re definitely
going to clean all those up.”

On the importance of veteran leadership for the younger players:
“I don’t tell them anything, because when you’re a professional athlete, it has nothing to do with
that. We have nine players who played in the Finals last year and Devereaux Peters played in the
final game of the NCAA tournament, so I don’t know if you have to tell any player anything.
They know the enormity of the situation. They know about losing the home-court advantage, and
they know what we have to do to win.”

Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx Forward

On what the team took away from Game 1 film:
“It was just not what we wanted to be on offense. We hit some tough shots and did what we had
to do to stay in the game and even had a lead there for a little while. There are so many things
we can clean up, so many different areas where we want to be more aggressive. In general, that
was the frustrating part. We just weren’t sure and aggressive in certain offensive areas and then
defensively not being the team that we have been all year. Some of the loose balls, rebounding,
giving them some key offensive rebounds and just getting mixed up on our defensive game plan
at times. Those are not expected, but they’re all fixable things.”

On how the Lynx can improve their execution for Game 2:
“For whatever reason, we didn’t execute – that’s why it’s frustrating. We still have the game plan
that we want to go out and execute. You saw a lot of it in the game of what we wanted to get, we
just have to be more persistent.”

On the biggest factor going into Game 2:
“Just going out and being confident and aggressive – staying aggressive and being the aggressor.
That was one of the more obvious aspects of watching the film was not being the aggressor the
majority of the game. When we were the aggressor, we got the lead. That is absolutely going to
happen on Wednesday because that is within our control.”

On the sense of urgency going into Game 2:
“[We have a] very high sense of urgency. All that matters right now is Game 2. We’re looking
forward to it; we wish it was right now.”

Lindsey Whalen, Minnesota Lynx Guard

On how the Lynx are preparing for Game 2:
“I think we just watch the video, study the tape and just take care of our bodies – I think that’s
the most important thing this time of year. Everybody’s got bumps and bruises and you just
have to make sure that you’re icing and doing that kind of thing. We have a great coaching staff
and a great training staff, so we’ll be doing that for the next couple days and getting ready for
Wednesday.”

On the main takeaways from Game 1:
“I think we need to do what we’ve done all year – play as a team and execute some things and be
ready to go.”

On the tempo of the game and the back-and-forth fourth quarter:
“I thought that they made some really good plays, so real hustle plays. Unfortunately we
missed some shots that we’d like to have back and made some turnovers. [There were] a couple
defensive possessions where we gave them some looks. We know that we’ll be ready for
Wednesday, though. We’re going to have a great atmosphere in here and it’s going to be really
exciting.”

On what they need to change for Game 2:
“I think [we need to] just continue to look at the video and study some things, and then get back
out here and have a good day of practice to get ready for the next game.”