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October 4, 2015

Cheryl Reeve


Indiana Fever - 75
Minnesota Lynx - 69

COACH REEVE: Not surprising that Indiana came in here ready to hoop and ready to steal a game. They're just as good of a road team as we are, so we understand what their mindset is. So no surprises for us.
Probably the only surprising thing for me is how we didn't handle some of their active hands, deflections that they got at key times, second chance points. We didn't give up a lot of O‑boards, but when we did, we gave up three balls. I bet Coleman, every one of her threes were probably off of offensive rebounds. It wasn't action they were getting for her.
And then when we got to the free‑throw line, they fouled 22 times. We get to the foul line and miss our free throws. So we missed 8 free throws. So just little things like that‑‑ turnovers, free throws, fouls we wanted to win‑‑ we didn't get that done. We held them to 36 percent. We should be able to win a game when we hold a team to 36 percent.

Q. Cheryl, this is not an entirely familiar position for your team. You guys have won ten in a row here in the playoffs. How do you expect them to respond?
COACH REEVE: Well, we have a really smart group. We just played 40 minutes of a 200‑minute series. So we have 160 minutes, and by my count, that's a lot of minutes left. We're good enough to win on the road. We're not worried about‑‑ all I'm worried about is Tuesday night, and we've got to play great, and I suspect that we'll come out, and we'll do some of the things we didn't do tonight.

Q. Can you discuss the performance of Sylvia Fowles tonight.
COACH REEVE: Yeah, I thought she was pretty amped up. Didn't have great hands early, but she's just‑‑ she's really difficult to contain around the basket.
Early we had some really bad play calling, had her too far away from the basket, got five turnovers. Once we got her inside and playing more there, she was way more effective. We learned a lot tonight. We'll definitely clean up some things.

Q. Coach, talk about the Fever's offense tonight. You gave them an inch, and they shot up every time on the perimeter. How do you guys plan to adjust for that for Game 2?
COACH REEVE: They shot 36 percent, timely threes. The action three run is difficult to guard, which is why they're in the WNBA Finals. They do what they do really well. It's not like they have 100 things in their playbook. It's a very simple but very effective action that they run that we had a hard time handling.
Three balls, again, were off of offensive rebounds. They made five, I think, if my eyes are right, five threes. I'm guessing at least three were off the O‑boards. So we forced the team into an air ball off of a three‑point shot, and we can't get possession. Ball goes out of bounds, and we don't defend an inbounds play. We give up a layup. You can't win a championship and give up a layup on a baseline out of bounds play, on a very simplebaseline out of bounds play.
We didn't play well enough to win, to be honest with you. We've got to play way better to have a shot at the Championship, and we just didn't do that tonight.

Q. Can you talk about the perimeter matchup. Their perimeter players hurt you guys with some scoring. Do you need more offense from your perimeter?
COACH REEVE: That would be great. Both Lindsay and Seimone have to help us more offensively. They didn't get the job done, either one of them, and we need more from them. Seimone's a shot maker. This is the WNBA Finals. One of the best shot makers in the history of the game gets an opportunity, she's got to make shots. She knows that.
Lindsay hasn't found a way to help this team offensively in a long time. She's got to get back to letting the game come to her. When she's open, shoot it. When she gets drives, drive with a vengeance in there. And then defensively, it's a challenge that we would have.
I wouldn't say it was Lindsay and Seimone. I thought that some of our pick‑and‑roll defense left a lot to be desired. We'll watch the video and clean some stuff up.

Q. Cheryl, did you like the shots that Seimone and Lindsay to a very small extent were getting? Or did you think they were really keying on those guys?
COACH REEVE: I don't know how many shots Whalen took. Three. She took three shots. I think Lindsey's mindset was to get the ball moving. She had four assists in the first half. We didn't get a chance to get her wheels rolling. In the second half, we did do a little more pick‑and‑roll, had her out of the game. I think we can get Whalen some shots in some of our actions.
Seimone, you guys have been around. You've watched a number of games. I think the shots she got were Seimone‑esque shots. It's one of those things. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they don't.

Q. Anything defensively you didn't expect? It seemed like there were times in the second half, in particular, when it got very difficult to get the shot you wanted.
COACH REEVE: No. I think our execution was miserable. There wasn't a thing that Indiana did that we didn't talk about, that we weren't aware of. I just thought it was one of those games. Like I said, you force a team into a bad shot, air ball, don't get possessions‑‑ those are‑‑ I could think of at least five possessions where goofy stuff like that happened. We shot 42 percent. They shot 36 percent. We shot 23 free throws. They shot 16. How do you lose that game?
And we just‑‑ like I said, we just didn't do little things at key times, and they did. This is Indiana. This is what they do.

Q. You've seen the struggle executing after time‑outs. How do you feel you can improve in that area?
COACH REEVE: I have to go back and look at that. I didn't necessarily know‑‑ there were a couple times I thought we did. I thought we were 50‑50, our execution. I don't know if struggling is the right word. I don't know that expectation is every time we've got to come out and score. I'm guessing at least 50 percent of the time, we either got a shot off or scored.

Q. You don't see the fever and Briann January all the time, but from what you've seen, what have you seen her growth over the years?
COACH REEVE: She's been the same. Obviously, the older you get, the more experience you have under your belt. I thought she played great tonight. Again, the action they put her in, ‑Steph is really‑‑ and that's a key focal point of what they do at the point of the offense.
I see that‑‑ the older you get, there's not many surprises in the way that you're being guarded. So what Briann does a great job of is reading what's open. If the big over helps, then she pocket passes to the post. If the big is too far back, she shoots a pull‑up jumper. I think she's really efficient in the midrange game, the pull‑up jumpers. Obviously, a really good three baller as well.
She's the key to that team. She's the key to that team. I know everybody is talking about Catchings, and that's true, but when you've got a point guard that's getting things done at that level‑‑ she scored 19 and had us twisted‑‑ that says a lot about her. Thank you.

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