home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 9, 2015

Cheryl Reeve

Indianapolis, Indiana: Game Three

Minnesota Lynx - 80
Indiana Fever - 77

COACH REEVE: First and foremost, I thought it was an unbelievable basketball game. I'm a little biased. I've blood pressure around a long time since 2001. I think that might be one of the best played WNBA Finals games in our history. I'm pretty mindful of things that have gone on before us, but that one's got to be up there.
Those are two teams that really had great offense, and just kind of delivering blows to each other and a little bit of a run, and then their run, and then back and forth, and back and forth. We were fortunate to have a chance at the end there to have someone like Maya Moore to step up and hit a really huge shot.

Q. You've coached Maya for years. You coached her in the Olympics. You seem to do a lot of things. Where does that last 1.7 seconds rank in your mind in terms of what you've seen her do?
COACH REEVE: What I told her was that I've been with her since her rookie year, and early on in Maya's career she used to be one of my worst players at executing a last‑second shot. She used to lunge and try to draw a foul. Just didn't have a lot of poise about her. That was about as poised as I've seen her. Lindsay Whalen made a great pass, a great find. Maya had great awareness that you didn't have to jack a shot and hurry up. 1.7 seconds is actually a long time. I thought she had a nice little escape dribble, got herself collected, and had about as good of form that you can have. So it was a very poised moment for Maya.

Q. (No microphone)?
COACH REEVE: It looked darn good. It looked darn good. I don't know if I had any thoughts. It looked like what you felt in the arena, it just got quiet. It's what you've seen in the movies with the ball going to the basket. It looked like everyone was watching, then it went through and picked up again, and that's what it felt like. First and foremost for me, I'm somebody that always worries, maybe they were going to wave it off and say it wasn't good so I didn't want to get too excited. It felt like it was in time. But we weren't sure until the reviews. So, pretty exciting stuff.

Q. In addition to Maya's three, your team overall, 7 of 13, and Renee hit a big one to tie it. So how big was your three‑point shooting in Game 3 tonight?
COACH REEVE: Obviously, it's not something that‑‑ we've struggled there in the series. We think we're better than what we've done. Today, obviously, we don't regularly shoot 53%, but if you have the right players take it. I thought that the players for us, I thought our bench was big. We get 28 points off the bench. I thought each player, they got an opportunity, particularly Dev, Renee and Cruz. Cruz gave us good penetration when we needed it. Cruz hit some big jumpers when we needed it to take pressure off people.
I thought player of the game for us, that really, really helped us was Renee Montgomery. She has some, you know, just really, really confident moments out there where clock is running down and her and Cruz, they just play really well together. It was fun to watch and fun to see them be successful.

Q. Obviously that was huge. Right before that you got the big defensive stop. They had the ball with 25 seconds left, and you got a huge stop to have a chance to win it. Talk about that last stretch on defense?
COACH REEVE: Yeah, I thought Indiana, when they left our place and came back down here, it was really clear what they would try to get back to, which was the dribble drive stuff and straight‑line drives. I thought they had success with that tonight. We knew the last possession was going to come down to that. We talked about that. We kind of talked about our locations for the help, to make sure we didn't let them get too deep.
I thought we were pretty active in those moments. I thought we were pretty hard to play against. Got to rebound the ball. That was the other thing. They were pretty relentless in there. You know, the first game, that second‑chance points, there wasn't a big divide. You know, largely because I think the offense was so good percentage‑wise. But that's how we want to win games. Get that stop and give ourselves a chance to have the ball at the end there to try to do something.

Q. Maya seemed to get into foul trouble fairly early, and then even after the break she picked up her fourth foul but didn't change the way she approached the game. What was the conversation you had with her going forward?
COACH REEVE: I don't know that it was a conversation. Maya's going to be Maya. Oftentimes in her career, when she gets in foul trouble, it doesn't end well. Again, it was another game where I thought she just decided just to go play. Her third foul was unfortunate. We had a player that gambled in the back court and put Maya in a bad spot and got that third foul. Fourth foul was another silly foul. We were fortunate to be able to‑‑ because we got that small. We decided if we were going back to Maya we've got to put her small and try to get some advantage out of that before maybe she would foul out. We can try to get some separation there.
But Maya's Maya. If you've never been around Maya, she throws caution to wind at every turn, and she just plays. Sometimes it goes really, really well. Other times you can pull your hair out in watching her try to do some stuff. And tonight was probably a little bit of both. But it ended where we were really happy for her.

Q. I'd like to go back to your earlier statement where you thought this game was one of the best played in the league's history. Can you elaborate a little bit on that and in terms of what do you think has attributed to this growth, this intensity, how you've seen the league progress over the seasons?
COACH REEVE: Well, everybody wants to watch offense. I just thought it was really, really well played in that area. It's two good defensive teams. Indiana's style is fun to watch. I think we're fun to watch. I remember Indiana's series with Phoenix back in I think it was 2009. And I remember watching it going, man, there are some really, really well‑played games. It was fun to watch. I think what you see is our league just the evolving more and more good players.
Look at the number of good players on the floor every time a WNBA team comes out? Now you're in the Finals. Now it's just I can't help but think obviously no other leagues around. Kids are playing at a younger age, the level of play goes up. Indiana does a great job with an unbelievable environment. It was fun to play in. I think if you're watching at home on TV, like I said, the back and forth nature of it. The players making plays. That's what I love about this game. I can speak for myself. I can't speak for Steph. We're trying to guide them a little bit.
But this is the epitome of what I tell our players what the Finals are about. Coaches are going to spend all their time worrying and strategizing. What when it comes down to it, players out there just playing and making plays is what it's all about. And I thought this game epitomized it.

Q. Were there any other options on that final possession?
COACH REEVE: There were two options.

Q. What were they?
COACH REEVE: The first one was we had Brunson and Fowles screening for Maya. Indiana has a tendency to switch on screens. So we thought if Sylvia got the last screen on and switched, she was going to jet to the basket. So we were going to lob a direct pass to Sylvia. If that lob is not open, that means that Maya's got to be open. Lindsay Whalen made a great read of Marissa's defense, kind of identified what was open and she made a nice, crisp pass, because that was necessary, and just like I said, Maya just read what she needed to do in that. So we had two options in that.

Q. Going back to where you put this game, what does it say story line, Superstar wins it, but you have two players who many who cover the league would sometimes refer to as cast offs also doing big roles?
COACH REEVE: Yeah, that's what we liked. Indiana has prided themselves in that all season. We haven't been healthy enough to kind of get that same thing where we've had it all season playing with our bench like Renee and Cruz. We had injuries and that sort of thing. But that's what Indiana does. I don't know if I like the word castoffs, per se. I understand what you're saying. This is the time of the year where you just don't save yourself. You're not holding back but get your opportunity.
I think each team has players that they're confident when they go in there they can do their thing. This came at a good time for us and our bench. They've been knocking on the door to be able to do that. I can't say enough about what Devereaux Peters and Renee and Cruz have meant to our team through our playoff run.

Q. In the first half when you had to sit Maya, it didn't go particularly well. In the third when you had to sit her your team actually outscored the Fever 19‑13 over the rest of the third quarter. I mean, you wouldn't have been in position for that last shot if that hadn't happened?
COACH REEVE: Right. And I think for me, I think Seimone. That was her better quarter if I'm not mistaken. I think our defense was solid in the third quarter held them to 15. That was really important. I think Brunson was active, I thought Dev was active. I know nothing was easy.
But like you said, just get through that darn third quarter. I'm sure it was the same way she was feeling on game 2 with Catchings out and just kind of buy us time. Like you said, it went much better in the third than it did in the first half. So I joked that Maya was rested. Maya had her legs about her and, like I said, I just can't say enough about what a fun game it was to be part of.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297