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 1, 2019

Curt Miller

Washington, D.C.

Connecticut - 99, Washington - 87

CURT MILLER: Big win for us tonight. Proud of that group. They brought to the table as players some adjustments that they wanted to make from Game 1 to Game 2. We fed off their confidence and belief to make some subtle adjustments that worked for us tonight. Ultimately, at the offensive end, playing through J.J. [Jonquel Jones] and a concerted effort to play through J.J. and while still putting Courtney [Williams] and Alyssa Thomas in action really allowed us to have a really efficient and productive offensive night. And then withstood the run by Washington at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter and got to the finish line. Emma [Meesseman] was just fantastic. [Tianna] Hawkins was a difference maker for them. Obviously you don’t take an MVP out of a lineup for 37 minutes and aren’t affected but what that champion Washington team was still able to do is a credit to Mike [Thibault], is a credit to their players. It was a fantastic game and we’re really excited to be going home with a split.

Q. Obviously so much of the conversation was about finding Jonquel early. To get the career-high 24 shots, how much of that is game plan and how much of that was momentum as she was obviously finding success?
CURT MILLER: Yeah, I don't think we were shy talking about we had to play through J.J. more. Was that going to be shots? But at least touches, and it started right from the beginning. We got her shots in the first quarter, and then as we've talked, sometimes her shot attempts are misleading when she can't get on the offensive glass. Washington does as good a job of keeping her off the offensive glass as anyone in the league. Over the four games we played this year, she averaged barely -- not more than one, 1 point something, offensive rebound. Her high for the year against them was three offensive rebounds.

So she went and created a lot of her own offense, even when we weren't playing through her, and that was just huge for us for second opportunities.

Q. Obviously [Elena] Delle Donne goes down early in the first quarter. How does that affect the game, and do you have to say anything to your team at that point in terms of stay calm or anything like that?
CURT MILLER: We did not address that, but we've had situations before like this when great players have gone down in games, and there's a real tendency to relax. There's a tendency to say, oh, maybe things are going to be easier.

So we've had this happen in the past, and this is the benefit of having a core group that's been together for four years, is that we didn't have to address it. We have such great respect for Tianna [Hawkins]. We have such great respect for Emma [Meesseman], and what Kristi Toliver -- I coached Kristi Toliver my first year in the league, and I know as a leader what she can do and put teams on her back herself.

We didn't need to address anything. We know how talented they are. A credit to Delle Donne's health this year and her well-documented strength addition. But this franchise has played stretches without her before. So we knew that we weren't going to get an easy break just because she was out.

Q. The series is 80 minutes long and Alyssa Thomas has played all 80 of those minutes. What is it about her you feel like you can't take her off the court?
CURT MILLER: Yeah, she was a warrior out there. As she walked in the locker room, I said, I am going to take you out at some point. But she just is so important to us. Defensively, she anchors our defense. I'll say this to my dying days, I don't think there's a better defender in the league, a tougher defender in the league, and she anchors what we want to do.

And then offensively she's such an extra facilitator and keeps us in attack mode. So it's just really, really hard to take her out, and she's going to gut it out. People reminded me this week of my college days, and I had a Bowling Green team that went to the Sweet 16, and we rode our point guard seven straight games, 40 minutes each. I told AT, at least she won't have to play seven straight games at 40 minutes each.

But eventually I'm going to have to take her out, but it's hard to.

Q. On the thought process that you went through with Jonquel when she got the fourth foul, when she got the fifth foul in terms of leaving her in, taking her out, and anything you may have said to her during those times?
CURT MILLER: Yeah, we decided not to start her in the fourth quarter by an extra minute or two. We knew we weren't going to do that very long. The harder one was, do you give her a minute blow? Do you give her 90 seconds when she picks up her fifth? But we decided to roll with it. We thought it was a crucial point. Could we separate? She hit a big three to take it from six to nine. That really gave us some breathing room and be able to really spread out and guard, and that point know if you make them go by twos, they have to have a lot of possessions.

The harder decision was when she had five than when she had four.

Q. You talked after the last game about maybe you rode the starters a little too long, maybe you need to use the bench more. Was that a point of emphasis tonight or more circumstances dictated it?
CURT MILLER: Yeah, I thought we needed to early, and I thought Bria Holmes was fantastic off the bench. She'll beat herself up on the breakaway lay-up, but she was really good.

At halftime that position between Stricklen's efficiency in her minutes and Bria's efficiency in the first half really gave us a spark in that first half. We asked different things of them defensively. That was an adjustment. And their efficiency offensively at halftime in that position was fantastic, so really excited about that.

But we also needed to get Morgan back in there. We needed to get Rachel into the championship series, and we're confident with them. So we did that early, and then we knew as they made that run at us in the third quarter to start the fourth quarter that we were going to have to ride some minutes of our starters again. But the bench was very important for us tonight. And you know, look at their bench production. Incredible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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