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August 30, 2006

Bill Laimbeer


COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Okay. Well, obviously that was not our best performance. I thought Sacramento played very well as a basketball team. They were into it from start to finish. They played a solid team game. They moved the ball well. They played solid defense and they seemed to want it more than we did. On our end, we started the game sluggish, a little lethargic energy-wise. As the game progressed, we missed defensive assignments. We didn't play hard enough was the bottom line, what we have to do to win a series, or even win a basketball game in the WNBA Finals.
It's a little disappointing to watch us not perform out there; 24 turnovers, you can't win a basketball game in the WNBA Finals by turning the basketball over 24 times. Everything we talked about before the start of the game, almost to the exact thing, there's probably at least ten things that we listed that we had to take care of and work on in this ballgame, and eight of them, we didn't do it. That's just effort. That's just desire. That's wanting it more than the other team, or even wanting it as bad as the other team. Tonight we didn't compete on the level that we needed to, and we got stomped. We won't make any excuses. We have none. Our performance was poor, and I give Sacramento credit. They played well.

Q. Swin Cash the second quarter on was not a factor, could you explain that, please?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Wasn't a factor in the first quarter on, either. She showed up to play a basketball game, didn't show up to win a basketball game. It's just one of those things where she wasn't into it and we decided to not play her.

Q. In 2003 you lose the first game out in L.A. in almost a similar one-sided situation. The dynamics were a little different in format and everything. What's the approach coming off of this, does five games help you more?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Well, yeah, I talked before the series started, in a five-game series, you're able to lose one game and still have an opportunity to recover. In a three-game series, it wasn't so great.
Before we win three games, we have to win one, and that's our focus. You have to win one game first. And I told them that this was going to be the hardest game because the visiting team focuses so hard on winning the first game. They are closeted up in the hotel. There's no distractions. They know their task. They have to win one game and they came very focused and ready to play.
We have to come with the same energy and focus in Game 2. We have to win Game 2 or we're in a world of trouble.

Q. Knowing your team, how do you expect this to affect their confidence?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: We're a very confident bunch and when we get an attitude, we're even more confident.
The disturbing part today, we had some attitudes that creeped in today, you could see body language of the players if you were up front and close and watching it, we talked about it with their swarming defense. We got frustrated and a couple players started getting mopey and it affects how you make shots and how you go to loose balls quicker and how you make rebounds. That can't happen. I expect us to regroup tomorrow and we'll watch some of the giant mistakes we made on film and hopefully they have a resolve that they come together and want to do this.
I told them, in the WNBA Finals, the coach's job is to help get you there. When you get to The Finals, it's a test of wills. It's a player's game. Yeah, we can give them some adjustments. We can put some new plays in and we can do this but that's not what it's about. It's about the players wanting to go out there and compete at the high level and take the game and take the series. That, we did not do in Game 1.

Q. Did you expect to see a few more fans here tonight? This is The Finals.
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: No, I didn't even pay attention to that. I'm just focused on the game. I thought at times they were very loud, but we didn't give them much to cheer for tonight. Turnovers, dumb turnovers, that's the old Shock basketball that I never want to see again.

Q. When you talk about that resolve that they need to have, in the past, is that something you've seen from this group, would you say?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Yeah, I think this year especially. We're so good on back-to-backs. It was one of our trademarks.
We have some very strong-willed individuals in our locker room that if they want to do it and they want to band together and they resolve collectively -- this is a collective thing that we have to get accomplished. Not one individual or another individual or two or three players. This is an entire team that has to want to go out there and get it done. I'm very confident they will pull it together and get it done. But tonight they didn't.

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