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September 13, 2007

Bill Laimbeer


KAREN KASE: We'll start with a quick statement from coach and then go right to questions.
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Quick? Not an opening, now it's quick? Okay. All right. Well, obviously we're a little disappointed that we did not win that game. Our inability to handle turnovers was a big factor in us losing.
We had too many. Especially we had six turnovers in the fourth quarter. That can't happen when you're trying to close out a series. We know that. We still did it. It is a little disappointing.
Our players know it. They know that while we played hard, we played focused, we didn't play well. And that's something that we're going to have to address in the next couple days because now we go home.
But that's why we played the whole season. The regular season was a grind for us. We got through it. With the sole purpose of if we had to play a game in a series, we would play it at home. And all these series have gone to the last game in our building, they did what they had to do, now we're going home to do what we have to do.
KAREN KASE: Questions?

Q. Coach Westhead was talking about how he ran the offense through Cappie in the second half and they made the decision at halftime. Is that difficult for you, her ability to create her own shots?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: I don't know about difficult, we have good defending guards. She made some big shots, no questions about that. But that's what she does. That's just one of those things that we'll look at how we can help in certain situations, but great players make great shots. We have them too. And it just worked out for their favor today.

Q. Are you pleased with the way that with each passing game you're able to hold them to fewer points, because they are an offensively powered team?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Well, yeah, we played good defense. Make no mistake about that. We're a solid defensive ball club. We think we're the best one in the league. And that's sort of what we carry our baggage. We like being a defensive ball club. They're an offensive ball club. They can make shots and they did tonight. We knew they were going to. We still need to execute in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line and we didn't. We had six turnovers. And they're playing zone. That just can't happen. You have to be a little bit more focused than that. And if we had taken care of the ball, we would be celebrating right now. But we didn't, so we move on. We play another game.

Q. Did Cheryl re-injure her knee in the last couple minutes?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Yeah, I would be extremely pessimistic about her having an opportunity to play in Game 5.

Q. What do you expect in Game 5 Sunday? What kind of game are you looking for?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: I'm looking for a game that we don't turn the ball over 19 times. That's what I'm looking for out of our players. I'm looking for every player on our ball club to step up and play with the fire and the intensity necessary to win a championship. That's what we do. That's who we are. We will be a man down, okay. Been there, done that before too. I told our players I've been in every situation you can possibly dream of. I've been in the most brutal losses. I've been into games where you make buzzer shots to win championships. I won championships, I lost them. Okay. This is what we played the whole season for this moment. And that's what we're going to do, take care of business.

Q. Talk about that last sequence, the last play of the game. Did you get the shot you wanted or is that what you planned for or what transpired there?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: Well, no, it wasn't the shot we wanted to. We wanted to get the ball in Deanna Nolan's hands to go to Pee Wee to get a shot. She felt she was unable to get her own shot and passed it to Tweety. It didn't go in.

Q. Could you just talk about Plenette and what she was able to do offensively to hit 9 or 10 from the floor?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: She played outstanding offensive- wise. She turned the ball over a little too much, but she was very aggressive, made her shots, we needed to get a few more defensive rebounds for us because that's one of the keys, that is, I thought kept them in the game is they got too many offensive rebounds today and that's two games in a row after we talked about it. So we have to work harder on that one.

Q. Cappie in the second half, was she, were you guys slow to help on defensive end or was she just really beating you right down the lane?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: We don't really help very much. We're a very sound individual defensive ball club. So we play good one-on-one. Our guards are outstanding defenders, I thought Cappie Pondexter made some big shots. They weren't, they were very well contested, that's what great players do. They make great shots. And give her all the credit in the world.

Q. Do you feel at all like one slipped away when you look at Penny Taylor and Tangela Smith they were 2-21 from the floor when they both have an off night like that that you weren't able to capitalize?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: That happens. We can say the other way too. Look at our -- Cheryl Ford 2-9 and Pee Wee, 2-7. So it's just the way the game flows, that's all.

Q. Could you please talk about your experience in elimination games 7-0. Obviously a tough loss, but do you feel that you're going to bounce back?
COACH BILL LAIMBEER: We play for the moment. That's what we do. And today was no exception. I thought we came -- we played hard. We didn't get it done. We didn't play smart, we played with enough fire and intensity to give ourself a chance to win. We like games like this. We enjoy elimination games. It makes us concentrate, it makes us play hard for the entire game. And that's what we're looking forward to in Game 5. We're going to have a packed house, it's going to be a zoo like it always has been the last couple times we won championships in Detroit and hopefully it's going to spur to us bigger and better things.
KAREN KASE: Thanks a lot, coach.

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