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WNBA FINALS: FEVER v LYNX


October 17, 2012


Seimone Augustus

Taj McWillaims-Franklin


MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Game Two

MINNESOTA 66
INDIANA  57


Q.  Seimone, coming into this game, there was a lot of talk about how you and Maya seemed to struggle in the fourth quarter and this time you were able to carry your performance from the third to the fourth.  Describe what was different in Game2.
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  I believe we were more aggressive.  Me and may I can't both went over video, saw shots where they contested and contested hard, and it was a matter of a shot fake, two bumps, jumper, shot fake, drop to the basket we could have had in Game1 that we just kind of settled.  In this game we were a lot more aggressive on the offensive end as far as putting the pressure on them.

Q.  Everyone is talking about the physical nature of the game tonight.  You guys had a physical series with Seattle.  Is there anything that the Lynx and you two individually won't do and won't sacrifice to come back with this second championship?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  Anything we won't do?
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† Is there anything?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  We are going all out.  We don't want to look back on this situation and regret anything.  We want to go out and say that we gave all that we had to bring a championship back here.  Hopefully we do, but if we don't, we can live with it, being able to play as hard as we can.

Q.¬† The turnovers‑‑
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  She took a charge.
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† He said the little part of my heel was on the line.

Q.  I was thinking of the time you attempted the charge and got called on for a block.
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† I get beat up all the time.¬† First game now, Seattle, L.A.¬† It's a habit.¬† I'm a center.¬† I'm used to it.¬†
It's a tough sport.  I think by far, I think the WNBA is a tougher league than any other league besides the National Hockey League.  It's like wrestling.  I love WWE, and all of the skills I know from it come in handy.  (Laughter).
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  What?
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† With a straight face.
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:  (Laughing).

Q.¬† Speaking of that aggression, 24‑3 second‑chance points, 17 offensive rebounds, and you really contained Erlana Larkins on both side of the glass.¬† How did you step up that aggression?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:¬† We had all five rebounding guards.¬† The post did a wonderful job of trying to get a body on Larkins and keeping her outside the paint and not letting her get easy put‑back rebounds or offensive rebounds that could possibly give their team momentum or easy baskets.
You know, you get an offensive rebound, it always leads to a three‑point basket or a three‑point play.¬† And to take that away kind of hurt their team.¬† But we have to take our hats off to our post players for getting down there and being aggressive.
I think they got tired of hearing about Larkins over the last two days and how aggressive she was and how dominant she was on the boards, so it kind of paid off.

Q.  Coach Reeve said that you need to give the team an MVP performance at certain times and you recognized that tonight.  Talk about the fire you had lit under you or what happened.
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS:¬† I always have a fire lit under me; when you play under Coach Reeve, nothing is ever good enough for her.¬† So you know, having to hear about one‑point fourth quarter for the last two days from Roman and the rest of the media, definitely lit a fire.
I didn't have the best first half, but I knew that shots were going to fall if I continued to take the shots that I normally take or at least be aggressive and get to the basket.

Q.  You had to dwell on that Game1 loss for a handful of days.  Can you finally breathe easy now that you've rid yourself of Game1 with this performance here?
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† We had this talk, Tim.¬† We were done with Game1 after the game.¬† We're moving on.¬† It's a 200‑minute series.¬† Now it's the same thing they are thinking, we are going to win one or two at home and move on.
I think for us, the vet team that we have, we can't dwell on anything.¬† It's about sharpening what we do well, which is what we did.¬† We are a fast‑breaking team, set up second, and I think we pushed it at them.¬† We were up and aggressive and doing the things that Minnesota Lynx always do.¬† What got us this far; we took a break in Game1 not doing it as much as we could have.
We watched video and we realized that we had many more opportunities to run, many more opportunities to put them on their heels, and we took advantage of those opportunities more so in Game2 than Game1.
But definitely, when we get back into the locker room, it's over.  On to Game3.  Can't wait to fly to Indy tomorrow and get ready to hoop it up again on Friday.

Q.¬† Taj, what did you think of Coach Reeve's performance before she got the 3, and did that energize you guys a little bit‑‑¬† her throwing the jacket ‑‑
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† The 3?¬† Oh, the tech.¬† You said Coach Reeve got the 3‑‑ okay!¬† Shooting the 3.¬† (Laughter).

Q.  How physical was it, you've played in 62 games in playoffs.  How did this game compare in terms of the bodies flying and all that?
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† Well the first part with Coach Reeve, I know her personally as a friend, not also as a coach.¬† The same fire that Seimone talked about she has, it's always burning.¬† She's a Philly girl, product, Philly people, they don't die, never give up, never say die.
So for me, it was all of that was what she wanted.  She wanted to light a fire under us.  She wanted to light a fire under the refs and everything else and the fans and energize us, which is what she did.  She's very calculating in everything she does.
You all think she's out of control but she's not, by far.  It takes a lot of control to take your jacket off that nicely and hand it to your assistant.
On the second part of that, just the physicality, I'm a physical player.  I'm not the tallest but I am stronger than most players on the court at any given time.
So I don't mind.  You want to beat me up, I'm going to beat you back.  It's going to hurt though, more for you than me.  We can tango, we can dance, baby.  It's going to be painful.  Have Seimone get open; I set great screens.

Q.  You talked about being done with Game1 at the end of Game1 and having a sense of what needed to happen, and still, when you first came out, you were down by double digits, and then there was a massive turnaround.  Small double digits, but double digits nonetheless.  What actually made the transition?  What did you start doing differently or prevent them from doing that changed the whole momentum of the game?
TAJ McWILLIAMS‑FRANKLIN:¬† One thing, we didn't know we were down double digits.¬† That's important not to play attention to the score.¬† It's a long, long game.¬† When you start paying attention to the clock, you start forgetting what you're out there to do.
I think Monica Wright came in and changed the whole dynamic of the game with her pressure defense, getting out of it; hounding Briann January.  In Game1, Erin Phillips and Briann hounded our players.
In Game2, Monica Wright, Candace Wiggins just got up and got in it.¬† She got steals.¬† She was active.¬† Even in fouls, she was active.¬† She was on the ball.¬† You know how tiring that is for someone who has to play‑‑ Briann January has to play 39 minutes and 39 seconds, how tiring having someone always on you?
So for us, that was the turning point.  I think she came in, got some steals, made some things happen for our players and it kind of relaxed the players a lot.  Easy baskets, much more fun than trying to bring it up against a set defense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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