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October 6, 2013

Cheryl Reeve


DREAM – 59
LYNX - 84

CHERYL REEVE:  We opened the first 20 minutes the way that we wanted to.  It was establishing how we were going to play and it was going to be off our defense, our tough defense.  And once we cleaned up some of the turnovers, we got rhythm on offense and played off our "D" and had a solid first half.  All in all, the game execution was solid.
But they got 44 points in the paint.  They out‑painted us, 16 offensive rebounds, so we did a lot of things well, but the numbers for them continue to be impressive.

Q.  Can you talk about specifically what you got from Monica tonight?
CHERYL REEVE:  Well, I saw her quotes when you guys spoke to her.  She understands that these series are about X factors and she views herself in that way.  We know that the starters are going to go head‑to‑head and beat each other out.  And it's about the peripheral players, the X factors, if you will.
I shared a story with Monie about the 2001 Finals the Charlotte Sting.  We ended up in the playoffs and knocked off the No. 1 seed in Cleveland.  And I told her it wasn't the star players, it was Tonya Edwards and Shalonda Enis, not two of the star players.  So giving her a game plan, make her feel comfortable to accept up.  Anytime she has that focus about her and poise, really good things happen to her.

Q.  Coach, 15‑0 run in the second and that allowed you to run away with this.  How did you create that run and how do you think that kept feeding upon itself in the second half?
CHERYL REEVE:  First off, that suit is a nice look on you, impressive, really handsome, cleans up well!
It happened so fast I didn't realize it.  We were in the moment trying to win every possession, and our offense sputtered at the end of the second quarter which was frustrating, as far as our execution.  We put them in challenging situations and they had a hard time buying shots, finding shots.  Some of the shots they were taking were challenged.  They were trying to get between help defenders and I thought our help defenders did a nice job of walling up and taking a legal positions.
So they had some situations against our help "D" that I thought was challenging and that allowed us to get the separation.  And we rebounded in that stretch.  I thought we competed for boards in that stretch and that allowed us to get separation.

Q.  Cheryl, you learned what a Game 1 loss can do last year.  How well are you set up for next game, executing so well that well in the game?
CHERYL REEVE:  More than anything every player in that locker room, maybe with the exception of the rookies who will talk a good game, but they really don't know, it's their first "gig" at it, the notion that it's just forty minutes.  We started the 200‑minute series exactly the way we wanted to.
There were players in there disappointed and we will see video and clean things up.  But forty minutes is in the book.  Last year's first game has zero bearing on this series.  Last year's Game 2 has zero bearing.
We're seasoned, we have faced adversity, so we know how to handle things.  We know that these forty minutes that we played have no bearing on Game 2.  It will be amazing how different Game 2 is versus Game 1.
It's all about adjustments.  Each player feels something different on any given day, and, you know, we're going to come out there and look at our game plan, see what works, see what we need to fix.  They're going to do the same thing and it will be a brand new forty minutes.

Q.  Coach, can you discuss the defensive effort against McCoughtry and Thomas?  Combined they went 9‑for‑39 tonight.
CHERYL REEVE:  I liked what we did with McCoughtry, a challenging guard, especially when they started small.  We do have Rebekkah Brunson, who is agile, thrives on playing great defense.  I thought her help defense, once she stopped leaving her feet and going for breaks, I thought she was solid.
Jasmine Thomas had a hard time identifying what shots to take.  But I fully expect those two players will be ready for the shots that they get and we will have to be better on our close outs, especially for Jasmine Thomas.

Q.  Aren't you excited, giddy at what your club did tonight?  You came at them in waves.
CHERYL REEVE:  We did.  I told them congratulations for playing the defense that we worked on all week.  We spent a lot of time driving home what need to do happen.
You know, I promised them if they did these things we would win Game 1.  So on that front, I'm excited.
But from the standpoint of being experienced and knowing how long this series is and how you have to stay focused, we talked about it being a 200‑minute series, these guys played 80 positions, that's 400 possessions.  We have a long way to go.  We're only 78 possessions into this thing.
So while I'm excited for these guys that we did some things well, this game is in the books, and we'll get ready for Game 2.

Q.  Obviously they took a lot of shots, didn't make as many as she wanted to, did you feel that they were getting good shots and not knocking them down or did you think you were contesting the shots?
CHERYL REEVE:  I will have to see the video.  I thought we contested near the basket where we needed to, I thought we had the help defenders like we wanted.  I know early in the game they were trying to establish Erika de Souza, a challenging player to defend.  I just thought that our help defense was good.  And I have to watch the video to be sure, but we'll identify that, some of the shots they were getting.  If we say we'll give this one again we'll be concerned about it, but I thought for the most part, the execution and where we wanted the shots to come from, for the most part that's where they were taking them from.
It worked for us in Game 1 and we'll have to see going forward what we want to do for Game 2.

Q.  How would you characterize what Janell did tonight?
CHERYL REEVE:  I appreciated the heck out of her, she was warrior.  She had a couple of tough physical days and she put it all aside for us.  Knowing how important Game 1 is in a series, she was hurting and she was able to focus through that.
So I was impressed at the warrior nature of what she did.  She didn't think about it when she was out there.  I'm sure when she walked off the court, I'm sure she is feeling it now, but I appreciate the heck out of it and I know her teammates do, too.

Q.  Almost 14,000 in attendance.  Any comment on the support from the community?
CHERYL REEVE:  Yeah, you know, Lindsay and I were talking about it, great game, we saw the pompoms on the chairs, and we were excited.  And our game ops crew did a great job of building the game, there was momentum.  I wanted to rip off, it's actually an orange suit, they were calling it red.  I was trying to be cool like the players and wear the orange.  But the environment in there, it was like, it was really cool, it was exciting!  I can't imagine what it would be like to be a player to go out there and go hoopin' in front of all those players.
And Lindsay and I talked about how our fans have brought it all year.  Even before we got to the playoffs, they have been tremendous and really, really proud to represent the league that we have.  We're on ESPN worldwide and what a show our fans put on tonight.  So kudos to them and our business and the game ops crew.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.  We will have Atlanta players in 10 seconds.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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