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October 8, 2013

Cheryl Reeve


LYNX – 88
DREAM - 63

CHERYL REEVE:  I thought a solid effort, defensively not as good as Game 1, but I thought in spurts we were pretty good on both sides of the ball.  Sloppy, sloppy with our turnovers, 20 for 25 points, that's not something we can do against these guys, and that's what they do, they thrive on turning people over.  They won that category.  Our effort on the glass was something that I told them that I really enjoyed watching.  I really have enjoyed them embracing the idea that if we get that done we have a chance to be successful and they have really owned it through two games, and I've been impressed.

Q.  On rebounding tonight, you out‑rebounded them 40 to 22 and Brunson had seven in the first quarter.  Did that set the tone for this game?
CHERYL REEVE:  It did, and that's what we told Rebekkah.  I thought Rebekkah played an outstanding game.  You know, she always gives us the defense, the intensity there.  The way that she was going to get rebounds was really impressive, and I think that's contagious and she knows that, so we need that from her, and she got that done.
I think it helped her a little bit to be around the glass, close to the glass, not having to run around the perimeter, specifically a little better position to hunt those down, and she set the tone for us.  I thought she played great in terms of her offense, got good looks.  She made extras, able to penetrate and kick.  I just thought her game was a really, really good one.

Q.  You cut Atlanta's points in the paint by 18 from the first game and 13 of 30 overall.  How do you think that complicated things for them as they finished with 35 percent field goal shooting?
CHERYL REEVE:  Well, you know, clearly you always want a balance.  You want to be able to throw the ball inside when you want to, and then you want to be able to make outside shots, and so it kind of ebbs and flows.  They go through a period of time where they tried to throw in to deSouza.  They tried to use Henry, which was the reason why they started her, because she had success last game.  I thought our defense in the post, as I've told Janel and Rebekkah, I just thought it was outstanding.  Deb was solid, but J and B were really, really good, really hard to play against.  They made them work for touches.
And then I thought when they fought the post and they had lobs available, our backside helped us really timely, whereas last game we were just a tick late and just deSouza's being able to catch it and get it up off the glass and score lay‑ups.  But I thought we were much better in that area tonight.  Our post defense was terrific.

Q.  You set a WNBA Finals record for shooting percentage tonight.  How has this group come into these two games and been able to just put such complete games together and the biggest ones?
CHERYL REEVE:  You know, I really think, you guys will think I'm crazy, but I think our practice guide has really prepared us to be really solid on the offense, and we knew that we wanted to be persistent about moving the ball, and if we could do it against the guys, against their great pressure and double teaming, just putting us under duress, then we thought we'd get to the game and‑‑ not to say it's easy, but if your practice is really, really hard and you get to the game, if you can go against guys you feel like you can play against this group.  But I think we've done that.  We've moved the ball side to side, we've shared it.  That's what I told them.  It's just so endearing to see the way that we move it.  It's fun to watch.  You get easy shots.
We had one stretch for about five or six shots that I thought that we took harder, contested shots and didn't make the extra, and we had that recognition.  We talked about that.  We kind of got back to moving it more.
We have to work at the turnovers.  We've got to handle pressure a little bit better.  We'll watch some video.  I know Whalen will bounce back.  There's nobody that‑‑ I don't have to say a word to her, although I reminded her she had five turnovers at the point she had five.  That's all she's thinking about, I can guarantee you right now.  She can't turn the ball over, especially as we go down to Atlanta.  We've got to clean that part up.

Q.  What message does it send to the rest of the league when you admittedly weren't at your best tonight, yet you still won by dozens?
CHERYL REEVE:  I don't know.  The rest of the league has gone fishing, so I don't think they're thinking much about us.  I just think that‑‑ I think the whole league would tell you their offense is pretty good, and we pose some challenges.  But I think now for the first time in a while, I think we're talking about our defense, and when we're able to play off of our defense we get really good flow, and that just fuels us.  I think that's what's on display here in this series.

Q.  You win by 25 yet you're still your toughest critic.  I find that fascinating how aggressively critical of your own games you guys are, and it's not just you, it's the rest of the team.
CHERYL REEVE:  Absolutely.  You know, we kind of flip on the board, it starts at 200 minutes and we've kind of got a series, the 200, the 160, 120, 80, 40, number of possessions.  There's 80 possessions a game, so there's five games, there's 400 possessions.  And we just kind of look at it, we're just kind of checklist, going down and‑‑ we know, and this is what's great about this group.  When you have your crowd behind you to the tune of 12,000, just really into it, it kind of carries you through tough moments.  When you go on the road, you don't have that.  We'll have some fans down there, which will be fun, but it's going to be one of those situations that we know that if we don't clean up the turnovers, if we don't continue penetration and we don't rebound, we won't win down there, and we don't want to come back to Minneapolis.  We come back to Minneapolis, it's going to be for a parade, not to play Game 5.
So we know that's what the team was thinking about.  We're really happy with the win.  We've worked really hard.  We have this ability to kind of analyze ourselves in a way that we look in the mirror, what can we do better.  You know, we're just trying to strive for that perfect game to close out the series.

Q.  You're up two games to nothing, best of five.  Is the trophy in sight?
CHERYL REEVE:  You know, I think it's one of those things that it's hard not to have the emotion that you need one more win and you have three games left.  I don't care how we get there.  One and two over the next two games, I don't care which one is the one, but we're going to work really hard to try to win the next one.  If we're not successful there‑‑ is it in sight?  Sure, it's in sight, because you've got to win one more game.  I know that's the emotion that came over me as that game ended:  One more.  But we know it's going to be really, really hard, but it's definitely something that you can‑‑ they say you can kind of taste it.  But we've got‑‑ this is the team that's played really well down there.  They've got a great home record, and we're going to have to be good because I think we've angered them for two games.  They're very prideful, and they're going to work really hard to win their two‑‑ that's all they have to do is win two home games and bring it back here and see what happens in Game 5, and that's going to be their mission.

Q.  The last time you guys played the Dream in The Finals, it was all Seimone versus Angel, and this year you have warner who has come into her own.  Were the Dream doing something to affect Maya or was she just deferring to Seimone?
CHERYL REEVE:  That's kind of how we do, when Maya comes out and plays well like she did in Game 1, we run a little more stuff towards her.  We went into this game, wanted to establish Seimone.  I thought Maya had a couple shots early that she ordinarily would knock down, and so we just kind of knew, although I could tell you, I thought she was going to go off for 30 tonight the way she's played.  But it just didn't happen, so by design Seimone was playing well, and we had a lot of play calls towards her.  That's just the beauty of our team.  We were fortunate that Seimone was able to be successful.  Seimone had to work for it.  I that you will Angel was up on her and pressured her and played some pretty good defense, but Seimone was locked in.  Her energy, and when she gets excited and joins the crowd‑‑

Q.  She likes to‑‑
CHERYL REEVE:  She does, she does.  So I think for Maya, Maya had to work for what she got tonight, and it was mostly second half, third quarter where I thought she came to play.  But I don't‑‑ I think we have recognition that it was Seimone's night versus Maya's night.

Q.  Do you think that with two victories you have to warn that you don't get complacent?
CHERYL REEVE:  Yeah, I think at this point in time, they tune me out, that kind of stuff.  I've got to give them more credit.  I told them, I feel like we've had the best offensive team in the league.  We've had in my view maybe not the best but one of the best defensive teams, and I told them tonight I wanted to add the label, I think we've got the smartest team in the league when it comes to maturity and experience and we're seasoned in so many different situations.
So I need to give them credit, and it's something that they understand.  This next win is going to be really, really hard to get, and they know it.  So while‑‑ I told them, we have to tune out so much of what is being said, whether it's family members, it's friends, it's Perkins over here saying it's not going to be game, just kind of planning the parade.  We can't go there.  We appreciate the confidence of all of our family and friends, fans, but this group in there, they're very, very focused and determined.  Five minutes, one possession at a time.  Five minutes at a time, one possession at a time.  We have just been so locked into that, and that's been the key to our success.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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