The WNBA has mid-season reports/second half outlooks for each team. Check it out:
Sparks post-game quotes:
Sparks Head Coach Carol Ross
On the difference in the second half: You have to commend Seattle. I thought they came out and played the game with great passion and effort – the way the game is supposed to be played. I thought we played the second half with passion and effort. Effort will beat talent any day and in the first half, it was beating our talent. We did a better job of stepping up in the second half and trying to match their effort.
On playing Seattle without Sue Bird: It’s Seattle against L.A., it’s not L.A. against Sue Bird. The rivalry is strong enough, it doesn’t matter who is in what uniform, you have to be ready to play.
On their strong guard play: They needed to. I thought (Alana) Beard was rock solid and fierce. DeLisha (Milton-Jones) was steady in the storm, no pun intended, just playing that leadership role and keeping people where they needed to be. (Kristi) Toliver has offensive gifts and she used them and hit some big shots when we needed them.
On winning the rebounding battle: We’re the best rebounding team in the league offensively and we should rebound the ball well. We should do it every time we step on the floor, but again we weren’t doing it that well in the first half because rebounding also requires effort. But we did pick it up a lot in the second half and that finishes possessions. When you can get stops, you can control the game.
On battling for the top spot in the West: I’m not too worried about that. Our goal is to get into the playoffs. If we get to that point, then we’ll readjust. We’re just really trying to be a better team every time we step on the floor and not take steps backwards.
On sweeping Seattle in the season series: You know it’s good because it is Seattle, but at the same time we have not faced Seattle at full strength. That’s disappointing, but I’m sure they’re more disappointed than I am. I really wanted to be able to play them in the regular season with their roster full, but we haven’t been able to.
Sparks Forward Candace Parker
On the difference in the second half: We played with a lot more effort in the second half and made a couple of adjustments, but it was mostly just playing harder.
On their slow start: I’d like to say it was a little rust from not playing. We came out a little lax and in the second half we really turned it up. We saw what we could do when we really disrupted them offensively.
On sweeping Seattle in the season series: If we should face them in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter … I don’t think the series matters. In the past it hasn’t. I think we’ve done what we’re supposed to do and we have to continue building from this point on.
On battling for the top spot in the West: We’re in it with two great teams and will face both of them in the next couple weeks so we’ll see where we stand.
Storm post-game quotes:
Coach Brian Agler:
(on being shorthanded in the game): Honestly, respectfully to our team I don’t want to even talk about being shorthanded because that disrespects the people in the locker room. I thought we had a good effort. I thought we came out flat in the third quarter. They got a lead and we fought back and had an opportunity to get back within three with a three-point shot. We couldn’t cut it back anymore. From your standpoint I’m sure you’re looking at our roster and who is on it, but my focus is more on who played. I thought LA really played well in the third quarter.
(not having size inside): They outrebounded us by 12. At the same time we had opportunities. We missed a lot of free throws; we turned the ball over in the second half a lot more than we did in the first. Four turnovers in the first half and we ended up with 15. I thought Tanisha (Wright) really played well. That was nice to see. I think that she’s starting to come back to be herself. We’re going to need her down the stretch.
(Tanisha said she was disappointed in her play against Kristi Toliver): That’s because she’s got a defensive mind set. She looks at it that way and Kristi had a good game. She shot well; she shot a high percentage. I’m sure Tanisha, thinking the way she does, that she’s not real happy with that. In regards to her energy and effort and running the point and scoring for us and being aggressive, I thought she did a good job.
(on playing against Kristi Toliver): I didn’t do a good job on her today. I let her get too comfortable. I didn’t really do a good job of forcing her to do some things that she doesn’t like to do. I just think overall I didn’t do a good job of handling her.
In the second half we didn’t need to come out with the aggression that we needed to come out with. They jumped up on us, and from there it was a battle. We fought we just didn’t have enough gas in the tank.
They did a good job in the second half of starting to deny some passes. We just weren’t getting in to our sets quick enough. We didn’t reverse the ball quick enough to take advantage of that. We just didn’t adjust quick enough.
I think they came back on a lot of our mistakes. They were getting and-ones. We weren’t rotating right. They’re a great team. They have great players. We just had a lot of miscommunications at certain points. We just started picking it back up, but we were too deep in a hole.
(on Lauren Jackson coming back next week): I’m so excited to finally get to meet her. The team is ready for her to be back. We’re excited to have another post player with size. We’re proud of her. She’s being honored in Australia, but we are ready for her to get back.
(on the lack of size inside): It was difficult, but for the most part we held our ground. Sometimes we didn’t have each other’s back and we had some miscommunication, but we battled hard. We didn’t give up and that’s one thing we’re proud of even though we lost. We hate to lose, but with just seven battling in the second half I think we did good.
Gold medal team bonus: