Welcome to the fifth season of the Detroit Shock, and Tom's fifth year of creating web pages to promote this fantastic sport and this fantastic organization.
After a dismal start this season Coach Williams was released after 11 games and in his place came the baddest of the bad boys, Bill Laimbeer. Bill managed to get the team on the winning track, and during the final third of the season they were playing solid 500 ball with a final tally of 9 wins and 12 losses under Coach Laimbeer.
"Coach Bill Laimbeer as a Piston"
The big trade of the year involved moving post player Wendy Palmer to Orlando for point guard Elaine Powell. Elaine did an excellent job of stepping in and running the offense for the Shock's final 14 games of the year. She finished the season 2nd on the team in scoring, 1st in assists, 1st in steals, and 4th in rebounding. Detroit also did well on draft day taking the 2002 NCAA tournament MVP Swin Cash with the 2nd pick of the draft. Swin had an excellent rookie campaign, leading the Shock in scoring and rebounding. She also finished 13th in the league in scoring and 8th in rebounding.
Game 1: Our first trip to Detroit this year saw Alex, his friend Nathan, and Tom hop in the Montero at 3 PM on Thursday, July 25th heading for the Palace of Auburn Hills to watch the Shock take on the Washington Mystics. The Mystics held a 5 to 10 point lead for most of the first half then came out hot in the second half to take an 11 point lead with 17 minutes to play. The Laimbeer lead Shock then buckled down on defense and clawed their way back into the game finally snatching victory from the jaws of defeat by shooting 100% from the freethrow line in the final minute of play. Swin Cash scored 17 points and Astou Ndiaye-Diatta contributed 12 and 12 rebounds.
"Swin Cash and Sue Bird"
Game 2: July 28th versus the Seattle Storm. Kathy, Alex, and Tom found themselves sitting in $60 second row seats to watch Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird take on the Swin Cash lead Detroit Shock. While I truly did enjoy sitting in the second row, I do have to admit that Detroit was never really in this game. Sue Bird led all scorers by canning several late in the game 3 pointers; however, by that time the victory was well in hand. Kate Starbird and Lauren Jackson did most of the damage for the visiting Storm. Swin Cash played well for the Shock but definitely needs some help inside. The Shock's perimeter play is basically non existent. The Storm did a nice job of going inside then outside with their ball movement.
"Is Lauren Jackson the greatest female basketball player in the world?"
And that's it. We only managed 2 trips to Auburn Hills this year but the games sure where exciting. Swin Cash is going to be a heck of a player. I hope the Shock can get her some support in the post. See you next year! GO SHOCK!!!