Athleticism gives Shock the edge in finals
We've waited all season long. And with two of the game's greatest rebounders, two former champions, one of the sport's best point guards and women's basketball's most prolific outside shooter on board, the WNBA Finals promises to be an enticing series.A look at how the teams -- which split their regular-season series 1-1, match up position-by-position before the games tip off Wednesday (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET):
The Monarchs outscored the Shock 82.5 points to 76 in their regular-season series. Detroit had a narrow edge on the boards, 69-62.
This series will be played closely, but Detroit will win in five games. The Shock have a little bit more scoring and, despite Griffith's domination on the boards, a slight edge in rebounding. If Cash wasn't playing so well and was a non-factor, I might have a different opinion. But right now, the Shock emerge as the early favorite.
Both teams are playing with extreme confidence, but Laimbeer and the Shock are taking it to another level. Playing off of Laimbeer's style and personality -- and even a little arrogance, which isn't a bad thing in this case -- Detroit is just playing well and also very physically.Nancy Lieberman, an ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's women's basketball coverage. Contact her at www.nancylieberman.com.