2005 Record
17-17, .500
(4th in East)

Award Winners & Honorees
Chamique Holdsclaw
Lisa Leslie
All-WNBA Second Team
Lisa Leslie

2005 Draft Recap
Rd. 2 - 26, DeeDee Wheeler
Rd. 3 - 39, Heather Schreiber

Playoff History
Seven out of nine years
Last Appearance
2005, lost in first round

2005 In Review:
What Went Right?

The Los Angeles Sparks finished with a 17-17 record last season, fourth best in the Western conference, edging out the Phoenix Mercury for the final spot in the playoffs. While it looked like the Sparks might miss the postseason, the team rallied around interim coach Joe Bryant and won five of its last seven games down the stretch. They fell in two straight games to the eventual WNBA Champion Sacramento Monarchs in the first round.

While it took a while for them to get used to each other, there is not a more potent 1-2 combination than Lisa Leslie and Chamique Holdsclaw. At 32.2 points per game, they were the highest scoring tandem in the league, and they ranked third with 14.1 rebounds per game.

Tamika Whitmore was a solid presence next to Leslie on the frontline, averaging 9.6 points and 4.2 boards per game.

What Went Wrong?

The Sparks' 17-17 record was their worst regular season since 1998. They were used to being a dominant team on both ends of the floor, but they ranked in the middle of the pack in almost every offensive and defensive category.

Coach Henry Bibby was replaced midseason after it became evident that he was not the right choice for the job.

The team was also bothered by injuries all season, with Lisa Leslie a bit banged up early on in the season and Mwadi Mabika missing the first 16 games. A week after Mabika returned, Nikki Teasley was lost for the remainder of the regular season to a injured foot. When Teasley went down, the Sparks proceeded to lose seven of their next nine games, suffering from a lack of a true point guard.

In the playoffs, defense was a major issue. Sacramento shot a blazing .519 from the floor, scoring 78.0 points per game in the two-game sweep.

Head Coach

2005 Starting Lineup
G- Nikki Teasley
G- Tamecka Dixon
F- Chamique Holdsclaw
F- Tamika Whitmore
C- Lisa Leslie

Key 2005 Reserves
Mwadi Mabika
Rafaella Masciadri
Christi Thomas
Doneeka Hodges

Key Additions
Temeka Johnson
Murriel Page

Key Losses
Tamecka Dixon
Nikki Teasley

Looking Ahead To 2006:
Key Questions

The questions with the Sparks start with the coach? Will Joe Bryant be retained to lead the team in 2006?

The Sparks found their chemistry late in the season last year, but they will need to get to know each other again in 2006 with the trade of Nikki Teasley to Washington for 2005 WNBA Rookie of the Year Temeka Johnson and veteran forward Murriel Page. They also lost Tamecka Dixon to free agency.

Still, Holdsclaw and Leslie should be better than ever with a year together under their collective belt and Mabika should be stronger with her injury behind her.

In the Teasley trade, the Sparks moved up from No. 8 to No. 5 in the 2006 WNBA Draft. With four standout prospects this year, that fifth pick may be the most interesting spot in the first round. They also hold picks Nos. 22 and 36.