Coach of the four-time WNBA Champion Comets evaluates the 2003 Finals
Coach Van Chancellor is no stranger to the WNBA Finals, but he does admit it feels a little strange sitting on the sidelines instead of on the bench. Chancellor guided the Houston Comets to four straight WNBA Championships from 1997-2000. But the Sacramento Monarchs downed his team in three games in the first round this season, so Chancellor has brought his expertise to the television booth as an analyst for ESPN2. WNBA.com sat down with Chancellor before Game 1 between the Shock and the Sparks.
What are the keys for the Shock in this series?
Chancellor: I don't think there's any doubt -- Detroit has to have the outside shot. (Deanna) Nolan has to be able to make some outside shots so they can draw the Sparks out a little bit.
What are the keys for the Sparks in this series?
Chancellor: The big key for L.A. is to give the ball to Lisa Leslie. Make Detroit guard her so when the Shock double down, Lisa can kick it back out.
How do you rate the Sparks' experience vs. the Shock's home court advantage?
Chancellor: I think with the experience factor. Really good players who have experience negate any kind of homecourt advantage. I think L.A.'s just too experienced, too good.
What kind of a factor is Detroit's run after having the league's worst record last season and making it to the WNBA Finals this season?
Chancellor: I think the Shock, they're a reflection of their coach, Bill Laimbeer. They've got that attitude -- they're a little bit cocky. Like, "We're ready to take on the world. Let's get it going on."
How will the Shock compete against the Sparks in the post?
Chancellor: I think the Shock match up with L.A. very, very well. But I don't think they can match Lisa Leslie's quickness inside. I think that's where the major problem for Detroit is.
What is it going to take to get the Comets back to the WNBA Finals?
Chancellor: We've got to get two more rebounds. We needed two rebounds against Sacramento. We've got to become a better rebounding basketball team if we want to get back to the Finals.