Swin Cash Back in the WNBA Finals

Sep 10 2010 7:06PM
Swin Cash knows a thing or two about winning championships. She won a pair of NCAA titles during her career at the University of Connecticut. She picked up two WNBA titles during her time with the Detroit Shock. She also has an Olympic Gold Medal to her credit from the 2004 Summer Games.

With her Seattle Storm squad set to take on the Atlanta Dream in the 2010 WNBA Finals, Cash is in position to add another ring to her already blinged-out fingers.

While preparing for Sunday’s Game 1, Cash took some time to speak with WNBA.com’s Frank Della Femina about returning to the WNBA Finals after a three-year hiatus, the upcoming matchup with Angel McCoughtry and the Dream, and the Storm finally being healthy during the postseason.

WNBA.com: Here you are back in the Finals after winning twice before with the Detroit Shock. Is it bringing back any memories?

Swin Cash: "It’s great to be back here in this position. For so many years in my career early on this was an expectation that we achieved in a number of years while I played in Detroit so to be back in this position feels really good."

WNBA.com: You’re also reunited with Sue Bird and Svetlana Abrosimova from your UConn days. Are you getting any championship vibes from that?

SC: "It’s a lot of comfort in playing with Sue and Svettie because I played with them for a number of years at Connecticut, so I’m very familiar with them. I just knew that going into the Finals that they’d been there before when it comes to championship experience, so relying to be focused and bringing the energy and doing what needs to be done is something that’s good because it lets you know that there are people who have gone through things with you before that understand what it takes to win."

WNBA.com: With Coach Agler leading the way, what kind of things is he doing or saying to keep the team focused?

SC: "The thing about Brian is that he understands that we have great veteran leadership on the team and he really lets us kind of micromanage in regards to our approach to stuff. It’s not like having a younger team when you need to keep repeating things over and over again. I think this whole year we’ve had a certain focus and a certain tunnel vision when it comes to getting the small task at hand done first and taking it one game at a time and not looking to forward to the future. He understands that that’s what we’re going to do going into this Finals series."

WNBA.com: One of the themes going into the season was, “If Lauren stays healthy…” Well, she stayed healthy and put up an MVP season on top of that. To have her in MVP shape, coming off a 28-6 regular season record, what’s it like to have that leadership from her in the postseason?

SC: "Lauren’s one of the best players in the world, so having her going into the Finals obviously gives us a lot of [leadership]. Just having our whole team healthy is very important. We’ve been banged up the last two years I’ve been here. In the first year we had a lot of injuries and then last year was kind of my first year playing at a top level going into the playoffs and not having Lauren was tough. To come here, in what is now my third year, and everybody be healthy, to have her presence inside will hopefully lead us to a WNBA championship. When she gets the ball on the low block there are things that she’s does with her size that most people in the world can’t do. So I like our chances obviously with having Lauren Jackson healthy going into the Finals."

WNBA.com: Going up against Angel McCoughtry: How do you contain her?

SC: "The good thing is we really don’t focus in on one player. Angel’s a very good, young player in this league and she’s showing her star power, but they have a lot of weapons with Izie [Castro] Marques and some really good bigs inside with [Erika] de Souza and Sancho [Lyttle], so our focus isn’t on one player with the Dream. I think going into the Finals you have to respect each and every player that comes out on the floor and we just have to execute our game plan. If we execute our game plan I think it will take care of itself."

WNBA.com: Do you think Atlanta’s size and presence in the paint will present a challenge? Does one have the advantage over the other?

SC: "I wouldn’t look at it as who has the advantage. We have Lauren Jackson inside and she will obviously be a matchup problem for people and the same thing with them. They can say they have Sancho Lyttle who is one of the top offensive rebounders in the league. So I think it basically comes down to our bigs against their bigs and competing. If we do that we should be fine. A huge thing in this series is who can control the glass, offensively and defensively. We’re a team that focuses in on defense, so we’re going to be locked in defensively and offensively we’re going to try and execute and make them pay."

WNBA.com: The Dream has a similar style of play to that of the Phoenix Mercury. That fast, up-tempo style. Having played against Phoenix in the Conference Finals, are you noticing any similarities between the two?

SC: "For us, one of the best things that could’ve happened to us was playing against a team like Phoenix because to see their speed and their aggressiveness and their attack mentality on the offensive end is very similar to Atlanta. We were able to watch that game film and seeing what we did that was good and see what we did that we need to work on. Atlanta has a little bit more speed on the perimeter but their style of play is very similar."