This much is guaranteed: a Finals first-timer will represent the East in 2003, and if this season's form holds true, the top-seeded Shock stands a good chance of making it out of the Eastern Conference to face the Sparks or the Monarchs. Detroit swept the season series from Connecticut, 4-0, with no game closer than nine points and the average margin of victory 14 points. The well-rested Sun is scorching, however, and will try to ride the hot hand of Taj McWilliams-Franklin (18.0 ppg, .632 FG% in the first round) into the Finals.

2003 Regular Season: Detroit Shock 4 - Connecticut Sun 0
Some fast facts about the Shock-Sun East Finals matchup:

Former UConn star Swin Cash ('02) will return to Connecticut to face the Sun. Cash averaged 19.5 ppg in Detroit's four wins over Connecticut. Fellow UConn standout Nykesha Sales ('98) led the Sun in scoring against the Shock with 14.8 ppg.
The Shock may be the East's top team, but Connecticut is currently on a five-game winning streak, and they just won their first playoff series in franchise history (the Sun made the playoffs once while in Orlando but lost in the first round).
Further bolstering Connecticut's chances, the Sun was the only team in the playoffs to sweep its first-round series, so the extra rest could be an advantage.


June 5, 2003: Shock 103, Sun 89 | Box score

Shock leaders: Swin Cash (23 pts., 6 asst.), Cheryl Ford (10 pts., 12 reb.)
Sun leaders: Shannon Johnson (24 pts., 4 reb., 8 asst.)

June 22, 2003: Shock 82, Sun 73 | Box score
Shock leaders: Swin Cash (22 pts.), Cheryl Ford (12 pts., 21 reb.), Elaine Powell (16 pts., 5 asst.)
Sun leaders: Taj McWilliams-Franklin (28 pts.), Brooke Wyckoff (7 pts., 12 reb.), Shannon Johnson (5 pts., 8 asst.)

July 8, 2003: Shock 66, Sun 50 | Box score
Shock leaders: Swin Cash (13 pts., 7 reb., 3 asst.)
Sun leaders: Nykesha Sales (15 pts.), Katie Douglas (6 pts., 7 reb.), Shannon Johnson (9 pts., 4 asst.)

Aug. 5, 2003: Shock 78, Sun 61 | Box score
Shock leaders: Swin Cash (20 pts.), Cheryl Ford (2 pts., 12 reb.), Kedra Holland-Corn (13 pts., 4 asst.)
Sun leaders: Katie Douglas (14 pts., 6 reb., 4 asst.)

(Photo credits: Swin Cash by Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images; Nykesha Sales by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images)