19-15, .559 (3rd in West)
2007 Starting Lineup
2007 Key Reserves
2007 Draft Recap
2008 Key Additions
2008 Key Losses
As the 2007 season kicked off, the Sacramento Monarchs exhibited the strength and talent that landed them in the WNBA Finals the previous two years. Under first-year coach Jenny Boucek, the Monarchs rolled to the best record in the West at the break despite losing DeMya Walker to a knee injury just a few games in. But the team’s motor slowed in the second half as injuries began to catch up with it and the Monarchs finished the regular season with a 19-15 record. That trend continued in the first round of the postseason as the Monarchs were ousted by San Antonio in a hard-fought series that went the distance.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Rebekkah Brunson replaced the injured Walker in the starting lineup and was a powerful force on the frontline, as she averaged 11.5 points and 8.9 rebounds and earned her first ever All-Star selection. Accompanying Brunson was another youngster, Nicole Powell, who proved to be a versatile player at the forward spot. A threat from both inside and outside, she averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 boards per game in 2007.
Guard Kara Lawson, who could easily start on most WNBA teams, thrived in her role as sixth woman with Sacramento and averaged 11.0 points per game, good for third-best on the team.
The reliable and savvy Ticha Penichiero distributed the ball well all season, as she averaged 4.5 assists per game. Also a tough defender, she averaged a team-high 1.53 steals.
WHAT WENT WRONG
For the first time in three years, the Monarchs failed to make an appearance in the WNBA Finals, as injuries and age plagued the squad. Walker went down early and Sacramento staple Yolanda Griffith was not in full force for much of the season due to nagging injuries that included a hyper-extended knee and an injury to her thumb.
While the Monarchs were their stingy selves on defense, they struggled offensively. Sacramento hit only 41 percent of their shots from the field (third-worst in the league) and nailed only 77 percent of their free throws (fourth-worst in the league).
The Monarchs said goodbye to only one member of their rotation from last season, as backup point guard Kristin Haynie was chosen by the Atlanta Dream in the expansion draft. Still, with Griffith and Penichiero in the latter stages of their stellar WNBA careers and it being unclear how Walker will return from her knee injury, the Monarchs have needs to address.
Fortunately for the Monarchs, they already have young stars to build around in Brunson and Powell. And since both play on the frontline, it may behoove the Monarchs to look towards the back court with their four drafts picks, the first being at 10th overall.
However, three of those four draft picks will come in the third and final round between Nos. 38-43, meaning unless the Monarchs have some gems slip to them in that third round, they’ll need to do their homework to find players that can crack their roster.