Los Angeles Sparks
The addition of Chamique Holdsclaw will take pressure off all-world center Lisa Leslie (17.6 points), but the Sparks will miss DeLisha Milton-Jones's defensive presence in the paint.
One missed jump shot kept the Sun from sweeping the best-of-three championship series last season, and the core group is back, along with 7'2" free-agent center Margo Dydek.
A championship hangover resulted in a disappointing '04 season, but coach Bill Laimbeer says the Shock has renewed focus. The team's success will depend largely on how quickly forward Swin Cash (16.4 points) returns from a torn left ACL.
The team traded away several savvy veterans but got second-year forward Nicole Powell in return. It still will be anchored by 35-year-old center Yolanda Griffith (14.5 points) and 30-year-old guard Ticha Penicheiro (above, 4.9 assists).--Trisha Blackmar