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Detroit Shock PDF Print E-mail
Written by Abigail Hull   
Thursday, 20 December 2007


Debuting in 1998, they were one of the league's first expansion franchises. They are also the first WNBA expansion franchise to win a WNBA Championship. The team is the sister team of the Detroit Pistons and is coached by Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer.  Their uniform is  white with the team's logo of the stylized Detroit Shock name, in black and blue, over a WNBA basketball at home. Blue with the word "Detroit" across the front for the road jersey.

The Shock were one of the first WNBA expansion teams and began play in 1998. The Detroit Shock quickly brought in a blend of rookies and veterans. The Shock's first coach was hall of famer Nancy Lieberman. The Shock would start out their inaugural season 0-4, but would put together an amazing expansion season, and finish 17-13, missing out on the postseason by one game.

In 1999, the Shock finished 15-17, in a three way tie for the playoffs with the Orlando Miracle and the Charlotte Sting. The Shock and Sting played a one-game playoff, which the Shock would lose 60-54.

In 2000, the Shock would finish with a 14-18 record and would once again end tied for the last seed. This time, the Shock would lose the tiebreaker and not qualify. After the season in the 2001 WNBA Draft, the Shock would draft Deanna Nolan with the #6 pick. She would later develop into the team star. The 2001 Shock would finish the season with a 10-21 record, this time tying three teams for last place in the Eastern Conference.

The 2002 Shock would now finish dead-last in the East with a franchise worst 9-23 record. After the season, Nancy Lieberman was fired and former Detroit Pistons legend Bill Laimbeer was brought in as coach. Laimbeer's ideas influenced the team's front office, who agreed with the new coach's ideas; including bringing over some new players that he felt were necessary for the Shock to become a contender.

After massive changes to the roster, Laimbeer predicted before the 2003 season that the Shock would be league champions, and his prediction would unbelievably come true. The Shock would tear up the East in the regualar season, posting a 25-9 record and winning the #1 seed by 7 games. In the playoffs, the Shock would defeat the Cleveland Rockers 2-1 for their first playoff series win in franchise history. In the Conference Finals, the Shock swept the Connecticut Sun 2-0 to reach the WNBA Finals. Despite the achievements, the Shock were viewed as huge underdogs to the two time defending champion Los Angeles Sparks, who were looking for a three-peat. The Shock would emerge victories in the series, winning a thrilling Game Three 83-78. That game would draw the largest crowd ever in WNBA history (22,076 came to watch). Detroit became the first team in WNBA history to make it from last place one season to world champions the very next season.

The Shock would stumble after their championship season and play mediocre basketball in the 2004 season. The Shock post ed a 17-17 record and qualified for the playoffs as the #4 seed. The Shock played against the New York Liberty, falling in the end 2-1.

The 2005 Shock were much like the 2004 Shock, playing mediocre basketball all season, posting a 16-18 record and make the playoffs as the #4 seed. The Shock would make a quick exit, as the Connecticut Sun would sweep the Shock. 2005 would see the addition of former Piston star Rick Mahorn as an assistant coach to Laimbeer.

The Shock had a very good regular season, posting a 23-11 record and winning the #2 seed in the playoffs. The Shock swept the Indiana Fever in the first round. In the Conference Finals, the Shock played against the Sun again. This time, the Shock emerged victorious from the hard fought series, winning it 2-1. In the Finals, the Shock faced the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs. After being crushed 95-71 at home in game one, the Shock rallied in game 2 to even up the series at 1-1. The Shock were blown out in Game Three 89-69, the Shouck returned the favor crushing the Monarchs in game 4, 72-52, setting up the crucial Game 5 in Detroit. At halftime in game 5, the Shock found themselves down 44-36. But in the third quarter, the Shock outscore the Monarchs 22-9, gaining a 58-53 lead going into the 4th quarter. The Shock held off the Monarchs in the last quarter to win the game 78-73, and the championship 3 games to 2. They became the first WNBA team to win non-consecutive championships and to win the Finals after being down 2 games to 1. They also were involved in the first WNBA Finals to go 5 games.

In 2007, the Shock sought to defend their title and repeat, something they were not able to do in 2004 after their 2003 Finals victory. The Shock would finish with a WNBA-best 24-10 record, and capture the #1 seed in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In the first round, the Shock were heavily favored against a New York Liberty team that wasn't even supposed to be there. But in game 1, the Shock would come out flat and be blown out 73-51. In game 2, the Shock were down most of the game and at one point it seemed the Shock were done. But a late charge by the Shock and missed free throws by the Liberty gave the Shock a 76-73 victory and forced a game 3. Game 3 was a battle, as the game went into overtime. In the end, the Shock would emerge the victors 71-70 (OT). In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Shock would face the Indiana Fever, whom the Shock were bitter rivals with. Much like the Liberty series, the Shock would be blown out in Game 1 75-65. Once again, the Shock would rally to win games 2 & 3 by the scores of 77-63 and 81-65. In the 2007 WNBA Finals, the Shock would face the Phoenix Mercury, who had dominated the Western Conference all year long. The Shock would win Game One 108-100 at home. The Mercury would even the series up in game 2, blowing the Shock out 98-70. The series shifted to Phoenix for games 3 & 4. The Shock would win a rough Game Three 88-83. With a chance to win the Finals in game 4, the Shock and Mercury would battle back and forth all game. When the dust cleared, the Mercury had won 77-76, forcing a final Game 5 in Detroit. But in game 5 at home, the shock were simply dominated, as they lost the game 108-92. With the loss, the Shock lost the series and became the first team to lose the final game of the Finals at home.


The Detroit Shock play at The Place of Auburn Hills located at 5 Championship Drive, Auburn Hills MI 48326 The team offices are in the same building.


For season tickets contact:  

For individual game tickets contact:  The Palace Box Office 248-377-0100

Visiting fans will find seats behind the visitors bench in sections 112, 113 and first few rows of 107C.



The Team website can be found here .


Visitors can fly into Detroit.  Northwest Airlines has their primary hub at Detroit.  Car rental is the only way to the Place.  


There are several chain hotels within 1-2 miles of The Place.


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