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|IN THE SPOTLIGHT|
Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles
After a slow start, Leslie is starting to pick up her game and had a big performance against Lauren Jackson, Seattle's hot rookie. When Leslie plays hard, demands the ball and gets touches, she's pretty tough to stop. She has great low-post moves, gets to the foul line and is a lot stronger than people think. Leslie has expanded her game and changed it dramatically as she has gotten older. She doesn't handle the ball well enough to play the three, but she can step outside and shoot the three-pointer when she gets her feet set. At 6-foot-6, she always used to sit in the low block. Now Leslie is good at passing out of double teams and knowing how to operate out of the short corner. Plus, her footwork has improved. You can't be in as many international wars and games of significance that she has played and not get better. Leslie is a very hard worker and understands she is playing basketball for a living. There is a possibility she could lead the Sparks to their first championship, as long as they stay focused.
-- Nancy Lieberman-Cline