The San Antonio Silver Stars were the only team to defeat the WNBA champions in the postseason last year, but that doesn't mean they expect to open 2012 as one of the Western Conference favorites.
New Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg also has realistic expectations after the Shock finished with the league's worst record in each of the last two seasons.
San Antonio goes for its seventh consecutive victory in this series when it visits Tulsa on Saturday night.
After finishing fourth in the conference last season at 18-16, the Silver Stars pushed Minnesota to a deciding third game in the West semifinals before falling in that round for a third consecutive year.
San Antonio last won a playoff series in 2008 when it was swept in the WNBA finals by the Detroit Shock, who would move to Tulsa prior to the 2010 season.
"I'm not going to sit there and say we're going to go through and just beat everybody and walk into the WNBA finals," said point guard Becky Hammon,...