WNBA.com Power Rankings: June 28, 2005

It only took five weeks, but the dreaded "p" word is back in the WNBA: parity. That makes the voting and compilation of Power Rankings date that much more challenging. Several votes were changed at the last minute and the fluctuations make things look rather different than last week in the middle of the pack. We have a feeling that will continue throughout the course of the summer. Meanwhile, Connecticut, Sacramento and Indiana remain unchanged at the top. 10 teams are currently battling for the 8 spots, though it is still early enough for Phoenix, San Antonio and Charlotte to make a run.

2005 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Five
TEAM (last)
1 10-2The Sun may or MAY be for real. We said last week that the western swing of their road trip would truly define this team for the first half of the season. And what has happened? Well, they're 2-1 so far. The Sun lost only their second game of the season in the first game, a Finals re-match in Seattle, but rebounded to win at Sacramento and Phoenix.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, vs. Minnesota
2 9-3By sheer inertia, the Monarchs stay in the second slot despite splitting their two games in the week that was. Sacramento lost at home to the Sun on Friday night despite Yolanda Griffith surpassing the 3,000-point plateau, but were then able to win a close game on the road at Washington. Like the Sun, the Monarchs will be tested on the road with games at Connecticut and New York this week. We'll see how they fare
Upcoming: at Connecticut, at New York, at Detroit
8-4The Fever stayed hot in beating Minnesota in their only game of the week. But they will be back in action and tested off the bat as the L.A. Sparks come to town. In a scheduling anomoly, the Fever are then off for another week and a half until next Thursday night. Of course that that means they have a tightly-packed schedule after the All-Star break, so every win they can get as a well-rested team will help down the road. Their 5-1 conference record and 6-0 home record are two impressive records so far this season.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles
Detroit (6)
6-5Sunday's come-from-behind win against Los Angeles may be the spark that the Shock need to get them back on the right track and find the early-season success that they enjoyed. Based on their hot start and talent alone, the Shock are at the top of this tight pack of teams hovering around .500. Perhaps the Bill Laimbeer NBA coaching rumors are reall a bit of a distraction?
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento
6-5 What a difference a week makes. Last week, the Comets looked on the verge of falling apart with four straight losses. But two wins against the Silver Stars brought them back above .500. The Comets beat the Silver Stars in their only game of the week, but the pace picks up in the nine days before the All-Star game with four games.
Upcoming: vs. Seattle, vs. Charlotte
7-6Another streaky team so far this season, the Lynx opened up the week with a win against Phoenix, then lost to the Fever in Indianapolis but hung on for a big win at home on Sunday against the Storm. Katie Smith continues to pace the Lynx in scoring, but she is getting help in a number of places on different nights, which makes Minnesota a challenging team to defend.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, at Connecticut
7-6Dropping three slots this week, the Storm actaully went 1-2 since Sue Bird returned from a 4-game break due to her facial injuries. In that first game back, the Storm knocked off the red-hot Sun at home, but then went on the road. Road teams have not fared well in the past few weeks, and Seattle is no execption, losing at L.A. and Minnesota. Two more games remain on the road trip, and Seattle needs a win desperately.
Upcoming: at Houston, at San Antonio
5-5New York was one of the league's hottest teams over the past two weeks, and continued their impressive run back up the standings with a win on Tuesday against San Antonio, but a loss in Charlotte over the weekend brought them back to even. They have one more game at home before embarking on a mini pre-All-Star west coast swing.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, at San Antonio
9 7-6We remain baffled by the Sparks, who have looked like the league's most dominant team as well as the league's meekest team. All in one game. On Friday night, the Sparks knocked off the defending champs at home and carried that momentum into the first half of the game against the Shock on Sunday, opening up a 25-point lead. However, foul trouble and the inability to convert on either end of the floor cost them the lead and that game.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Phoenix
6-7Had the Power Rankings been voted on and written on Saturday, the Mystics would definitely have move up. However, a loss at home coupled with other factos and other teams means the Mystics remain locked in at No. 10. They had won three in a row and got to .500 before losing a close one at home to the Monarchs on Sunday. They are just a win or two away from being the upper half of teams. That's how close it is at this point. A home-and-home with the Sting on Tuesday and Thursday, who have the fewest wins in the WNBA so far this season, could just get them there.
Upcoming: at Charlotte, vs. Charlotte
11 3-11Yes, the Silver Stars have the most losses in the league so far, but a split this past week and a win over the Sting help move the Silver Stars up a notch in the Rankings. Guard Marie Ferdinand has begun to show glimpses of her pre-injured elbow form and rookie Katie Feenstra has become a significant contributor to the team off the bench. They may not have a playoff run in them at this stage in their redevelopment, but they are capable of beating anyone on any given night. Such is life in the WNBA.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Seattle
Phoenix (11)
3-10The Mercury have lost four games in a row and the frustration has certainly been well-documented in the past week. However, Phoenix has a have a week off to prepare for the Sparks and a huge boost in the return of 6-8 center Maria Stepanova to the lineup. It will take some time for her to adjust to the players and the system, but 6-8 is still 6-8, and she has years of international experience playing against the likes of Lisa Leslie, Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson..
Upcoming: at Los Angeles
2-9If any team can use a little momentum, it is the Sting. While Charlotte lost at home to San Antonio last week, they did beat the Liberty at home this weekend to double their win total for the season. The Sting remain the team with the fewest wins, yes, but are one winning streak away from climbing back into the playoff picture and really throwing a wrench into the Power Rankings.
Upcoming: vs. Washington, at Washington, at Houston