As the league celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX over the weekend, the San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm are the teams to watch this week as they are both on their road to recovery.
After sluggish starts for both teams to start the season, the Silver Stars and Storm are red hot after racking up impressive wins worth chatting about.
But the defending champion Minnesota Lynx shouldn't feel threatened -- yet -- as they continue to clobber their opponents to the tune of a 12-1 record. Time to rank 'em!
|2012 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: 6/26|
|TEAM (last week)||W / L||NOTES|
The Lynx are back to their ferocious ways after losing their first game of the season the week before to the Seattle Storm. Fans feared the Lynx would lose again over the weekend to the New York Liberty when the game at one point had the Lynx losing, 28-17. But the team kicked things back into gear and trounced the Liberty, 102-70. The Lynx continue to dominate the rankings week after week this season, but they shouldn't take that for granted.
Upcoming Games: 6/27 vs.Phoenix, 7/1 @San Antonio
Los Angeles (2)
The Sparks reclaim the No. 2 spot on the rankings board this week as the only other team in the league with double-digit wins. But it may not last for long. The team's star Candace Parker, plagued by injuries in the past, sat out a game over the weekend with a sore knee which could spell trouble down the road if it continues. After losing to the Silver Stars on Sunday by 20 points, the Sparks need their other players to step it up this week if they want to stay high on this list.
Upcoming Games:6/26 @ Tulsa, 6/28 @San Antonio
The Connecticut Sun start the week with the best record in the East after beating the equally tough Indiana Fever at home last week. But the Sun ended up losing to the Fever a few days later in Indiana by more than 30 points. In fairness, Connecticut center Tina Charles is still one of the league's leading scorers and the team is still on top of the Eastern Conference. This week should indicate whether or not that 30-point loss was just a hiccup.
Upcoming Games: 6/29 @ Washington, 7/1 vs. Seattle
San Antonio (6)
The San Antonio Silver Stars continue climb up the board this week after an impressive win over the Los Angeles Sparks by 20 points over the weekend. In fact, it's the team's second win over the Sparks this season. Sophia Young put up 20 points in the game shutting down the Sparks' 7-0 start at home. The team stays steady at .500 and are likely to continue rising if they keep the pace going.
Upcoming Games: 6/28 vs. Los Angeles, 7/1 @ Minnesota
The Indiana Fever by no means played poorly last week and their standing even this low in the rankings has more to do with other teams gaining ground than them losing it. After losing to the Connecticut Sun by three points on the road, the Fever came home a few days later and beat the Sun by 30 points, sinking 15 3-pointers in the process. But the team followed that explosive game with an only three-point win against the Tulsa Shock -- a team with the worst record in the league. Overall it was a head-scratching week of gameplay for the Fever, but it cannot be classified as a poor one.
Upcoming Games: 6/27 @Chicago, 7/5 vs. San Antonio
After surging up the board last week after beating the Minnesota Lynx, the Seattle Storm followed that up with back-to-back wins a few days later. The team is currently on a four-game winning streak as Sue Bird and the gang continue to put up solid numbers night after night. The team was shaky coming out of the gate this season, but now are playing like worthy postseason competitors.
Upcoming Games: 6/26 @Washington, 6/30 @ New York
The Chicago Sky's hot streak has begun to sizzle with the absence of their star player Epiphany Prince. Prince is sidelined with an injury and is expected to be out of action for 6-8 weeks. The team lost to the Lynx over the weekend by 12 points, but considering how dominant the Lynx are to begin with, the Sky's games against other teams this week will be a better indicator of how much Prince's absence will hurt the team this season.
Upcoming Games: 6/27 vs. Indiana, 7/5 vs. San Antonio
The Atlanta Dream faced the possibility of losing their star Angel McCoughtry, the league's top scorer, long term to an injury. Luckily for the Dream, that wasn't the case. After sitting out two games last week, McCoughtry was back in action over the weekend picking up 23 points in the team's win against the Liberty. Most of the team's losses have been by narrow margins, so if Atlanta can just manage a few more baskets or a few more stops each game, they will be in good shape come playoff time.
Upcoming Games: 6/26 vs. Indiana, 6/29 @ Tulsa
New York (10)
The New York Liberty have had trouble getting into a groove this season and last week was no different with back-to-back losses to the Lynx and Dream. And their tiny bump up in the rankings this week actually has more to do with other teams sinking on the board. Individually though, the Liberty are playing exceptional. Against the Lynx, Cappie Pondexter scored 30 points - but that amount was almost the same number of points they ended up losing by. The Liberty have a capable roster and it's going to be up to coach John Whisenant to get them to play better collectively.
Upcoming Games: 6/30 vs. Seattle, 7/6 @ Chicago
The Phoenix Mercury might have jumped two spots on the board this week, but frankly it has more to do with the fact that they didn't lose as bad last week compared to the Mystics and Shock. The team has lost four out of its last five games and has had its confidence shaken up greatly since losing its top star Diana Taurasi to injury. The Mercury were close to beating the Sparks with a 31-point scoring frenzy in the fourth quarter over the weekend, but it wasn't enough to get the win. If the Mercury continue to step it up with performances like they had in the fourth quarter against L.A., they'll only get better in the games to come.
Upcoming Games: 6/27@ Minnesota, 7/1 @ Washington
It's hard to ignore the fact the Tulsa Shock are 1-11 this season in making the case that they aren't the lowest team on the rankings board this week. But it's the fact they gave the Indiana Fever, one of the top teams in the East, a quick scare that warrants a miniscule bump up to the No. 11 spot. The Shock went on a 13-2 run in the last few minutes of the game against the Fever, but it wasn't enough to close the deal and the Shock still lost by three points. That being said, it doesn't change the fact the team is 1-11 and needs wins ASAP if they want to go anywhere this season.
Upcoming Games: 6/26 vs. Los Angeles, 6/29 vs. Atlanta
After a tiny bump up last week, the Washington Mystics stumble down to the bottom of the rankings board now that they're on a three-game losing streak. Not only are they losing, they're losing hard with two of those losses coming by 31 and 17 points respectively. Washington has clearly hit some bumps in the road, but the season is still young enough for improvement.
Upcoming Games: 6/26 vs. Seattle, 6/29 vs. Washington