The WNBA Weekly Recap: Week 1

By Josh Cohen

Archives: Today in the WNBA | The WNBA Weekly Recap

The sold-out crowd in Atlanta rejoiced the beginning of a new era as the Dream played their very first game at Philips Arena on Friday night. The 'dream' is now a reality.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
The Perfect Character for a Hollywood Blockbuster

Parker Proves Quickly to be the Real Deal: Candace Parker is a Hollywood spark – literally and figuratively. The two-time collegiate champion set a WNBA record for most points scored in a debut with 34 on opening day in Phoenix and followed that extraordinary performance with a superb all-around effort in Atlanta. Along with the return of three-time MVP Lisa Leslie, who gave birth to her first child last summer, the Sparks are already a championship contender. Not only is she an early favorite for Rookie of the Year honors, Parker is already being discussed as a possible Most Valuable Player candidate. CP3, nonetheless, isn’t the only first-year sensation making headlines. Sylvia Fowles, the No. 2 pick in the draft, Candice Wiggins, selected third, and Alexis Hornbuckle, who rounded out the top four and was a teammate of Parker at the University of Tennessee, have each made significant contributions to their squads. Expect the 2008 draft class to rank as one of the greatest classes in the history of the WNBA.

Watch Out! There's a Storm in the Forecast: They are fittingly nicknamed “The Perfect Storm.” They possess a combined 25 All-Star appearances, 10 WNBA championship rings, nine Olympic medals and six MVP awards. They are the Seattle Storm and after a week of the season, they are a striking 3-1. Perhaps even more impressively, Seattle has overcome daunting deficits to be an early force in the Western Conference. It rallied back from nine down against Chicago, from 13 behind against Sacramento and 21 down against defending champion Phoenix on the road to downpour on its first three opponents. San Antonio, however, behind excellent efforts from All-Stars Sophia Young and Becky Hammon ended Seattle’s perfect start on Saturday in front of a national audience. The million dollar question, nevertheless, for the remainder of the season remains; will the Storm be able to conquer their aging bodies and utilize their experience to win the title?
“If a team can use eight days, it’s probably us to get our stuff together. These three games have gone pretty quick and we haven’t had much time to get back to what we were doing last year."

-- Diana Taurasi, after the Mercury fell to 0-3 on the season. They now will get some much-needed rest before their next contest.

Cappie Pondexter, Mercury
25.3 PPG, 7-18 3-pt FG, 15-19 FT

Candace Parker, Sparks
23.0 PPG, 17-33 FG

Swin Cash, Storm
16.0 PPG, 20-37 FG, 11-11 FT

Katie Douglas, Fever
25.0 PPG, 15-27 FG, 14-14 FT, 6-13 3-pt FG
Vickie Johnson, Silver Stars
4.7 PPG, 5-17 FG, 0-6 3-pt FG

Kelly Mazzante, Mercury
5.0 PPG, 5-18 FG, 5-15 3-pt FG, 0-0 FT

Ivory Latta, Dream
5.0 PPG, 2-16 FG, 1-9 3-pt FG

Nicole Powell, Monarchs
9.3 PPG, 15-46 FG, 0-0 FT

  • Tues. May 27: Fever-Sun, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
  • Thur. May 29: Lynx-Sky, 8 ET (NBA TV)
  • Fri. May 30: Liberty-Sun, 7 ET (NBA TV)
  • Sat. May 31: Sparks-Mystics, 3:30 ET (ABC)
  • Sat. May 31: Shock-Fever, 7 ET (NBA TV)
  • Leslie

    We all know about Seattle’s new additions, Sheryl Swoopes, Swin Cash and Yolanda Griffith. But perhaps the most underrated transaction during the offseason was the trade between Indiana and Connecticut. The Fever dealt Tamika Whitmore to the Sun for Indiana native Katie Douglas on Feb. 19. After one week, it appears both teams made out well. Whitmore has helped guide the Sun to an undefeated start (3-0), while Douglas is averaging 25 points for the Fever, who await the return of All-Star Tamika Catchings as she continues to recover from a foot injury. Meanwhile, the blockbuster trade that sent Taj McWilliams-Franklin to Washington and DeLisha Milton-Jones to L.A. has also been a success. TMF has governed the glass, while DMJ has scored in double figures in her first two games.
    No lead is safe in the WNBA – even if it is a franchise’s first home game. The Atlanta Dream, playing in their inaugural game at Philips Arena, had a “dream” first half against the defending Eastern Conference champion Shock on Friday before Deanna Nolan took over. The former University of Georgia standout fired in 24 of her season-best 33 points in the second half before exiting the game in the fourth with a hyperextended elbow as Detroit overcame an 18-point deficit. The 2006 Finals MVP followed that remarkable performance with a 14-point outing against New York. Meanwhile, another former Georgia Bulldog, Coco Miller, provided some late-game heroics for the Mystics. The twin of Kelly Miller hit a go-ahead layup with 20.9 seconds left against the Comets to lift Washington to a thrilling triumph on Sunday. It was truly a 'peachy' week for 'The Peach State'!