WNBA Player Rankings: Week 2

SECAUCUS, N.J., May 29 -- Nothing like tipping things off with a bang.

Reaction was fast and furious to last week's pick of Candace Parker as the leader in the MVP race. And, surprisingly to yours truly, not all of it was negative.

"Candace Parker is the real deal," wrote Ken from Churchview, Va. "Barring injury, she will definitely revolutionize the WNBA and the women's game."

"Without a doubt, Candace Parker is going to do things that no other WNBA player has ever done in her rookie season," Shanitra of Rye Brook, N.Y. agreed.

Lane from Jackson, Tenn., chimed in as well, saying, "Candace Parker is, without a doubt, the next MVP/Rookie of the Year. She has MAD game."

Mad, too (but in the other way), was Rich from St. Joseph, Mo.: "Dude," he eloquently suggested, "it's only one game. Chill."

"One game does not an MVP make," quipped Dave from Glendale, Ariz. "Last time a pro basketball player won both Rookie and MVP awards, it was Wes Unseld in 1969 and it's never been done in the W. Besides, MVPs are supposed to shoot better than 50 percent from the free throw line, aren't they?"

Thanks, Dave, both for the history lesson and the snappy one-liner to finish me off.

As much as I had that one foot firmly planted on the Candace Parker bandwagon, Glendale Dave is right: One game does not an MVP make.

Candace's fiery start simmered with her slightly more pedestrian 12-point, seven-rebound, six-assist performance in Sunday's win over Atlanta.

She'll still figure prominently in the MVP race moving forward, but we have a new leader:

Line of the Week
Seimone Augustus (Lynx)
May 27 win vs. Comets
25 points, nine rebounds, four assists

And her name is Katie Douglas.

After an offseason trade from Connecticut -- her WNBA home for the past five seasons -- to Indiana -- her hometown team, Douglas has been the league's best, most consistent and most valuable player in the early going.

"KT is such a competitor," said Fever head coach Lin Dunn after Indiana's 73-46 victory on Tuesday over the Sun, Douglas' former team. "She is one of the fiercest competitors that I have ever coached in my 30-plus-year career.

"She is so competitive and brings that great leadership. And I know this was a big game for her, coming back, she was relentless in her leadership and her intensity and she carried it over to the other players."

If she continues to provide that leadership, intensity and scoring when Tamika Catchings returns to the Fever lineup, Indy will be sitting pretty come playoff time.

Now here are the player rankings for the season through May 28.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Katie Douglas, Indiana Fever
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    24.3 6.0 3.7 1.7 0.0 .533 .941
  • Last Week's Rank: 2
    Part of arguably the offseason's biggest transaction, Douglas has been amazing since coming home to Indiana. Her per-game numbers dwarf her career averages, she's still one of the league's top defenders on the perimeter and she may even get better when Tamika Catchings returns to the Fever lineup.

  • 2. Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    23.3 5.3 1.3 2.3 0.3 .596 .824
  • Last Week's Rank: 3
    Young continued her beastly play down low this past week for the Silver Stars, and like I said last week, the arrival of Ann Wauters only makes her a bigger threat.

  • 3. Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    23.0 9.5 7.0 1.5 1.0 .515 .667
  • Last Week's Rank: 1
    You know there are big-time expectations for a rookie, when experts (re: I) call 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists "pedestrian." Who are they (re: am I) kidding? Her scoring may come down a smidge, but her rebounding and playmaking abilities have impressed even the harshest critics.

  • 4. Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix Mercury
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    25.3 3.7 5.0 0.3 0.0 .415 .389
  • Last Week's Rank: 4
    This WNBA.com blogger is leading the league in scoring and has truly become one of the league's marquee stars. Once the Mercury start winning again (it's bound to happen, right?), she'll creep even further up this list.

  • 5. Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles Sparks
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    15.5 11.0 2.0 3.0 5.0 .433 .714
  • Last Week's Rank: 8
    Leslie's scoring numbers may not be as gaudy as in years past, but she's finding other ways to contribute, posting career highs so far in rebounding, steals and blocks. A fourth MVP award isn't out of the question.

  • 6. Lindsay Whalen, Connecticut Sun
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    14.8 4.3 6.5 1.2 0.0 .457 .852
  • Last Week's Rank: 11
    One of the only remaining stars from Connecticut's run to the Finals, Whalen has been the guiding light behind the 3-1 Sun and Coach Mike Thibault's go-to player this season.

  • 7. Alana Beard, Washington Mystics
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    20.3 1.7 3.3 1.7 1.7 .465 .818
  • Last Week's Rank: Unranked
    One of the league's more versatile guards, this probable Olympian has helped the Mystics to two straight wins since falling in her season debut. Her 25 points in Tuesday's win suggest she's fully healthy after an early season injury.

  • 8. Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.5 5.5 3.5 0.5 1.5 .469 .875
  • Last Week's Rank: Unranked
    The 2-0 Lynx are getting solid play from rookies Nicky Anosike, Charde Houston and Candice Wiggins, but Augustus is the team's leader on the court. A dynamic scorer with incredible talent, Augustus, like aforementioned classmates Sophia Young and Cappie Pondexter, has taken the step up to WNBA superstardom.

  • 9. Lauren Jackson, Seattle Storm
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.8 6.3 1.5 1.8 1.2 .424 .929
  • Last Week's Rank: 10
    The WNBA's reigning MVP has struggled a bit with her shot so far in 2008, but her 30-point game against Phoenix is evidence that it's just a matter of time before she's shooting up the rankings again. Despite names like Cash, Bird, Swoopes and Griffith, she's still Seattle go-to scorer.

  • 10. Swin Cash, Seattle Storm
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.0 5.8 2.3 0.5 0.8 .522 .941
  • Last Week's Rank: Unranked
    Cash has been money since joining the cadre of stars in Seattle. She's averaging over 30 minutes a game, is contributing down low and in transition and her scoring numbers are reminding fans of her heyday of 4-5 seasons ago.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Deanna Nolan (Detroit): 14.4 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.0 RPG (NR)
    12. Diana Taurasi (Phoenix): 22.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.3 APG (7)
    13. Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Washington): 15.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG (NR)
    14. Tina Thompson (Houston): 18.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.7 APG (NR)
    15. Plenette Pierson (Detroit): 17.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.8 APG (9)

  • Dropped out: Tamika Whitmore (Connecticut), Sue Bird (Seattle), Asjha Jones (Connecticut), Rebekkah Brunson (Sacramento), Katie Smith (Detroit), Charde Houston (Minnesota).
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    Video

    Storm vs. Shock

    Odyssey Sims scores 21 points and Glory Johnson goes for a double-double in the Shock’s 80-74 win over the Storm.

    Mystics vs. Liberty

    Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

    Sky vs. Stars

    Kayla McBride scores 16 points to help the Stars take down the Sky, 92-74.

    Mystics vs. Liberty

    Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

    Hartley Ties It Late

    Bria Hartley drives and gets the bucket to tie the game with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.