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|2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 2|
TEAM (last week)
|2-0||Another week, another win for the defending champs.
OK, so this one was against winless Minnesota, but there's no reason to
move the Shock out of the top spot. With balanced scoring from Deanna Nolan,
Cheryl Ford and Swin Cash, the improvement of Kara Braxton and the continually
surprising contribution from Plenette Pierson, the Shock will be tough to
Upcoming: vs. Washington, at Houston
|2-0||Another week, another win for
the Fever as well. Indiana's victory, though, was against a solid Sparks
squad. Tamika Catchings remains a top MVP candidate after putting up 24
points, eight boards and five assists against L.A. And with Catch teaming
with fellow All-Stars Tamika Whitmore and Tammy Sutton-Brown in the frontcourt,
the Fever look like the likeliest squad to challenge the Shock in the East.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Washington
|2-1||After a tough opening loss to Detroit, the Monarchs
have looked very solid in road wins over Minnesota and Washington, who collectively
are 0-7 on the season. Two reasons the Monarchs are on the rise? After playing
only six minutes due to injury against the Lynx, Ticha Penicheiro played
23 minutes against the Mystics, putting up 10 points, six assists and four
rebounds. Second, Yolanda Griffith looked more like her usual self, posting
season highs with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Upcoming: at Phoenix, vs. Los Angeles
|2-1||This week, the Sparks sandwiched
a tough loss at home to the Fever with impressive wins at Chicago and at
Connecticut. The 88-68 triumph against the Sun, particularly, provided plenty
of evidence that L.A. will be in the mix in the West. Yes, Taj was solid
against her former club, but Mwadi Mabika and Marta Fernandez both caught
fire, notching 19 points apiece, and Chamique Holdsclaw looked like a natural filling
in for Temeka Johnson at the point. Imagine how many points they'll score
when she gets back.
Upcoming: at Sacramento
|2-1||Wins over the likes of Connecticut and previously
unbeaten Seattle should move you up four spots in the rankings. Becky Hammon
is looking more and more at home with her new teammates each game, and Marie
Ferdinand-Harris has come back solidly from her pregnancy. Erin Buescher
hasn't missed a beat after her WNBA MIP award last season. This team could
be dangerous if Dan Hughes' pieces continue to come together.
Upcoming: at Houston, vs. Phoenix, at Seattle
|2-1||The Storm looked unbeatable
until they were thoroughly outplayed in their loss at San Antonio. They
still have arguably the league's best player in Lauren Jackson, who will
continue to put up amazing numbers. They still have one of the league's
top points in Sue Bird, they still have scoring from Betty Lennox and Iziane
Castro Marques and they still have Janell Burse manning the middle. They'll
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio
|2-1||Their run-and-gun style may not work all the
time, but the Mercury will never be accused of inconsistency, at least in
their approach. This week, Phoenix was simply outgunned by a better Seattle
squad, then outran an outmanned Houston team behind 37 from Diana Taurasi.
The Merc will run all season long with Cappie Pondexter, Penny Taylor and Kelly
Miller, but the team could stick somewhere in the 5-9 range in the rankings.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, at San Antonio, at Connecticut, at New York
|1-2||The Sun are without question
the biggest disappointment so far this WNBA season. After an Opening Day
win in Washington, they've gotten off to terrible starts against both San Antonio and Los Angeles, eventually losing both games at home. The All-Star trio of
Katie Douglas, Nykesha Sales and Lindsay Whalen has been solid, but the
Sun have been terrible on defense and Asjha Jones has struggled trying to
replace Taj McWilliams-Franklin at power forward. Two wins this week could turn things around in a hurry.
Upcoming: at Chicago, vs. Phoenix
Yes, the Liberty are 2-0, tied with Detroit and Indiana atop the East.
But the two teams they've beaten, Chicago and Washington, are a combined
1-5 on the year. Yes, Erin Thorn has been on fire and Shameka Christon
is developing into a very solid WNBA player. Yes, they're on the way up
and will still be better than experts predicted, but with the young roster
the Liberty are sporting, they'll have to beat someone good to be taken
as a legit playoff threat.
|0-3||A playoff team in 2006, the
Mystics have struggled to find their footing in 2007 under Richie Adubato.
This week they lost to a very good Monarchs team and ran into the buzzsaw
that is currently the New York Liberty, but like Seattle, they'll bounce
back. Alana Beard is still playing her way into shape, and the addition
of former Duke teammate Monique Currie (in a midweek trade for veteran Chasity
Melvin) should shake things up, forcing Nakia Sanford and possibly even
rookie Gillian Goring to step up in the middle.
Upcoming: at Detroit, vs. Chicago, at Indiana
|0-2||The Comets are not a bad team. How bad could
they be with three Team USA players (Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Michelle
Snow)? Rookie guard Ashley Shields also looks like the real deal, averaging
20.0 points a game despite her eight turnovers Friday. But Houston simply
hasn't had the depth so far to keep up with the other teams in what is a
very competitive Western Conference. And if Swoopes continues to have two-point
nights, like she did in the Comets' 26-point loss to the Mercury, this will
be a long rookie campaign for new coach Karleen Thompson.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, vs. Detroit
|1-2||Sky coach Bo Overton earned
his first win this week against Minnesota, so there's plenty of reason for
positivity. Candice Dupree stepped up in a major way with 25, Dominique
Canty and rookie Armintie Price will take on increased responsibility after
the trade of Monique Currie and Chasity Melvin will help immensely in the
paint. Chicago still has a long way to go, but the pieces are in place.
Upcoming: vs. Connecticut, at Washington, vs. Minnesota
|0-4||Yes, Minnesota has the league's worst record
and lost at home this past week to a team that won five games in 2006. But
hope springs eternal in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Seimone Augustus continues
to score like there's no tomorrow. Nicole Ohlde appears to be awakening
from her early season slumber after notching 18 and five against the Sky.
And the Lynx have five -- count em, five! -- rookies on their roster, including
two in the starting lineup. Lindsey Harding seems to mature with every game,
and Don Zierden's addition of Tiffany Stansbury provided instant relief
in the paint in the form of 13 rebounds.
Upcoming: vs. Indiana, vs. New York, at Chicago