WNBA.com Power Rankings: June 5, 2007
SECAUCUS, N.J. ó We're over two weeks
into the 2007 regular season, and like every Tuesday, it's time for the latest
edition of the WNBA.com editorial staff's Power Rankings. Detroit and Indiana
retain the top two spots, New York jumps four places, the Silver Stars take
over the top spot in the West and Washington and Houston continue to fall. Take
a look, and let
us know what you think in our Fan Voice.
|2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 3|
TEAM (last week)
|4-0||The Shock hang onto the No. 1 spot, but not by
much after they had 22 turnovers and were forced to rally to beat the winless Comets
in Houston. Detroit also had 24 turnovers in their midweek pasting of the
winless Mystics. Still, their depth makes them the best team in the league.
Their scoring can come from almost anyone on the roster: this week, it was
Swin Cash, Katie Smith and Cheryl Ford. Despite their sloppiness with the
ball of late, they're loaded.
Upcoming: at New York, at Connecticut
|4-0||Indiana came close to overtaking
the defending champs, and the case can certainly be made that they should
be on top. The Fever's depth is comparable to that of the Shock, and their
frontcourt of Tamika Catchings, Tamika Whitmore, Tammy Sutton-Brown and
Ebony Hoffman would match up favorably with Detroit's. Sixth man Tan White
has also been on fire. Still, they didn't appear to have the killer instinct
in a narrow four-point win over the Mystics and they have a tough four-game
week ahead. We'll see...
Upcoming: at New York, vs. Houston, at Washington, vs. New York
|4-2||You have to love the way Dan Hughes has put this
team together. And he deserves a ton of credit for getting them to gel so
quickly. Also deserving of credit is the inimitable Becky Hammon, who took
home the Western Conference Player of the Week award as the Silver Stars
went 2-1. Hammon throttled the Comets on their home floor with 26 points
and nine assists and outplayed both Sue Bird and Betty Lennox in helping
San Antonio to a solid win in Seattle. They lost in a scorching offensive
performance from Phoenix, but imagine how good this team can be if Marie
Ferdinand-Harris regains her All-Star form of several years ago.
Upcoming: at Sacramento, vs. Chicago
|3-2||The Monarchs suffered a tough,
one-point, midweek loss at Phoenix, but eked out a weekend win over their
rivals in Los Angeles despite losing forward DeMya Walker to a knee injury,
seemingly for the season. If Nicole Powell can come close to replicating her
19-point, eight-rebound effort against the Sparks, Sacramento won't miss
a beat without Walker. Whatever the case, defense remains this team's trademark.
They're allowing the second fewest points per game in the league and are
tied for the lowest FG shooting percentage allowed.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, vs. Seattle, vs. Phoenix
|4-0||The Liberty earned this four-spot bump in the
rankings with Sunday's hard-fought home victory over a tough Phoenix team,
especially after coming back from an 11-0 hole to start the game. Erin Thorn
has cooled down a bit after her hot start, but she can still hit the 3-ball.
Loree Moore can score and is an excellent floor leader, and Cathrine Kraayeveld
is a mobile post player who can shoot from the outside. Rookies Jessica Davenport and Tiffany
Jackson are improving and gaining more confidence with each game. It's hard
to see this team on par with the league's elite, but they're far more
competitive this season than even they could have expected.
Upcoming: vs. Indiana, vs. Detroit, at Indiana
|2-2||Yes, Lisa Leslie is out for
a while and Temeka Johnson hasn't stepped onto the court, but the Sparks
will be a force in the Western Conference race. A time frame for Johnson's
return isn't yet clear, but the team has to be delighted by the way Chamique
Holdsclaw has stepped into the point guard role. Marta Fernandez has been
a remarkably pleasant surprise as well, and fellow rookie Sidney Spencer
more than doubled her career high in scoring, notching 22 points Saturday
against the Monarchs.
Upcoming: vs. Minnesota
|2-2||The Storm looked unbeatable in early wins over
Houston and Phoenix, but struggled this week in away and home losses to
San Antonio. Lauren Jackson has been remarkable, but Sue Bird, Betty Lennox
and Iziane Castro Marques struggled from the floor and were collectively
outplayed by the Silver Stars backcourt. But they don't play San Antonio
again until July 7, so things are looking brighter. With a little more consistency
from the guard position, they're a solid playoff team.
Upcoming: at Sacramento, vs. Minnesota
|3-2||After an uncharacteristically
poor start to the season, the Sun had an excellent week, scoring wins over
Chicago and Phoenix. Eastern Conference Player of the Week Asjha Jones is
largely to thank after scoring 31 and 24 points, respectively. Particularly
against the Mercury, Connecticut looked like they did last year when they were the top seed
in the East. Katie Douglas and Nykesha Sales were scoring from all over
the court and Lindsay Whalen was getting her teammates the ball where they
needed it. Le'coe Willingham and Erika DeSouza haven't exactly sparkled
stepping in for the injured Margo Dydek, but they've been adequate. There's
plenty of time for the Sun to come out and prove they're among the league's
Upcoming: at Houston, vs. Detroit
|4-3||"We've had too many highs, too many lows,"
said Cappie Pondexter, perfectly summing up the Mercury's troubles thus
far in 2007. When they're on offensively, this is a team with incredible
skill, style and swagger. But when they're even just a bit off, they're
very beatable. This week, they scored superb wins against Sacramento
and San Antonio, but were then thoroughly outplayed by Connecticut and lost
a tough game in New York. They'll bounce back from the weekend, but the
ups and downs are likely to continue.
Upcoming: vs. Minnesota, vs. Chicago, at Sacramento
|3-3||The Sky are officially competitors
in the East! They lost a tough overtime tilt against a resurgent Connecticut
squad, but Candice Dupree has stepped up in a serious way. She scored 31
in the OT loss to the Sun, then led her team to solid victories Friday and
Sunday over Washington and Minnesota. They haven't beaten a good team yet,
but the more comfortable Dominique Canty gets at the point and the more
involved Chasity Melvin can be down low, the more likely they are to stay
in this playoff race.
Upcoming: at Phoenix, at San Antonio
|0-6||The Mystics have taken over the mantle from the
Sun as the league's most disappointing team. First, they trade Chasity Melvin
for Monique Currie. Next, veteran Crystal Robinson retires. Then, Richie
Adubato steps down and Tree Rollins takes over as interim head coach. On
Friday, DeLisha Milton-Jones asked the home fans in Washington to bear with
them through the team's changes. There is still plenty of talent on this
team, certainly enough to bounce back from this start and get into the playoff
race, but they're simply not clicking. Still, they've been close and showed
plenty of promise in Sunday's narrow loss at Indiana.
Upcoming: vs. Indiana
|0-4||The loss of legend Sheryl Swoopes
for 2-4 weeks with a bulging disc in her back certainly won't help, but
there's some talent on this roster as well. Tina Thompson is still a slam-dunk
All-Star and Michelle Snow is a serious threat down low. But Ashley Shields
has cooled off after a blistering start and the Comets simply don't have
a lot of players who can put the ball in the basket. Recent pickup Barbara
Turner will help, but she's not the answer.
Upcoming: at Indiana, vs. Connecticut
|0-7||It's hard to cast a particularly positive light
on an 0-7 start, but it's hard to expect a ton of wins from a team with
five rookies on the roster. Seimone Augustus has been carrying the Lynx
on the scoresheet and Nicole Ohlde has had a couple of very solid offensive games
in the post. Rookie Lindsey Harding looks like the real deal and will be
an All-Star in this league before too long, but Don Zierden and the Lynx
simply don't yet have the horses to keep up with most of the teams in the
Upcoming: at Phoenix, at Los Angeles, at Seattle