WNBA.com Power Rankings: June 12, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J. We're over three 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, Connecticut makes a nice jump, the Silver Stars plummet in the West and Minnesota gets out of the cellar. Take a look, and let us know what you think in our Fan Voice.

2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 4
TEAM (last week)
W/L
NOTES
1
6-0 Finally, some certainty in the No. 1 position. The lone unbeaten team remaining, the Shock beat the previously undefeated Liberty on Friday and the Sun on Sunday. Whether it's their depth, defense, size, strength, shooting or experience, it seems like they'll find a way to win. "I think we're the best team in the league," says coach Bill Laimbeer. "At least until somebody beats us in the playoffs. I think we're going to be the champions again."
2
7-1 Despite earning their first loss of the young season, the Fever stay No. 2 after Sunday's impressive victory over the Liberty. They didn't play poorly in Tuesday's loss to New York, though they were outplayed. Sunday was a different story, though, as Tammy Sutton-Brown stepped up in a big way and will likely form a dynamic frontcourt trio with Tamika Catchings and Tamika Whitmore for the rest of the season.
3 6-3 The Monarchs move up a spot after a win on Monday over Houston and a 2-1 week that saw them score solid wins over a suddenly faltering San Antonio squad and Seattle. Still, Sacramento can't seem to beat Phoenix... sometimes great defense can't contain great offense. But the Monarchs are still the best team in the West, largely because of their consistency. Nicole Powell and Western Player of the Week Rebekkah Brunson have played well in the absence of DeMya Walker. Coming into Monday's game, the team had averaged over 10 rebounds a game more than their opponents.
4
5-2 The Liberty were the darlings of the league, rolling to a 5-0 record, including last Tuesday's win over the Fever, to tip off the season. But their dream start came to a screeching halt with losses to Detroit and at Indiana. Still, it's hard not to be impressed with the progress coach Pat Coyle has made with this team. Though they don't have any superstars, Loree Moore, Shameka Christon and Erin Thorn have stepped into leading roles and the team is leading the league in 3-point shooting. They're also 5-0 when they score more than 70 points. It's still early, but they seem like a solid bet for the playoffs.
5 4-3 The Sun are just about back to where they should have been since the beginning of the season. No. 3 in the preseason Power Rankings, Connecticut lost two of its first three before running off a three-game win streak. Yes, they lost to the Shock on Sunday, but they kept it relatively close throughout... and, frankly, who hasn't lost to the Shock? Asjha Jones continues to play at a different level from past seasons, but the team needs more consistency from last year's All-Star trio of Katie Douglas, Nykesha Sales and Lindsay Whalen. Margo Dydek seems to be healthy after missing a game with a back ailment.
6
Phoenix (9)
6-4 The up-and-down trend continues with the appropriately named Mercury. They lose at home to the winless Lynx, then look fantastic against a tough Monarchs squad? It is difficult to predict which Phoenix team will show up on a given night, but chances are it will score a lot of points. They lead the league again, though they're giving up almost as many. Things are looking bullish again for all-world player Diana Taurasi (after she struggled for several games last week), as she's notched a team-high 22 and 26 in the wins over Chicago and Sacramento.
7 3-2 The sudden retirement of All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw is a real concern for the Sparks, who have played only five games, the fewest in the league. Holdsclaw has been holding down the point guard fort while Temeka Johnson recovers from offseason surgery. Can Spanish rookie Marta Fernandez fill that void for time being? Despite the immediate concern over a point guard, it's hard to find much fault with the Sparks' losses to Indiana and Sacramento. And they looked incredible in slamming Connecticut in Taj McWilliams-Franklin's return to the Mohegan Sun. Taj and Mwadi Mabika have gotten it done at both ends of the court, and Fernandez has performed far beyond expectations.
8
3-3 The Storm are another team that we need to see more of to properly gauge. They can look like world beaters when Lauren Jackson is in the lineup, Sue Bird is hitting from outside, Janell Burse is on the boards and Betty Lennox and Iziane Castro-Marques are getting their shots. But they've lost twice to San Antonio and Phoenix is the best team they've beaten. This is a roster capable of great things, and they could be dangerous in a short series, but they need more consistency against the better teams in the league. It will be interesting to see how they hold up against Indiana this week.
9
Chicago (10)
4-4 Rookie head coach Bo Overton has to be delighted with his team's 4-4 mark, simply based on what was expected of them starting the season, especially after winning only five games all of last year. The revamped roster is starting to come together, too, as Dominique Canty is stepping up at point guard, Chasity Melvin was in the running for Player of the Week and holdover Candice Dupree is on her way to becoming one of the league's elite power fowards.
10 4-4 A loss at Sacramento is one thing, but falling at home to the Sky? The Silver Stars appeared heaven-sent after early wins over Connecticut and Seattle, but they've certainly come back down to Earth. Becky Hammon is still impressing in her new digs, averaging 18.1 points a game, but Sophia Young isn't exactly taking her game to another level, Ruth Riley has underwhelmed at center and Marie Ferdinand-Harris doesn't seem as dangerous as she was during her recent All-Star campaigns.
11
Minnesota (13)
1-9 Congratulations to the Lynx for winning a game last week and getting out of the bottom spot in the rankings, but things are far from peachy in Minnesota. They followed up their win at Phoenix with a close loss at L.A. and a big loss at Seattle. Despite Seimone Augustus' consistency as a scorer -- she has led the Lynx in scoring in every game but one -- rookie Lindsey Harding has been inconsistent. And though Nicole Ohlde has looked solid in several matchups, she isn't the big-time, physical dominator down low the team needs.
12
0-7 The Mystics have disappointed so far in 2007. A playoff team last year and a preseason pick to make the playoffs again, Washington has plenty of talent in perennial All-Star Alana Beard and veteran DeLisha Milton-Jones. Tamara James has stepped up and averaged 11.8 points over the last four games. But with an early season featuring tilts against the Indianas, Detroits and Sacramentos of the WNBA world, they've had a rough go, losing their last three games by an average of only 4.7 points. Their schedule is easing up a bit over the next few weeks, so expect to see them get in the win column before too long.
13
Houston (12)
0-7 New coach Karleen Thompson has struggled since taking over for Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor. And the passionate fans in Houston have struggled right along with her. The Comets fell to 0-7 with Monday's loss to Sacramento, and aside from Tina Thompson and Michelle Snow playing like the National Teamers they are, it's hard to find much in the way of positives. Sheryl Swoopes is still out with a bulging disc in her back, rookie Ashley Shields has scored only 20 total points over the last five games and the backcourt is in need of more serious help than Barbara Turner can provide.
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