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SECAUCUS, N.J. — Just like every Tuesday,
it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com editorial staff's Power Rankings.
Indiana stays on top but there's a new face at No. 2. Things are looking up
in Chicago and Washington, but the season has taken a downturn in New York and
L.A. Take a look at our list, and let
us know what you think in our Fan Voice.
|2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 7|
TEAM (last week)
|11-4||Yes, the Fever had a rather ordinary 1-1 week
-- during which they lost in Connecticut and won in Washington -- but they're
still the most consistent team out there. Tamika Catchings remains one of
the frontrunners in the MVP race despite two less-than-stellar performances.
The team behind her is just solid, tough and gritty. They're unlikely to
beat too many teams by speeding up and down the court, but they'll hang
with anyone, including Detroit, in a grind-it-out, halfcourt-style game.
Upcoming: at Los Angeles, vs. Chicago
|11-6||The Monarchs take a step up
thanks to wins this week over New York and Minnesota. Yes, they also lost
twice, to Los Angeles and Chicago, but they're still the cream of the Western
crop. Rebekkah Brunson has become their legit go-to player down low, but
they continue to get scoring from different sources nearly every night.
Whether it's Kara Lawson the week before, Nicole Powell (team-high 14 points
and 10 rebounds against the Sparks) or Adrian Williams (team-high 16 points
and 10 rebounds against the Sky) someone has been stepping up each game
Upcoming: at Minnesota, at New York
|11-4||The defending champs have lost two in a row for
the first time all season and have fallen in three of their last four. They
had leads against both Washington on Friday and San Antonio on Sunday, but
could hold neither. Deanna Nolan had a big week, further bolstering her
All-Star resume. Cheryl Ford returned Sunday after missing six of seven
games with a sprained knee.
Upcoming: vs. New York, vs. Phoenix
|9-6||So they lost to Houston and
Minnesota early in the week... Sunday's win in Detroit without a dinged
up Becky Hammon and Ruth Riley showed what this team is capable of. If Erin
Buescher, Sophia Young and Helen Darling, among others, can play the way
they did against Detroit when Hammon and Riley return, the Silver Stars
will be able to hang with anyone in the league. Rookie Camille Little continues
to improve as well and is seeing increased minutes on the court.
Upcoming: at Washington, vs. Seattle
|9-7||Much like Buescher in San Antonio, Penny Taylor
was able to return to the scorer she is with Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter
out of the lineup. She averaged 28.0 points a game as the Mercury went 2-0
while Taurasi sat out her suspension. Belinda Snell even averaged 14.0 a
game for the offensive-minded Merc while Taurasi was out. When Dee returns,
it will be interesting to see how it works out when Taylor doesn't continue
to get the number of shots to which she's grown accustomed.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Connecticut, at Detroit
|8-7||Simply put, Lauren Jackson has
been incredible. You can pretty safely mark her down for 20 and 10 every
night. But it's her suppporting cast that really dictates how the Storm
fare. If Sue Bird is scoring and distributing... if Betty Lennox and Iziane
Castro Marques are running and putting the ball in the hoop... if Janell
Burse is banging hard under the basket... If those are happening, Seattle
can be very impressive, as they were in Sunday's 31-point win over the Liberty.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, at Houston, at San Antonio
|8-8||The Sky are back at the .500 mark thanks to another
solid 2-1 week that saw them win in both Sacramento and L.A. after losing
early in the week to Seattle. While many experts figured the Sky would struggle
mightily without injured veteran guard Dominique Canty, Jia Perkins has
allayed any such concerns. The Eastern Conference Player of the Week averaged
24.3 points a game and put up a league-high 39 in Chicago's double-overtime
win against the Monarchs. Meanwhile, Candice Dupree continues to roll along
toward a likely spot in Washington on the Eastern All-Star squad.
Upcoming: vs. Washington, at Indiana
|8-8||The Liberty schedule doesn't
get any easier after their West Coast swing, where they dropped two of three
and averaged only 49.5 points in their losses. Much of the downturn can
be attributed to the loss of the injured Erin Thorn, but she should be re-evaluated
this week. Offseason pickup Janel McCarville has stepped into the starting
center role and recent arrival Lisa Willis has been getting a lot of minutes
and contributing some scoring as well.
Upcoming: at Detroit, vs. Sacramento
|7-8||"Welcome back, Temeka Johnson!" scream
the Sparks. Their third-year point guard saw her first action of 2007 on
Sunday after finally recovering from offseason knee surgery, and while she
only played 16 minutes in the loss to the Sky, she'll bring some kick to
the Sparks' struggling offense. Marta Fernandez is tied for the team lead
active players) in scoring with Taj McWilliams-Franklin. Elsewhere,
Christi Thomas has been adequate down low, Sidney Spencer is adjusting to
a starting role and Sherill Baker is getting used to her new teammates.
Upcoming: at Seattle, vs. Indiana, vs. Connecticut
|6-10||The Sun lost their first two
tilts of the week, but bounced back with a huge win at home on Friday against
the Fever. They've still lost eight of their last 10, but they're hoping
to build off their big comeback win. After being down 13-0 and 17-4, Connecticut
fought back thanks to Katie Douglas, Lindsay Whalen and crew. Perennial
All-Star Nykesha Sales has missed the last four games and was still in a
protective boot as of Friday night, but she could be back this week.
Upcoming: at Phoenix, at Los Angeles
|5-11||After losing their first eight games of the season,
the Mystics have put things back together pretty nicely under Tree Rollins
despite finishing off their second straight 2-1 week with Sunday's loss
to Indiana. Alana Beard is still the leader of this squad and DeLisha Milton-Jones'
veteran leadership is priceless, but center Nakia Sanford has quietly come
into her own since the departure of Chasity Melvin. Despite their last-place
standing in the East, they're only three games out of third place. There's
still plenty of the season left to play.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, at Chicago
|5-11||Like the Mystics above, the
Lynx are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are inching back toward normalcy.
Seimone Augustus deserves a return trip to the All-Star Game, Nicole Ohlde
has been above average down low and rookie Lindsay Harding continues to
impress despite her .361 shooting percentage. They sit only 3 1/2 games
out of a playoff spot in the West.
Upcoming: vs. Phoenix, vs. Sacramento, vs. Houston
|4-12||Even the Comets are creeping back to the field,
having notched their second straight 2-1 week after their 0-10 start. And
they're beating good teams (Seattle and San Antonio this week), too, so
something must be going right in Karleen Thompson's world. Tina Thompson
remains one of the league's best, Sancho Lyttle has scored in double figures
each of the last three games and Crystal Smith has been adequate at the
point. The re-signing of Tamecka Dixon brings more veteran leadership to
their backcourt, which can only help.
Upcoming: vs. Seattle, at Minnesota