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NEW YORK, June 30, 2008 — Like every week during the season, it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com Power Rankings. There's parity aplenty among the top teams, with each losing at least one game this week. The streaking Mercury and Comets are both on the way up after unbeaten weeks.
As usual, there are plenty of close calls this week,
but that's the beauty of these rankings: there's always room for discussion.
Take a look at our full list below, then let
us know what you think in our Fan Voice. Post your own Power Rankings and
discuss them with your fellow fans.
|2008 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: June 30|
TEAM (last week's ranking)
|10-4||It's difficult to rationalize
keeping the Sparks in the top spot after a home loss to the Mystics, but
here they stand. Yes, L.A. did lose a 14-point lead in the fourth before
falling in OT (failing to score a single point in the extra frame), but
the team has several things working in its favor. (1) They dismantled a
good Storm team earlier in the week. (2) The other teams near the top of
the rankings all had two losses this week. (3) They still have Lisa Leslie
and Candace Parker.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. NY, 7/3 vs. MIN, 7/6 vs. PHO
|12-5||The Sun split a home-and-home series with the
Shock this past week as each team won on its home court. But despite the
split and the identical records, Connecticut gets a narrow edge having beaten
Detroit more convincingly and having lost to a better team this weekend
(Phoenix compared to Detroit's loss in Chicago). Asjha Jones has been spectacular
of late, earning this week's Player of the Week Award, Lindsay Whalen has
quietly been one of the league's most valuable players and first-round pick
Ketia Swanier is stepping up as a defensive stopper.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. HOU, 7/5 @ IND
|12-5||The Shock have been without
Cheryl Ford, Plenette Pierson and Elaine Powell, which partially explains
the team's lackluster performances against Chicago (a loss) and Atlanta
(a win) this weekend. But Kara Braxton and Tasha Humphrey have played well
in increased minutes and Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith have played like the
All-Stars they are.
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ SA
|9-6||Back-to-back losses to the Comets certainly didn't
improve their standing this week, especially in the wake of their five consecutive
wins previously. But the increasingly dangerous trio of Sophia Young, Becky
Hammon and Ann Wauters stepped up on Saturday to earn a solid win over
Minnesota. Erin Buescher, too, has been getting better and better.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. DET, 7/3 vs. SAC, 7/6 @ WAS
|9-7||Like everyone else at the top
of this list, the Storm had an up-and-down week, falling early to L.A. and
rebounding with an impressive home win Sunday against Washington. Seattle's
defense was particularly tough against the Mystics, allowing just 49 points,
the second lowest total of the 2008 season. And with Lauren Jackson, Sue
Bird, Sheryl Swoopes, Swin Cash and company all continuing to gel, things
should continue to improve.
Looking ahead: 7/3 vs. NY, 7/5 vs. MIN
|8-7||The Lynx seemed to be on another upswing after
losing five straight, but a tough weekend loss at San Antonio -- without
Seimone Augustus in the lineup, due to injury, for the first time in her
pro career -- set them back a bit. Still, rookies Candice Wiggins and Nicky
Anosike continue to play remarkably valuable roles and Lindsey Harding is
getting closer and closer to 100 percent.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. CHI, 7/3 @ LA, 7/5 @ SEA
|7-7||Thursday's three-overtime win
at home over the Fever was truly one for the history books, but it seemed
to have a negative effect on the Liberty, who fell in Sacramento on Saturday.
Combined with Tuesday's loss in Minnesota, the Libs are now an impressive
6-2 at Madison Square Garden, but a paltry 1-5 on the road. With four games
left to go on their West Coast trip, they'll have to step it up in their
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ LA, 7/3 @ SEA, 7/5 @ PHO
|7-7||The defending champs have won three straight
and five of their last six... and they've looked good doing it. Diana Taurasi
won her second straight Player of the Week award and her third of the season.
Cappie Pondexter has kept up her scoring as well, and Tangela Smith has
been on fire of late, averaging 17.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg over her last three
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ ATL, 7/5 vs. NY, 7/6 @ LA
|7-8||Who'da thunk it, but the Comets
are the hottest team in the WNBA, having won four in a row, including two
this past week against the previously hot Silver Stars. Even more surprising
is that they've won their last two without the services of all-everything
Tina Thompson and veteran guard Tamecka Dixon. Sancho Lyttle has been huge
stepping in for Thompson, Michelle Snow has stepped up her game as well
and rookie guard Matee Ajavon posted a career-high 24 in Saturday's win
over the Fever.
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ CT, 7/3 @ ATL, 7/5 vs. SAC
|7-8||It's hard to imagine that the Fever are 2-5 since
the return of perhaps the most complete player in the league, but it's true.
And while Tamika Catchings is still working her game back into shape, Katie
Douglas' play has suffered a bit, including just eight points in Saturday's
humbling 75-61 loss in Houston. "Its been a long road trip," said
coach Lin Dunn. "I think weve played 10 games in 20 days, so it seems
like we were fatigued and mentally werent as sharp as we needed to
Looking ahead: 7/2 vs. CHI, 7/5 vs. CT
|7-8||The Monarchs have a ton of talent
on their roster, but they may be destined to hover around the .500 mark
in the ridiculously tough Western Conference. Nicole Powell has been terrific
over the last week and is leading the team in scoring. Kara Lawson, Ticha
Penicheiro and Rebekkah Brunson are all providing steady scoring and leadership
on the court.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. WAS, 7/3 @ SA, 7/5 @ HOU
|6-9||The Mystics fell Tuesday in a shootout
versus Phoenix and struggled offensively in Sunday's loss in Seattle. But
those defeats sandwiched the highlight of their season so far, a come-from-behind,
overtime victory over the league-leading Sparks. And though she posted just
four points in Sunday's setback, Monique Currie had been on fire, averaging
20.0 ppg the three games before. And with Alana Beard and Taj McWilliams-Franklin
continuing their consistently superb play, things could be looking up in
the nation's capital.
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ SAC, 7/6 vs. SA
|4-9||Only in an across-the-board,
up-and-down week could the Sky beat the Shock and stay at No. 13. Candice
Dupree is one of the league's truly unheralded stars and Jia Perkins has
gone crazy on the offensive end, averaging 19.1 ppg over her last 10 contests.
Chicago has been without super rookie Sylvia Fowles for the last few weeks,
but Chasity Melvin has filled in admirably. With her comeback scheduled
for the coming weeks, the Sky might not be falling after all.
Looking ahead: 7/1 @ MIN, 7/2 @ IND, 7/5 @ ATL
|0-15||Oh, the Dream have come so close to that elusive
first win, highlighted by last week's narrow eight-point losses to Connecticut
and Detroit, but they haven't quite gotten over the hump. They'll have several
more opportunities this week, and it could be the right time given how well
Betty Lennox and Ivory Latta are lighting up the scoreboard of late.
Looking ahead: 7/1 vs. PHO, 7/3 vs. HOU, 7/5 vs. CHI