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NEW YORK, July 16, 2008 — Like every week during the season, it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com Power Rankings. After a fairly clear-cut No. 1 in San Antonio, there's a logjam behind them, as Seattle, L.A. and Detroit all have their good and bad days. Meanwhile, the Liberty hold their ground with some solid victories, while the once-soaring Comets fall back to earth.

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: July 16
TEAM (last week's ranking)
W/L
NOTES
1 16-7 San Antonio suffered a disappointing loss to the Sparks on Monday that snapped the team's seven-game winning streak, but who says back-to-backs in the WNBA are tough? The Silver Stars returned to the court with a passion on Tuesday, stomping the Mercury in Phoenix on Tuesday. Coach Dan Hughes can thank Western Player of the Week Becky Hammon, whose resurgence has lifted her team back among the league's elite, viable MVP candidate Sophia Young, who had 26 points and eight boards in the triumph over the Mercury, and increasingly valuable pickup Ann Wauters. Said Mercury coach Corey Gaines after the game: "That is the best team in the WNBA right now." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Looking ahead: 7/19 vs. MIN
2
14-7 You probably know that the Storm have been on a rampage, notching six straight wins. What I'm guessing you don't know is that their defense is allowing the fewest points per game in the entire WNBA (69.43) and that they also boast the top scoring differential (4.28). Sue Bird has been terrific of late and Lauren Jackson will garner some MVP votes after her first-half performance, but LJ has left the team to train in Australia with the national team and won't be back until after the Olympics. So the question is how the rest of Brian Agler's roster will keep the wins coming without its superstar.
Looking ahead: 7/18 @ IND, 7/20 @ WAS
3 13-8 I know, I know... the Sparks spanked the Silver Stars Monday night, so I must be crazy for putting them behind them, right? Wrong. Save your breath. Despite having three Olympians on their roster and arguably two of the best female players in history, L.A. has been very mediocre since its hot start. Still, Candace Parker continues to put up MVP numbers and Lisa Leslie's return from a year off is inspiring. DeLisha Milton-Jones looks to be healthy again and Shannon Bobbitt has done a solid job so far at the point. And the Sparks had better have a change of clothes: their next six games are all on the road.
Looking ahead: 7/17 @ PHO, 7/19 @ HOU
4
14-7 The Shock are still perfect at the Palace this season at an unblemished 9-0. But they're far from perfect away from home, having lost four straight. Deanna Nolan's shooting has been a bit off, but Katie Smith's numbers have remained solid. The frontcourt combo of Cheryl Ford, Tasha Humphrey, Plenette Pierson and Kara Braxton is a formidable one, collectively averaging 37.0 points and 21.3 rebounds a game. The addition of Stacey Lovelace could help as well.
Looking ahead: 7/16 vs. CHI, 7/18 @ WAS, 7/20 vs. SAC
5 13-9 Number one in the land just five weeks ago, the Sun have faltered of late, losing four straight. "It’s really frustrating," said reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week Lindsay Whalen, "but you can’t let it bring you down or get too discouraged. ... We have to work through this, and have confidence in ourselves that eventually this will come back to us." Like Whalen, forward Asjha Jones has been consistently solid, but Tamika Whitmore's contribution has lessened since her roaring start.
Looking ahead: 7/18 @ CHI, 7/20 vs. CHI
6
11-9 Tuesday's victory in Connecticut broke the Liberty's month-long streak of alternating wins and losses and was the team's second straight win over a huge Eastern rival. And things are looking good in the Big Apple, where the Libs are second in the league in three-point shooting, Shameka Christon has turned into a bona fide scorer and Janel McCarville has continued to be a tough matchup for slower, less agile post players down low. Coach Pat Coyle is also happy with her depth, as Lisa Willis, Tiffany Jackson and Leilani Mitchell are all providing sizable contributions off the bench.
Looking ahead: 7/17 vs. WAS, 7/19 vs. IND
7
10-9 The Fever are renowned for their defense which is allowing the second fewest number of points per game and the third lowest opponent shooting percentage in the league. But Indiana's previously post-based offense is struggling from the outside, averaging a league-low .393 from the floor. Particularly of concern are the shooting percentages of All-Stars Katie Douglas (.367) and Tamika Catchings (.358). Sure, they both contribute on defense and on the boards, but if they happen to be off on a given night, that puts more scoring pressure on Tammy Sutton-Brown, Ebony Hoffman and Tan White. Luckily for the Fever, all three have had solid seasons.
Looking ahead: 7/16 vs. ATL, 7/18 vs. SEA, 7/19 @ NY
8
10-10 After their roaring-hot start and the subsequent decline, the Lynx have been around .500 since, going 4-4 in their last eight. And they're either on or off regardless of the opponent, topping Los Angeles and New York in recent weeks, while falling to Atlanta and Chicago. Seimone Augustus is the team's most consistent scorer, rookie Candice Wiggins has been terrific and Anna DeForge stepped up for 17 in Saturday's win over Houston. Nicky Anosike has also been very solid down low, but she needs more help in the paint. Similarly deficient is the point guard position, where second-year players Noelle Quinn and Lindsey Harding are combining for a less-than-optimal 8.2 points and 4.9 dimes in over 35 minutes of play a game.
Looking ahead: 7/17 @ HOU, 7/19 @ SAN
9
10-11 OK, so the Monarchs have only jumped two spots after wins over the Sparks and Mercury, but things are trending upward in California's capital. "I felt like tonight we got back to what Monarchs basketball is all about," said coach Jenny Boucek after the victory over L.A. Red-hot shooter Nicole Powell agreed: "We just have to get back to being us. We know we are capable of this every night." If that's the case, the rest of the West had better look out in the season's second half.
Looking ahead: 7/18 vs. ATL, 7/20 @ DET
10
Phoenix (10)
9-12 Oh, how the defending champs have fallen. Though they can look like world beaters on some nights, the squad's inconsistency has brought five losses in its last six games and a last-place tie with the Comets in the West. The Mercury are still leading the league in scoring, but their shooting from the outside has been off of late. "There are a lot of things we need to fix," said center Tangela Smith. "The main thing is to stop talking about it and get it done." Diana Taurasi agreed: "This is make or break these next couple of games, especially before the break."
Looking ahead: 7/17 vs. LA, 7/19 vs. ATL
11
Houston (8)
9-12 The Comets looked to be on the way up last week after moving to .500 with successive victories over Minnesota, San Antonio (twice) and Indiana. But the last seven days haven't been kind to the Comets, who have lost three straight away from home. Now Tina Thompson and company are home -- where they're 6-2 so far -- for five straight heading into the Olympic break. Despite their recent setbacks, the Comets are still just a game and a half out of a playoff spot in the West, and with a good mix of youth (Matee Ajavon, Erica White) and experience (Shannon Johnson, Tamecka Dixon), they're a team to watch.
Looking ahead: 7/17 vs. MIN, 7/19 vs. LA
12
8-12 The Mystics are still the league's lowest-scoring team at 69.05 points a night, but their defense -- fourth-best in the league, allowing just 72.9 a game -- sparked Tree Rollins' squad to a couple of wins this past week over traditional Eastern Conference powers Indiana and Connecticut. All-Stars Alana Beard and Taj McWilliams-Franklin are producing as they always do, Nakia Sanford has shown some serious intensity since getting replaced temporarily in the starting lineup by rookie Crystal Langhorne and Nikki Blue had a career-high 13 points in Sunday's win over the Sun.
Looking ahead: 7/17 @ NY, 7/18 vs. DET, 7/20 vs. SEA
13
Chicago (12)
6-13 It's tough to be too upset with the play of the Sky so far in 2008. Being without supposed rookie savior Sylvia Fowles now for 14 games has taken its toll (the team has gone 5-9 without her). And much of Chicago's troubles have been encountered away from home, where the Sky are just 2-7. But Candice Dupree has had another terrific season, Jia Perkins is having a career year and Chasity Melvin is a solid presence down low. If Armintie Price can put up more consistent offensive numbers, the Sky could surprise some people in the second half.
Looking ahead: 7/16 @ DET, 7/18 vs. CON, 7/20 @ CON
14
Atlanta (14)
2-19 The Dream picked up another win last Wednesday after earning the franchise's first on July 5, but they've since returned to their losing ways, falling in San Antonio and Chicago. We've discussed how the Dream don't have the reliable talent of many other teams around the league, but they're going to battle nearly every night. And with scorers like Betty Lennox and Ivory Latta -- not to mention promising youngsters like Tamera Young, Katie Feenstra -- and Erika Desouza hoping to return to the court soon, the South just might rise up again.
Looking ahead: 7/16 @ IND, 7/18 @ SAC, 7/19 @ PHO
More »

Video

Sparks vs. Mercury

Diana Taurasi scores 17 points to lead the Mercury to their 16th straight win.

Tina Charles Highlights

Watch Tina Charles' highlights from the Liberty's game versus the Mystics.

Storm vs. Shock

Odyssey Sims scores 21 points and Glory Johnson goes for a double-double in the Shock’s 80-74 win over the Storm.

Mystics vs. Liberty

Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

Sky vs. Stars

Kayla McBride scores 16 points to help the Stars take down the Sky, 92-74.