WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 14, 2009
Like every Tuesday during the season, it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com Power Rankings.
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.
Note: These rankings reflect games played through July 13.
|2009 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: July 14|
|TEAM (last ranking)||W / L||NOTES|
|9-2||The winning streak now stands at nine games and counting for the Fever. After playing only one game last week (a 29-point blowout of the Sky), the schedule picks up with three games in the next five days. Tamika Catchings played just seven minutes in the game against the Sky to rest a slight strain to her left hamstring. With three games in five days, we'll have to see how she holds up.
Looking back: 7/10 @ CHI (W 83-54)
Looking ahead: 7/15 vs. CHI, 7/17 vs. ATL, 7/19 @ CON
Phoenix has won four straight games and is the first team to reach double-digit wins this season, thanks in large part to the play of back-to-back Western Conference Player of the Week honoree Cappie Pondexter. After playing five of their last seven games away from home, the Mercury settle in the desert for a three-game homestand as they look to extend their winning streak. The homestand kicks off with Sacramento, who the Mercury just beat on Temeka Johnson's buzzer-beater on Saturday.
Looking back: 7/8 vs. Chicago (W 90-70), 7/11 @ SAC (W 107-105)
Looking ahead: 7/15 vs. SAC, 7/18 vs. DET
|9-5||The Lynx continue to find ways to win games without Seimone Augustus as different players continue to step up each night. Last week the Lynx got a career-best performance by one of their young players in each of their wins. On Tuesday, rookie Renee Montgomery scored 16 of her season-best 21 points in the final minutes of regulation and overtime to rally the Lynx past the Mystics. On Sunday, it was sophomore Charde Houston who posted a career-high 26 points as the Lynx upended the Silver Stars.
Looking back: 7/7 vs. WAS (W 96-94), 7/10 vs. SA (L 77-61),
7/12 @ SA (W 83-76)
Looking ahead: 7/15 vs. ATL, 7/19 @ SEA
|8-5||Last week the Storm picked up wins over Western Conference foes San Antonio and Sacramento, but saw their 15-game home winning streak snapped by Chicago on Sunday. Seattle looks to start a new streak of KeyArena wins on Wednesday when they host the Shock. Lauren Jackson looks to be breaking out of her short scoring slump with back-to-back double digit performances, while Swin Cash appears to be back at full strength from her offseason back surgery as she has posted four straight double-digit scoring performances and her first double-double of the season on Tuesday.
Looking back: 7/7 vs. SA (W 66-53), 7/9 vs. SAC (W 66-55),
7/12 vs. CHI (L 86-81)
Looking ahead: 7/15 vs. DET, 7/17 @ SAC, 7/19 vs. MIN
|6-5||The Mystics nearly picked up a strong road win in Minnesota, but could not stop a late rally by the Lynx that forced overtime and sent the Mystics back to D.C. with an L. However, the Mystics were able to shake off the loss and defeated the Sparks to open up a six-game homestand. Reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week Alana Beard continues to pace the Mystics, while Crystal Langhorne continues to impress off of the Washington bench with averages of 11.5 points and 8.2 rebounds.
Looking back: 7/7 @ MIN (L 96-94), 7/11 vs. LA (W 75-63)
Looking ahead: 7/15 vs. SA, 7/18 vs. NY
San Antonio (8)
|5-6||San Antonio's squad still is not complete as they await the return of Ann Wauters from Belgium and Shanna Crossley from injury. That puts more pressure on Becky Hammon and Sophia Young to perform at a high level on a nightly basis. When they have an off night (like they did against Seattle on Tuesday when they combined for 22 points) the Silver Stars will struggle (the team only scored 53 points in a 13-point loss). However, I believe the duo can keep San Antonio around .500 until the All-Star break when help will be on the way.
Looking back: 7/7 @ SEA (L 66-53), 7/10 @ MIN (W 77-61),
7/12 vs MIN (L 83-76)
Looking ahead: 7/15 @ WAS, 7/17 vs. CON, 7/19 @ CHI
|6-8||The Dream have played in eight games decided by six points or less this season and are 3-5 in those games. In their last three games (all decided by five points or less) they were outscored in the fourth quarter of each game. The Dream will need to break this trend if they want to start to win some of these tight games and get back to playing .500 or better ball. Another thing that the Dream must improve is its play away from home (1-5 on the season) as this week features a trio of road games.
Looking back: 7/7 vs. CON (W 72-67), 7/11 @ NY (L 71-69)
Looking ahead: 7/15 @ MIN, 7/17 @ IND, 7/19 @ NY
Los Angeles (9)
|4-7||The Sparks are close to actually having their entire team available for the first time all season. With Candace Parker back from maternity leave and Lisa Leslie targeting a July 22 return, the Sparks will be a dangerous team in the second half of the season. After picking up their first road win of the season in New York last week, L.A. continues its seven-game road trip this week with a stop in Connecticut on Tuesday followed by eight days off. The more time this team has to practice and get used to each other the better and that is what the schedule gives them this week.
Looking back: 7/9 @ NY (W 69-60), 7/11 @ WAS (L 75-63)
Looking ahead: 7/14 @ CON
|5-6||Much like L.A., the Sun are dealing with an incomplete team. Just as the final roster was put together with the activation of Anete Jekabsone-Zogota and Sandrine Gruda and the addition of Tan White, Connecticut now loses veteran post Tamika Whitmore for three weeks for arthroscopic knee surgery. Asjha Jones continues to play well, notching her second double-double of the year in Saturday's loss to Detroit. Lindsay Whalen also posted 20 points in that game, the most for her since the season opener.
Looking back: 7/7 @ ATL (L 72-67), 7/11 vs. DET (L 79-77)
Looking ahead: 7/14 vs. LA, 7/17 @ SA, 7/19 vs. IND
|7-7||The Sky could not have picked a worst time to have the busiest week of any team in the league. Chicago suffered three losses in four games this week and it's no coincidence that Sylvia Fowles missed those three games. Upon her return, the Sky posted an impressive win over the Storm in Seattle, which snapped a 15-game home winning streak for the Storm. Candice Dupree had a great week, posting a double-double (22 pts, 12 reb) as well as a 28-point game against Seattle.
Looking back: 7/7 @ SAC (L 83-73), 7/8 @ PHX (L 90-70),
7/10 vs IND (L 83-54), 7/12 @ SEA (W 86-81)
Looking ahead: 7/15 @ IND, 7/19 vs.SA
New York (10)
|4-7||The Liberty split a pair of home games this past week and continue to show inconsistencies that you wouldn't expect from a team that was one game away from the WNBA Finals last year. They squandered a pair of first- and third-quarter leads against Los Angeles and needed a fourth-quarter rally to barely get by Atlanta. New York shows signs of the team we've seen grow from a young squad to a contender over the past two seasons, but if they hope to get back to the playoffs we'll need to see them more frequently.
Looking back: 7/9 vs. LA (L 69-60), 7/11 vs. ATL (W 71-69)
Looking ahead: 7/18 @ WAS, 7/19 vs. ATL
|3-7||Deanna Nolan has not been right all season, as she has been hampered with shoulder and hamstring injuries, the latter forcing her to miss last week's overtime win over Connecticut. The addition of veteran Anna DeForge should help, but if the Shock hopes to climb out the Eastern Conference cellar, they will need Nolan to heal quickly. After a light week with only one game, the Shock play three games in the next five days including a back-to-back against Phoenix and Sacramento this weekend.
Looking back: 7/11 @ CON (W 79-77)
Looking ahead: 7/15 @ SEA, 7/18 @ PHX, 7/19 @ SAC
|3-10||The Monarchs lost two games and a coach in the past week and currently hold the league's worst record at 3-10. GM John Whisenant returns to the sidelines, where he found success during a three-and-a-half year run from 2003-2006, which feature two trips to the WNBA Finals and the 2005 WNBA Championship. The schedule doesn't do the Monarchs any favors as this transition gets underway as they face two of the top three teams in the West to start this week.
Looking back: 7/7 vs CHI (W 83-73), 7/9 @ SEA (L 66-55),
7/11 vs PHX (L 107-105)
Looking ahead: 7/15 @ PHX, 7/17 vs. SEA, 7/19 vs. DET