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With the second week of the WNBA season officially in the books, its time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com Power Rankings.
At this point each team has played at least four games, which definitely helps generate a stronger opinion. So after 14 days of the 14th season, here is how I see the 12 teams stacking up against one another.
|2010 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: May 29|
|TEAM (last week)||W / L||NOTES|
The last undefeated team in the league earns top honors this week. The Dream has a great combination of speed, athleticism and power. Grab the rebound and run. It’s a philosophy that helped Phoenix win two titles in three years and right now the Dream are doing it better than anyone.
Next Three Games: 5/30 @ Los Angeles, 6/1 @ Seattle, 6/4 vs Chicago
Seattle suffered its first defeat this week, but still sits at the top of the Western Conference standings. With strong play from their Big Three of Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird and Swin Cash as well as contributions from Tanisha Wright (12.2 ppg) and Camille Little (11.8 ppg), the Storm are poised to stay high in these rankings for the long haul.
Next Three Games: 5/30 @ San Antonio, 6/1 vs Atlanta, 6/5 @ Los Angeles
We don’t do Race to the Coach of the Year rankings, but if we did Mike Thibault would top the list. He’s taken a completely revamped roster, which is still missing two of its best bigs in Asjha Jones and Sandrine Gruda, and has them playing at a high level to start the season. It helps that he has Tina Charles, who is playing nothing like a rookie, as his centerpiece.
Next Three Games: 5/30 @ Washington, 6/4 vs New York, 6/6 vs San Antonio
The Mercury has suffered two losses, by a combined nine points, to the two teams that top this list. While it is a bit surprising that both losses came on their home floor, the defending champs should be fine. After opening the season with three of its first four games at home, the Mercury head out on their first extended road trip this week.
Next Three Games: 6/1 @ Minnesota, 6/4 vs Los Angeles, 6/6 @ Seattle
New York (6)
After losing two straight games, the Liberty rebounded with a wire-to-wire win in San Antonio on Friday night. The Liberty has a full week off before they hit the road again for three games in five days. Cappie Pondexter continues to impress in her new home, as she is the league-leader in assists per game and third in scoring average after Friday’s games.
Next Three Games: 6/4 @ Connecticut, 6/5 @ Indiana, 6/8 @ Chicago
San Antonio (7)
The addition of Chamique Holdsclaw paid immediate dividends for the Silver Stars as they defeated the L.A. Sparks in her first appearance. The former No. 1 pick scored 19 points in her season debut and gives the Silver Stars another All-Star to play alongside Becky Hammon and Sophia Young.
Next Three Games: 5/30 vs Seattle, 6/3 @ Indiana, 6/6 @ Connecticut
Considering that the majority of Lin Dunn’s starting lineup was in the country for less than three days before opening the season with a back-to-back, currently sitting at 2-2 is not so bad for the defending Eastern Conference champs. One thing that hasn’t changed for the Fever is its stifling defense, as they lead the league in fewest points allowed (71.25 ppg).
Next Three Games: 5/29 @ Tulsa, 6/3 vs San Antonio, 6/5 vs New York
After debuting at the top of the power rankings a week ago, the Mystics make the biggest drop on the heels of their current three-game losing streak during this week’s road trip. The good news for the Mystics is that they return home for their next two games. The bad news is that the games come against the Dream (5-0) and the Sun (3-1).
Next Three Games: 5/30 vs Connecticut, 6/5 vs Atlanta, 6/11 @ Chicago
Los Angeles (9)
The Sparks finally broke into the win column on Friday, defeating the Mystics in their home-opener. The Big Three of Candace Parker (30), Tina Thompson (15) and DeLisha Milton-Jones (14) posted 59 of L.A.’s 81 points against Washington. The Sparks do not have another player averaging double-figures in scoring so far this season and will need bigger contributions to compliment their three stars.
Next Three Games: 5/30 vs Atlanta, 6/4 @ Phoenix, 6/5 vs Seattle
After opening the season with four straight losses, the Sky picked up an impressive win over the Seattle Storm at home on Thursday. Sylvia Fowles has been outstanding to open the season, averaging 18 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks through five games. Jia Perkins, an All-Star a year ago, has struggled early in 2010, averaging just 6.6 points on 26 percent shooting.
Next Three Games: 5/29 @ Minnesota, 6/4 @ Atlanta, 6/5 vs Tulsa
The Shock won their first game of the Tulsa era on the road against the Lynx last weekend. With this week’s trade of Shavonte Zellous, the Shock now has only three players from last year’s squad in Detroit. With a new team, a new coach and a new city, the Shock will likely need more time than others to come together and reach their potential.
Next Three Games: 5/29 vs Indiana, 6/4 vs Minnesota, 6/5 @ Chicago
After opening the season with a win on the road in Tulsa, the Lynx have lost four straight games and find themselves at the bottom of this week’s rankings. This ranking should come with an asterisk though, as the Lynx have been hampered by injuries to two of its best players in Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins. However, the Lynx will need to put some wins together soon so they do not dig themselves too deep of a hole to climb out of once their stars return.
Next Three Games: 5/29 vs Chicago, 6/1 vs Phoenix, 6/4 @ Tulsa