Lynx Take Top Spot in Power Rankings Debut
By Frank Della Femina, WNBA.com

After posting a 3-1 record over the first four games, the Minnesota Lynx take the No. 1 spot in the 2011 season's debut of power rankings. Similar to the first installment of Race to the MVP, there is a limited field of games to pull from for some teams, but here is a look at how teams stack up in the early stages of the season.

2011 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: 6/10

TEAM (last week) W / L NOTES
1
Minnesota (N/A)
3-1 Minnesota jumped out to a tremendous 22-0 run to open up Thursday night’s game against the Seattle Storm. Rebekkah Brunson remains a force for the Lynx, as she registered her third-straight double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds. The Lynx halted Seattle’s 22-game home win-streak in the process.
Upcoming Games: 6/17 vs. Atlanta, 6/19 at Atlanta, 6/24 at Seattle
2
Indiana (N/A)
1-0 It wasn’t the prettiest of wins in Indiana’s first game against Chicago, but surely Lin Dunn isn’t complaining about a tally in the ‘W’ column. Tamika Catchings’ shooting was a bit off, but she still did her damage at the line (7-for-7 free throws), on the boards (nine rebounds) and in the defensive end (three steals). Hard to gauge off one game, but Indy remains a top pick in the East.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 vs. New York, 6/11 at New York, 6/14 vs. Tulsa
3
Connecticut (N/A)
1-0 Sun coach Mike Thibault obviously has his eyes set on a postseason berth. So far, so good as Connecticut jumped out to a 16-point win against the Mystics in game one. How they maintain that momentum against Chicago and Tulsa this weekend will be an interesting focal point, especially since the Sky comes up on the sched two more times before the month plays out.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 at Chicago, 6/12 vs. Tulsa, 6/16 at Washington
4
Washington (N/A)
1-1 Is there a Big Three heating up in D.C.? Matee Ajavon (24), Nicky Anosike (29) and Crystal Langhorne (30) combined for 83 of Washington’s 98 points in Thursday’s overtime win against the Dream. All this on the same day when the team was granted Kerri Gardin due to medical hardship. The team found ways to rally around the injury to Alana Beard last season, who is currently out yet again with a left foot sprain. Judging by the look of things, somehow injuries find a way of making this team stronger.
Upcoming Games: 6/11 vs. Chicago, 6/16 vs. Connecticut, 6/18 at Tulsa
5
Seattle (N/A)
1-1 Seattle went seven minutes without a basket to open up Thursday’s game against the Lynx before ending the first quarter with a poor eight-point performance. The Storm was able to chip away at the deficit and tally an impressive 35 points in the fourth, but that early hole proved to be too deep. Fans shouldn't expect many more games like this, but for the time being the defending champs hover around the halfway point in the rankings.
Upcoming Games: 6/17 vs. Indiana, 619 at Los Angeles, 6/21 at Tulsa
6
New York (N/A)
1-0 Regulation couldn’t produce a winner in the first game against Atlanta, but the Liberty came out the victors in overtime. Plenette Pierson’s 25 points was a welcome sight as Cappie Pondexter’s shooting was a bit off in her season debut. An upcoming home-and-home series against Indiana brings back memories of last season’s semifinals win, but a lot can change in a year.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 at Indiana, 6/11 vs. Indiana, 6/14 vs. Atlanta
7
Los Angeles (N/A)
1-1 Two games in three days to start the season followed by four days off should give Ticha Penicheiro enough time to heal up her ankle, provided it isn’t serious enough to keep her out of the lineup. A weekend of rivals highlights the Sparks’ schedule, as they take on the Mercury Friday and Storm on Sunday.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 vs. Phoenix, 6/19 vs. Seattle, 6/21 vs. New York
8
San Antonio (N/A)
1-0 The Silver Stars put up a solid first game against a Tulsa team that is still trying to find its identity. Unfortunately all we have to pull from right now is that single game, so San Antonio is easily one of the bigger question marks heading into this weekend and the next installment of power rankings. A rematch against Tulsa may bode well for the Stars before they go up against a hungry Atlanta squad Saturday evening.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 at Tulsa, 6/11 vs. Atlanta, 6/17 at Phoenix
9
Phoenix (N/A)
0-1 Outside of Diana Taurasi’s 31 points, something just wasn’t clicking for the Phoenix Mercury in that first game against the Seattle Storm. Once again, it’s hard to say how much we can base the team’s overall performance after just one game, but odds are the team that goes up against Los Angeles on Friday will look much different than the team that played last week.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 at Los Angeles, 6/17 vs. San Antonio, 6/19 vs. Indiana
10
Chicago (N/A)
0-1 Epiphanny Prince’s 20 points in game one is a great sign of things to come from the second-year guard, but a little more shooting from Sylvia Fowles in the paint is key in determining whether or not the team walks away with the ‘W.’ Fowles shot just five times in the loss to Indiana but hit four of those shots. It’ll be interesting to see how she matches up against Tina Charles on Friday and Crystal Langhorne on Saturday.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 vs. Connecticut, 6/11 at Washington, 6/17 vs. New York
11
Atlanta (N/A)
0-2 Atlanta has finished on the wrong side of overtime play in two-straight games. Angel McCoughtry made her regular-season debut Thursday after returning from a sprained MCL, but coach Marynell Meadors is taking a slow-and-steady approach to working her All-Star back into the mix. That much is evident by McCoughtry’s three minutes of court time. It’s still early, but for the time being Atlanta has some ground to cover in the power rankings. They'll have to do it with three-straight games on the road.
Upcoming Games: 6/11 at San Antonio, 6/14 at New York, 6/17 at Minnesota
12
Tulsa (N/A)
0-2 Fans have seen two different Shock teams over the span of only two games: the one that digs itself into an early first-half hole, and the one that comes out scoring and defending in the second half. Unfortunately for Tulsa there isn’t enough time in the games to cover that much ground, but if that second-half play can translate to the first two quarters, this team can start registering some wins. They’ll have to do it without Amber Holt though, as she will remain out of the lineup for four to six weeks with a broken thumb.
Upcoming Games: 6/10 vs. San Antonio, 6/12 at Connecticut, 6/14 at Indiana

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