Indiana Claims No. 1
Posted July 8, 2011 11:45 AM
The Indiana Fever takes the No. 1 spot thanks to a five-game win streak and an overall record of 8-3. San Antonio remains in striking distance though as they look to make a strong home stand against New York, Los Angeles and Seattle over the next week of play.
Let's see how the rest of the teams match up.
|2011 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: 7/8|
|TEAM (last week)||W / L||NOTES|
The Indiana Fever isn't just winning games, but they're beating some pretty reputable teams in the process. After beating the 2-7 Mystics five games back, the Fever has since picked up a 'W' in each of its games against Connecticut, Minnesota, Phoenix and Seattle. If you start considering how this team may fair in the postseason, those are likely four playoff-bound teams right there that all fell to the Fever.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 vs. Washington, 7/13 vs. Connecticut, 7/15 vs. Minnesota
San Antonio (1)
San Antonio has only lost twice this season but New York is one of the teams that got the best of them. Friday's rematch will be an interesting one as the Silver Stars look to defend their home court. Depending on the outcome of that game, the Stars could potentially piece together another win streak as they host the Sparks, who remain winless on the road this season, and the hit-or-miss Seattle Storm to close out the next three.
Upcoming Games: 7/8 vs. New York, 7/12 vs. Los Angeles, 7/14 vs. Seattle
Indiana and Seattle got the best of Minnesota last week, but Tulsa provided an opportunity for the Lynx to right the ship with another tally in the 'W' column. Saturday's matchup against Connecticut is the first game of Maya Moore's WNBA career in which she will take on her former UConn teammates Tina Charles and Kalana Greene.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 vs. Connecticut, 7/13 vs. Phoenix, 7/15 at Indiana
Connecticut holds a league-best 5-0 home record. That's the good part. The bad part is they are 1-3 on the road with three road games coming up on the schedule, two of which come against conference rivals. Let's see how Tina Charles' streak of six straight double-doubles holds up on the road.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 at Minnesota, 7/13 at Indiana, 7/15 at New York
Ben York tossed up an article on PhoenixMercury.com earlier this week that discusses the Mercury's recent string of success and how the entire team is firing on all cylinders. If you needed proof, look at what they did to the Sparks Tuesday night. Scoring 59 second-half points will leave a haze of exhaust fumes wherever this team plays.
Upcoming Games: 7/8 at Tulsa, 7/10 vs. Tulsa, 7/13 at Minnesota
Sylvia Fowles is playing out of her mind right now: first in points per game, free throws made, double-doubles, efficiency ranking and second in minutes played, total rebounds and blocks per game. Chicago's success is driven by strong contributions from perimeter players like Epiphanny Prince and Courtney Vandersloot, but Fowles is at the wheel.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 vs. Atlanta, 7/10 at New York, 7/13 vs. Tulsa
New York (9)
At 5-5 and third place in the East, New York is still trying to find it's rhythm. In June they came out one night and beat Atlanta, then dropped one later in the month. They beat the conference-leading Fever, then lose to the Chicago Sky. But at least July started off on the right track as they topped the Silver Stars last Friday night. A road win over San Antonio could spark a nice streak for the Liberty as they head back home on Sunday to tip off a four-game stand.
Upcoming Games: 7/8 at San Antonio, 7/10 vs. Chicago, 7/13 vs. Atlanta
In last weekend's recap I wrote about how the Storm is getting by without Lauren Jackson. I'd like to place emphasis on "getting by." In other words, they'll win a few and they'll lose a few. It all comes down to team play in the end, but players like Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Camille Little will have to keep this team on an upward trend while the 2010 MVP rehabs for a potentially healthy postseason return.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 vs. Los Angeles, 7/12 vs. Washington, 7/14 at San Antonio
Los Angeles (7)
The injury to Candace Parker continues to hurt the Sparks, especially on the road where they remain winless in five games. That doesn't bode well for them as they still have four more games on this road trip before heading home on July 17. If they can't turn things around over the next week or so they could find themselves plummeting to the bottom of next week's power rankings and further out of playoff contention in the Western Conference standings.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 at Seattle, 7/12 at San Antonio, 7/15 at Tulsa
Angel McCoughtry's 15.1 points per game is a significantly smaller total than her 21.1 last season, but now that Sancho Lyttle has returned to the lineup we may very well see those numbers increase. Lyttle missed the last six games while competing overseas for Spain, but brings her size, rebounding and scoring touch back to the Dream. That could provide some nice second-chance opportunities for McCoughtry and company.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 at Chicago, 7/13 at New York, 7/16 vs. Chicago
The Mystics have a tough, tough schedule ahead of them over the next four games. For a team that has been struggling to pick up wins, a five-game road trip couldn't have come at a worse time. After losing Tuesday's matchup to Chicago on the road, Washington now has to win in Indiana, Seattle, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Not exactly the easiest of cities to play in when you're trying to snag a few wins on the road.
Upcoming Games: 7/9 at Indiana, 7/12 at Seattle, 7/15 at Phoenix
The best thing the Shock can do at this point in the season is not let their 1-9 record get them down. Every team in the league knows that you can't take a struggling team for granted, so as long as the players on Tulsa don't get down on themselves there's still a chance to improve on their record. With Los Angeles on a slide there's a chance for Tulsa to gain some ground if they start winning now. Two straight against Phoenix isn't going to be easy though.
Upcoming Games: 7/8 vs. Phoenix, 7/10 at Phoenix, 7/13 at Chicago