Lynx On Top, Sparks Gaining Ground
By Aman Ali, WNBA.com

After a full week of WNBA play, the Minnesota Lynx live up to the hype leading the way with a 4-0 record.

On the flip-side, the New York Liberty kick off the season with an 0-4 record, falling short of their reputation as a playoff-worthy competitor. How all the other teams rank with them is where it gets interesting.

2012 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: 5/28

TEAM (last week) W / L NOTES
1
Minnesota (1)
4-0 The Lynx continue on their defending championship run kicking off the season with a 4-0 record. The team racked up wins against several good teams like the Los Angeles Sparks and Phoenix Mercury by sizeable margins proving to everyone that the Lynx are still the team to beat this season.
Upcoming Games: 5/30 @ Washington, 6/1 @ Connecticut
2
Indiana (4)
3-0 The Fever share a 3-0 winning streak with the Connecticut Sun in the East, but the Fever deserves the advantage considering they've had a tougher schedule so far. Racking up two wins against the championship worthy Atlanta Dream says a lot about how hungry the Fever are for the league's top spot. They go into the weekend playing back-to-back games against the New York Liberty which should be two more wins to add to their belt if they keep playing the way they have been.
Upcoming Games: 6/2 vs New York, 6/3 @ New York
3
Los Angeles (5)
3-1 The 1-2 punch of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike is going to be tough for other teams to beat this season. The WNBA All-Star and 2012 spotlight draft pick, respectively, have been on scoring frenzies, racking up 49 points together against the Mercury over the weekend. Watching the Sparks surge with thrilling come-from-behind wins such as ones against the Storm are likely to make them a fan-favorite to watch this season.
Upcoming Games: 5/29 vs Tulsa, 6/3 vs Seatle
4
Connecticut (3)
3-0 Connecticut arguably deserves a higher ranking on this list considering they've started the season with a 3-0 record, but racking up back-to-back wins against the New York Liberty and another against the San Antonio Silver Stars hasn't really tested the team's true strength. How well they play when they take on Minnesota this week will be a much more thorough test. That being said, the Sun went into the season in strong shape and are likely to stay that way so long as their players keep playing the way they are.
Upcoming Games: 6/1 vs Minnesota, 6/3 vs Washington
5
Atlanta (2)
1-2 The Atlanta Dream went into the season as one of the top teams in the East but came out of the gate this season stumbling along the way. Back-to-back losses against the Indiana Fever make it tough for this team to make the argument that they're the ones that will give the Lynx their run for the money this season. But hey, it's only been a week of basketball so it would be foolish to write them off at all this season.
Upcoming Games:5/31 vs Phoenix, 6/2 vs Chicago
6
Phoenix (7)
1-2 Phoenix was knocked down with two tough losses to the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks to start the season. But they continue to ride on their scoring-frenzy reputations with players like Candace Dupree racking up 24 points in the team's loss to the Sparks. They're explosive offense however is one of the only things the team has going for them. Scoring baskets means nothing if you can't stop your opponents from doing the same.
Upcoming Games:5/31 @ Atlanta, 6/1 @ San Antonio
7
Chicago (11)
1-1 The Chicago Sky surging four spots to #7 on the rankings this week has more to do with the fact that other teams are losing rather then them winning. Racking up a win against the Washington Mystics isn't a thorough evaluation to see what this team is made of. That being said, they're 1-1 with a loss to the Indiana Fever so how they will fare against other tougher teams remains to be seen.
Upcoming Games: 5/30 @San Antonio, 6/1 vs. Washington
8
San Antonio (10)
1-1 Like the Chicago Sky, the reasons for ranking the San Antonio Silver Stars this high on the list has more to do with other teams losing. And also like the Sky, racking up a win against the Tulsa Shock makes it tough to fairly examine how much the team has improved since last year.
Upcoming Games: 5/30 vs Chicago, 6/1 vs.Phoenix
9
Seattle (6)
0-3 With an 0-3 record, the Storm might be regretting boldly trading some of their star players in exchange for some youthful prospects in the off-season. Granted their losses have to the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx, but 0-3, no matter how you slice it, is not a good way to start the season.
Upcoming Games: 6/1 vs Tulsa, 6/3 vs Los Angeles
10
New York (8)
0-4 Technically 0-4 makes the New York Liberty the worst team in the league. But their losses have been to powerhouse teams like the Connecticut Sun, Minnesota Lynx and the Atlanta Dream. So at least the Liberty can make the argument their losing record has a lot to do with the fact they've by far had the toughest schedule this season. But still, 0-4 is 0-4.
Upcoming Games: 6/2 @ Indiana, 5/30 vs Indiana
11
Washington (12)
1-1 They might be 1-1, but racking up a win against the Tulsa Shock isn't a proper way to thoroughly evaluate the Washington Mystics, who are entering the season with a roster almost unrecognizable from last year.
Upcoming Games: 5/30 vs Minnesota, 6/1 @ Chicago
12
Tulsa (9)
0-3 Tulsa, Tulsa, Tulsa. Tsk tsk tsk. I was willing to give the Tulsa Shock the benefit of the doubt in boldly ranking them at #9 last week because of all the good moves they made in the off-season like bringing in a new coach and some star veterans. But it remains to be seen how much those moves have paid off. With an 0-3 record to start the season, it's hard to make the argument that the moves are paying off at all actually.
Upcoming Games: 5/29 @ Los Angeles, 6/1 @Seattle

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