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The only capital "L" you will see when looking at the Minnesota Lynx's record this season is in the name of the team. At 9-0, the Lynx are on the brink of having the best winning streak to open a WNBA season. Ever.
While all the talk is about the Lynx's impressive run, it would be foolish to discredit the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks - each of them with only one loss this season and several records to boast about too. Time to rank 'em!
|2012 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: 6/11|
|TEAM (last week)||W / L||NOTES|
The Lynx's win against the Shock over the weekend boosts their record to 9-0, tying them for most consecutive wins to start a season with the 2001 and 2003 Los Angeles Sparks. Given how well the Lynx are playing, they're not only capable of breaking the record this week when they play the Mercury on Friday, but continuing to shatter it in the weeks to come.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 @Phoenix, 6/17 @ Seattle
It's not as impressive as Minnesota's streak, but Chicago is on a five-game winning streak, the team's longest such streak in franchise history. The records don't stop there though. Center Sylvia Fowles racked up five rebounds in the team's win against the Liberty over the weekend giving her a career total of 288 - an all-time high for the franchise. Oh, and did I mention that Epiphanny Prince scored 30+ points in three straight games, tying her at a league all-time high with WNBA legend Cynthia Cooper? Considering the Sky were towards the bottom of the rankings last season, this team has had one of the most spectacular rebounds to the top in quite some time.
Upcoming Games:6/13 vs. Seattle, 6/16 @ Indiana
The Connecticut Sun played some tough teams last week and came out with large-margin wins against the Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever. But all the buzz is about Tina Charles this week. After the team's win against the Dream, Charles became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 50 double-doubles, doing so in just 75 games. She also set a franchise record with 19 straight games with double-digit scoring.
Upcoming Games: 6/13 vs. Los Angeles, 6/15 vs. New York
Los Angeles (2)
The Los Angeles Sparks played well last week, but their bump in the rankings has more to do with the Sky and Sun's performances outshining them. That being said, the Sparks are still in good shape as one of the best teams in the West on a four-game winning streak and 6-1 record. No. 1 pick Nneka Ogwumike's emergence gives this team another weapon in the post.
Upcoming Games: 6/13 @ Connecticut, 6/15 @ Atlanta
The Fever take a bump in the rankings this week after losing to the equally-as-good Connecticut Sun. But their bump shouldn't cause concern because the team is still putting up solid numbers. Reigning MVP Tamika Catchings has scored at least 16 points every game this season. Performances like that will go a long way come playoff time.
Upcoming Games:6/15 @ Washington, 6/16 vs. Chicago
The Dream's 3-5 record probably has everything to do with the fact they constantly playing tough teams like the Sky, Sun and Fever. That being said, losses to each of these teams were by only a few points, putting the team in fairly good shape if they just put in a little more "oompf" to put them over the top. The team's star Angel McCoughtry acknowledges the burden is on her to carry her team to the top and she is second in the league in scoring with 21.6 points per game, so McCoughtry has this team in good shape to stay competitive this season.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 vs. Los Angeles, 6/17 vs. Connecticut
San Antonio (7)
The San Antonio Silver Stars are playing consistent basketball this season as they get closer and closer to an above .500 record. What's impressive from them is the explosive performances from the team's bench. During the team's recent win against the Seattle Storm, the team's reserves outscored the Silver Stars starters 41-30. If the team's starters can put up numbers as good as their backups, expect the Silver Stars to bump up in the rankings in the weeks to come.
Upcoming Games: 6/16 vs. Los Angeles, 6/22 @. Seattle
The Mercury continue to reel from the loss of Diana Taurasi, sidelined indefinitely with a hip injury. Losing to the Sparks over the weekend, 90-74, demonstrates that the team has a lot to make up for after losing their scoring-frenzy leader. Slowly but surely, however, there have been several Mercury players stepping it up. Forward DeWanna Bonner is averaging 20.7 points in the past 3 games, even more impressive considering the three games were over the span of four nights.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 vs. Minnesota, 6/17 @ Tulsa
New York (9)
The Liberty have rebounded from a sluggish start in the season winning three games in a row last week before the Sky snapped the team's budding surge. Cappie Pondexter is putting up good numbers for the team racking up 22 points in the Liberty's loss to the Sky. Like the Dream, the Liberty's losing record has a lot to do with the tough teams they're facing. Upcoming games against the Sun, Dream and Lynx are going to make it even tougher for the Liberty to gain some ground in the rankings in the days to come.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 @ Connecticut, 6/19 @ Atlanta
The Washington Mystics are still figuring out their collective voice with a 1-5 record this season. In the team's loss to the Liberty over the weekend, Crystal Langhorne racked up 24 points and Michelle Snow picked up a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. But the team is still struggling to find their chemistry in their quest to rack up more victories this season.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 vs. Indiana, 6/18 @Los Angeles
The Storm's fall from grace with the loss of their star player Lauren Jackson to Olympic play continues this week. The team is unlikely to get a break this week either with tough matchups against the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx. The team's start is a stark contrast to chatter leading up to the season about the Storm being one of the top teams in the West. But expect things to slowly turn around once Jackson returns from representing Australia in Olympic play.
Upcoming Games: 6/13 @Chicago, 6/15 @ Tulsa
The Shock's eight-game losing streak to start this season makes them the only win-less team in the league. Even more reason to be concerned is that many of the team's losses are by margins of 10+ points. Clearly new coach Gary Kloppenburg has his work cut out for him this season.
Upcoming Games: 6/15 vs. Seattle, 6/17 vs. Phoenix