WNBA Player Rankings: Week 3

SECAUCUS, N.J., June 5, 2007 -- As I looked over a couple of WNBA-related forums, I found it pretty interesting that there were some fans who disagreed with the inclusion of New York's Erin Thorn in last week's Race to the MVP.

My favorite post came from someone going by the name of "dtsnms."

"Hello Erin Thorn! Goodbye credibility! Tell ya what, I'll give you Erin Thorn and for my team I'll take (Becky) Hammon, (Cheryl) Ford, (Katie) Douglas, Tina Thompson, Seimone (Augustus), Taj (McWilliams-Franklin), Cappie (Pondexter), (Alana) Beard or (Chamique) Holdsclaw. All of them are ranked below Thorn."

Several thoughts went through my mind after reading that.

A) How do I sign up for this forum so I can respond to this person?

B) Doesn't this person understand that the player rankings are based only on games played this season? What a person has done earlier in their career means nothing.

C) One of the biggest factors used in determining this list is victories. Simply put, if you are a player on a struggling team, don't go looking for your name near the top of the list.

And D) Were you not paying attention? Erin Thorn was just named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

Before I could sign on and kindly post my response, "mercfan3" came to my defense.

"At this point as the leading scorer of one of the undefeated teams (at over 20 points a game), how is Thorn not an MVP candidate? She'll drop out in about a week, but as of week one, there is absolutely no reason for her not to be there."

Great point, "mercfan3" ... although she hasn't completely dropped out of the player rankings yet.

Next subject.

Line of the Week
Asjha Jones (Sun)
May 31 win vs. Sky
31 points, 9-9 FT, nine rebounds, five assists

Isn't there a saying out there that sometimes bad things happen to good people? It almost seems as if that phrase was created with Minnesota's Seimone Augustus, Washington's Alana Beard and Houston's Tina Thompson in mind.

Despite the fact that each member of the trio is playing at an All-Star level, their respective teams have yet to crack the win column.

Augustus is pumping in a league-best 22.6 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field but her Lynx have began the season with seven defeats.

Beard, who is averaging a league-high three steals a contest, has not been any luckier than Augustus. The fourth-year standout is scoring at a 17.6 points per game clip for the Mystics who have dropped all six games they have played.

Thompson, a future Hall of Famer, is off to one of the best starts of her legendary career. Even though she is filling up the box score, the Comets have struggled in their first four games.

It is still early in the season, so they all have time for their teams to get their acts together. Their positions in the Race to the MVP are depending on it.

Now here are the player rankings for the season through June 4.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Tamika Catchings, Indiana
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.0 7.5 4.5 2.5 0.8 .447 .857
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    She had a poor shooting game (2-for-9) Sunday against the Mystics. Still, she did her part, grabbing nine rebounds and making six steals as the Fever, who have a big game against the Liberty tonight, stayed unbeaten.

  • 2. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.3 2.8 5.0 1.0 0.2 .472 .889
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    Surprise, surprise. Look at which team is leading the Western Conference. Hammon has smoothly made the transition from New York to San Antonio, enjoying the finest season of her career.

  • 3. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    14.3 3.8 5.0 1.8 0.3 .431 .889
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    Although her numbers don't jump off the page, there is no denying her importance to the defending champions. She is capable of scoring more, but on her team that is not necessary.

  • 4. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    22.5 10.5 1.5 0.8 2.5 .441 .917
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    Jackson's stats have been off the chart so far. She is one of only two players in the league averaging a double-double (teammate Janell Burse is the other).

  • 5. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.9 4.1 3.9 1.1 1.0 .432 .931
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    It has been a rough stretch on the court for Taurasi who has been ejected from one game and then watched her team drop two in a row.

  • 6. Katie Douglas, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.0 6.2 5.4 1.0 0.2 .455 .938
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    With the exception of Catchings, Douglas may be the most complete all-around player in the league. Also, it appears as if the Sun have regained their winning form after they won two straight last week.

  • 7. Cheryl Ford, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    13.3 8.3 0.8 2.5 0.5 .546 .739
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    The Shock are so loaded that you never know which player is going to kill your team. Against the Comets on Saturday, it was Ford's turn. She had her best game of the season, scoring 15 and grabbing 14 rebounds.

  • 8. Asjha Jones, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.8 7.4 3.8 0.6 1.0 .452 .900
  • Last Week's Rank - Unranked
    The newly-named Eastern Conference Player of the Week was on fire against the Sky, erupting for 31 points. Even more impressive was the fact that she scored 26 after intermission.

  • 9. Chamique Holdsclaw, Los Angeles
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.0 5.8 2.8 1.5 0.5 .471 .875
  • Last Week's Rank - 14
    The Sparks were expected to struggle this season but the play of Holdsclaw is the No. 1 reason that they will be playoff contenders all season.

  • 10. Candice Dupree, Chicago
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.5 7.5 1.5 1.0 1.5 .500 .724
  • Last Week's Rank - Unranked
    She is sixth in scoring and seventh in rebounding for the Sky who are off to an impressive 3-3 start to the season. Dupree has improved her play across the board from a year ago.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix): 18.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 4.0 APG - (12)
    12. Erin Thorn (New York): 16.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.5 APG - (5)
    13. Taj McWilliams-Franklin (Los Angeles): 9.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.3 APG - (10)
    14. Tina Thompson (Houston): 19.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.8 APG - (9)
    15. Alana Beard (Washington): 17.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 APG - (13)

  • Dropped out: Sue Bird (Seattle), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota).
  • More »

    Video

    Sparks vs. Mercury

    Diana Taurasi scores 17 points to lead the Mercury to their 16th straight win.

    Tina Charles Highlights

    Watch Tina Charles' highlights from the Liberty's game versus the Mystics.

    Storm vs. Shock

    Odyssey Sims scores 21 points and Glory Johnson goes for a double-double in the Shock’s 80-74 win over the Storm.

    Mystics vs. Liberty

    Tina Charles scores 23 points and pulls down 12 rebounds in the Liberty's 80-76 OT win over the Mystics.

    Sky vs. Stars

    Kayla McBride scores 16 points to help the Stars take down the Sky, 92-74.