WNBA Player Rankings: Week 11

SECAUCUS, N.J., August 1, 2007 -- Quick, name the player that has led her team to the top record in her respective conference, is one of the league’s best guards and is a strong candidate to win the WNBA MVP?

While the Silver Stars’ Becky Hammon is probably the first player that popped into your head, that description also fits the Shock’s Deanna Nolan.

Both playmakers have been equally outstanding this season. While it appears that the Storm’s Lauren Jackson will finish first in the Race to the MVP, the battle to see who ends up No. 2 has turned out to be just as intriguing.

Hammon

Since arriving in San Antonio via a draft-day trade from New York, Hammon has breathed life into the franchise.

She has energized the team with her sideline-to-sideline play and is most responsible for the Silver Stars going from cellar dweller to title contender in just one season.

The veteran is third in the league in scoring, second in free-throw shooting and first in assists for San Antonio, which has won 16 of its 25 games.

Last season the Silver Stars went 13-21.

Line of the Week
Seimone Augustus (Lynx)
July 29 win vs. Monarchs
39 points, 16-25 FG, 3-4 3-pointers

Nolan

On a team as talented as the Shock, it is very difficult for one player to stand out. Still, Nolan has managed to emerge as the top option for the defending champions.

Detroit, which has won nine of its past 10, is the only team that has clinched a playoff berth. Cheryl Ford was playing at an MVP-caliber level before being sidelined for the rest of the regular season with a left knee femoral chondral defect.

At the time of the injury, Ford was leading the league in rebounds and was one of just two players averaging a double-double.

For certain the Shock would slip without their inside muscle in the lineup, right? If that was the case, someone forgot to tell Nolan, who is averaging a little over 16 points, four rebounds and four assists a contest.

She fills whatever voids Detroit (21-6) needs. Her signature moment came against the Sun on July 24 when she posted 36 points and seven assists.

Now here are the player rankings for the season through July 31.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    24.4 9.9 1.3 1.0 2.1 .529 .877
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how LJ is having a legendary season, but she's still the clear No. 1, despite the Storm sitting a game under .500. Although they will make the postseason, Jackson and Co. need to get their acts together if they don't want to get sent home in round one like the NBA MVP did.

  • 2. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.3 4.1 4.2 1.5 0.3 .460 .803
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Cheryl Ford (injured knee) is done for the regular season, but the Shock haven't missed a beat thanks to the brilliant play of Nolan. If Jackson stumbles, more than one Detroit fan will be stating their case that Nolan should be MVP.

  • 3. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.5 2.6 5.1 1.0 0.2 .468 .953
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    Of course the New York front office knows a heck of a lot more about hoops than me, but I bet they regret trading away the league's top playmaker.

  • 4. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.6 4.2 4.2 1.4 1.2 .430 .837
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Surprise, surprise. The Mercury are tied with the Silver Stars for the top record in the Western Conference. Taurasi has been great and Phoenix has reeled off five wins in a row.

  • 5. Katie Douglas, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.9 4.7 3.9 2.1 0.3 .441 .786
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    If it wasn't for Connecticut's slow start to the season, Douglas could make a strong case to claim the WNBA's most prestigious award.

  • 6. Sophia Young, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.0 6.4 1.4 1.4 0.3 .476 .752
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    In a battle of WNBA heavies on Tuesday, Young showed she was up to the challenge by scoring 23 and grabbing seven rebounds against the Shock.

  • 7. Candice Dupree, Chicago
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.4 7.5 1.3 0.8 1.3 .462 .785
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    Dupree had arguably her worst game of the season on Tuesday against the Sun, being held to four points and one basket.

  • 8. Penny Taylor, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.5 6.4 2.7 1.4 0.5 .494 .872
  • Last Week's Rank - 10
    Jackson is the most well-known Australian basketball player, but Taylor is doing her best to create a name for herself. Her play this season is one of the biggest reasons the Mercury have performed as well as they have.

  • 9. Asjha Jones, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    15.6 6.2 2.7 0.8 0.9 .454 .759
  • Last Week's Rank - 13
    Jones has scored in double digits in six straight games for the Sun who have won nine of their past 10.

  • 10. Alana Beard, Washington
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 0.9 .408 .819
  • Last Week's Rank - 9
    Beard has been good, but the Mystics have lost two straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Tamika Catchings (Indiana): 16.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.7 APG - (3)
    12. Nicole Powell (Sacramento): 13.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.6 APG - (Unranked)
    13. Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut): 13.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.0 APG - (15)
    14. Katie Smith (Detroit): 14.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.7 APG - (Unranked)
    15. Tina Thompson (Houston): 17.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.0 APG - (14)

  • Dropped out: Cheryl Ford (Detroit), Rebekkah Brunson (Sacramento).
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    Video

    Sky vs. Shock

    Odyssey Sims scores 24 points to lead the Shock to a win over the Sky, 79-69.

    Lynx vs. Sun

    Maya Moore scores 17 points to help the Lynx beat the Sun, 76-65.

    Dream vs. Mystics

    Ivory Latta scores 21 points and Kara Lawson adds14 as the surging Mystics beat the Dream, 77-67.

    Liberty vs. Mercury

    Diana Taurasi records 15 points and 10 assists, Britney Griner adds 18 points as the Mercury roll to their 15th straight win.

    Taurasi's Double-double

    Diana Taurasi records a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists to lead the Mercury over the Liberty.