WNBA Player Rankings: Week 12

SECAUCUS, N.J., August 8, 2007 -- People lie, OK? Politicians trying to get elected. Children trying to keep from getting in trouble with their parents. Criminals trying to avoid jail time. They lie.

But Diana Taurasi’s basketball resume tells nothing but the truth. Counting her straight-out-of-a-dream collegiate career at the University of Connecticut, the Mercury guard is on pace to become one of the best female players to ever lace them up.

Yes, Seattle's Lauren Jackson has put up off-the-chart statistics. Yes, Becky Hammon has helped the Silver Stars make the playoffs for the first time in San Antonio history. And yes, Deanna Nolan has guided the Shock to the best record in the league.

Still, in the midst of all this who-should-be-the-MVP talk, somehow Taurasi has been overlooked.

That is like being asked to name the top show on HBO and mentioning Six Feet Under, The Wire and Entourage but forgetting about The Sopranos.

It is just wrong.

In college, Taurasi won three national titles and two Player of the Year awards. After being selected first in the 2004 Draft, she went on to win the Rookie of the Year. She has been selected to the Western Conference All-Star team in each of her four seasons, but prior to this year, she had never reached the postseason.

Line of the Week
Tina Thompson (Comets)
August 4 win vs. Lynx
26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists

That is no longer the case. Thanks to her 19.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals a game, Phoenix has a conference-leading 19-11 record.

The Mercury, who are 8-2 over their past 10 games, have already clinched a playoff berth. And Taurasi is playing her best ball of the season in Phoenix’s most important stretch.

This month alone, the current Player of the Week has dropped 24 points on the Silver Stars, scored 28 against the Storm and showed her all-around talents by posting 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists against the Sparks.

Sure, Taurasi had better numbers last season when she established new WNBA records for points in a game (47) and season (741), but Phoenix won just 18 games and missed the playoffs.

I’m pretty positive she would rather sacrifice a bit of her scoring for a shot at the ultimate team goal – a championship.

Now here are the player rankings for the season through August 7.

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  • Race to the MVP - Overall Player Rankings

    1. Lauren Jackson, Seattle
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    23.8 9.7 1.3 0.9 2.0 .531 .879
  • Last Week's Rank - 1
    LJ missed the Storm's game against the Lynx on Tuesday because she was with her ailing grandmother in Australia and Seattle lost to the team with the worst record in the WNBA by 21 points.

  • 2. Deanna Nolan, Detroit
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.1 4.0 4.1 1.5 0.3 .455 .813
  • Last Week's Rank - 2
    Nolan and the Shock have only taken to the floor once since last week's player rankings came out, but as usual, they earned a victory.

  • 3. Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.3 4.2 4.1 1.3 1.1 .440 .832
  • Last Week's Rank - 4
    With Taurasi leading the way, the Mercury are the hottest team in the league besides the Shock.

  • 4. Becky Hammon, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    19.4 2.5 5.1 0.9 0.2 .466 .954
  • Last Week's Rank - 3
    Injuries have been the only thing to slow down Hammon this season. She has missed the past two Silver Stars games with a left foot sprain.

  • 5. Katie Douglas, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.6 4.6 3.8 2.0 0.3 .443 .786
  • Last Week's Rank - 5
    Douglas has been stellar all season for the Sun, who have lost just three times in their past 14 games. The only flaw in her game is that she is not attacking the rim. She hasn't attempted a free throw in Connecticut's last three games.

  • 6. Sophia Young, San Antonio
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    16.8 6.3 1.4 1.4 0.3 .476 .775
  • Last Week's Rank - 6
    Young has been consistent all season, unlike the Silver Stars who have alternated wins and losses over their past nine games.

  • 7. Penny Taylor, Phoenix
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.3 6.4 2.9 1.5 0.6 .493 .881
  • Last Week's Rank - 8
    Taylor is second in points and first in rebounds for the Mercury, who this week clinched a postseason spot for the first time since 2000.

  • 8. Alana Beard, Washington
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    18.3 4.2 2.9 2.1 0.8 .414 .829
  • Last Week's Rank - 10
    When you power your team to three straight wins, that is obviously good. When you knock off two teams you're battling for the final playoff spot in the East, that is even better.

  • 9. Asjha Jones, Connecticut
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    15.5 6.1 2.6 0.8 0.8 .458 .756
  • Last Week's Rank - 9
    Jones is second in rebounds and points for the Sun, who had their four-game win streak broken Tuesday with a two-point loss to the Monarchs.

  • 10. Candice Dupree, Chicago
    PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% FT%
    17.0 8.0 1.4 0.9 1.3 .453 .757
  • Last Week's Rank - 7
    Dupree had a poor shooting game against the Fever on Tuesday (2-for-14), but she made up for it by pulling down a game-high 20 rebounds.
  • On the Outside Looking In (season averages - last week's rank)
    11. Nicole Powell (Sacramento): 12.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.5 APG - (12)
    12. Tamika Catchings (Indiana): 16.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.7 APG - (11)
    13. Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut): 13.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.0 APG - (13)
    14. Katie Smith (Detroit): 14.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.8 APG - (14)
    15. Tina Thompson (Houston): 18.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.0 APG - (15)
    More »

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