WNBA.com Power Rankings: June 7, 2005

So much for the seeming parity that everyone predicted... at least early on. Several four-win teams have gotten out to hot starts while others continue to struggle at the bottom of the standings. In the past week, the home team began to exert its collective dominance. For teams to truly separate themselves, they must begin to win on the road. That will be the difference between playoff teams and playoff spectators in the months to come.

2005 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Two
REC. (last)
Detroit (1)
4-0Still unbeaten, the Shock can assure themselves a stop atop the rankings if they go undefeated. In their only game of the week last week, the Shock held off the Liberty in a double-OT thriller on Friday night. Deanna Nolan scored 12 of her franchise-record 34 points in overtime to lead the Shock to a 68-66 home win. Elaine Powell checked in with 10 points for Detroit, which improved to 4-0 on the young season. The bad news is that word from Detroit is that Swin Cash is now out indefinitely until she is ready to go.
Upcoming: vs. Seattle, vs. Charlotte
2 4-1The Monarchs dropped their first loss of the season in Indiana on Tuesday night, but rebounded with a tremendous win in their home opener against the Sparks on ABC on Saturday. Sacramento is one of the three 4-1 teams atop the Western Conference standings. Chelsea Newton scored the game's opening basket, giving the Monarchs a lead that they would never relinquish and would push as high as 28 points by game's end. Nicole Powell led all scorers with 22 points and Yolanda Griffith added 17.
Upcoming: vs. Indiana, vs. Phoenix
4-1Since dropping the opening game of the season, the Storm have rebounded to win four straight games. Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird and Betty Lennox have provided the scoring while coach Anne Donovan has seemingly found an answer to the preseason question of who would play the small forward. Australian center Suzy Batkovic is also close to joining the team, which would bolter the frontcourt considerably. Jackson turned in a dominating all-around performance to lead the Storm to a 83-77 victory over the visiting Fever on Saturday, scoring 24 points on 11-for-11 shooting from the line. Bird chipped in with 20 points and seven assists and Janell Burse added 15 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Betty Lennox who sparked the Storm by returning from a back contusion. The Storm's road trip, which starts Tuesday in Connecticut (5:00 p.m., ESPN2).
Upcoming: at Connecticut, at Detroit
4 3-1Like the Storm, the Sun have not looked back since dropping their opening game of the season. Two tough games against Western Conference teams loom for the Sun. A trio of Sun players scored 15 points, and Margo Dydek blocked nine shots to power Connecticut to an 80-69 win over the visiting Silver Stars on Saturday. Dydek also had the hot hand on offense, connecting on 6-of-7 shots en route to her 15. This team looks like is has its stuff together, which can only mean good things down the road.
Upcoming: vs. Seattle, at Houston
4-1 The third and final 4-1 team out west, the Houston Comets. Solid guard play from Dominique Canty, so confident that Coach Van Chancellor released veteran guard Felicia Ragland. Sheryl Swoopes� layup in the waning moments was the difference as the host Comets posted a 59-57 win over the Mercury on Saturday. The Comets led 35-24 at the half before Phoenix rallied late to take a one-point lead. That set the stage for Swoopes, whose basket made the score 58-57. Dominique Canty led Houston with 15 points and Swoopes totaled 10.
Upcoming: vs Minnesota, vs. Connecticut
4-2The Fever split their games last week, handing the Monarchs their first loss of the season, before losing at Seattle over the weekend. Rookie Tan White scored 26 in her first professional start, but it wasn't enough to overcome the defending champs. Tully Bevilaqua injured her knee last week, but the initial prognosis is not as serious as initially feared. Continuing the theme of rookie production, in the win against the Monarchs, Yolanda Paige�s clutch free throw with 52.4 seconds remaining lifted the Fever to a 61-60 win.
Upcoming: at. Sacramento, vs. New York
7 3-3The Sparks remain the biggest enigma of the season to date. They looked impressive in their home opener against the Monarchs last Tuesday. Holdsclaw and Leslie seemed to show that they are a perfect fit together. But then it all came crumbling down on Saturday. The Sparks fell into a hole early and couldn't dig itself out, losing 81-53 to the Monarchs. Three different Sparks scored in double figures, including Chamique Holdsclaw, who led the team with 11 points. L.A. hosts Phoenix on Wednesday, but they struggled on defense and still have not solved their backcourt depth problems.
Upcoming: vs. Phoenix, vs. Sacramento
2-3If the Liberty could play the Mystics for 34 games, they might just be the best team in the league. Two of New York's three games last week came against Washington, one at home and another on the road, and the Liberty prevailed in both. Had it not been for Deanna Nolan going off in overtime in Detroit on Friday, the Liberty could very well have had a perfect week. Instead, they are hovering around the .500 mark with games against conference foes this week.
Upcoming: at Indiana, vs. Detroit
2-3The Lynx split their two games last week, losing in Washington and winning at home against the Sting. That said, they must to get more out of their role players. Katie Smith has led the team in scoring in four of the team's five games so far this season while second-year center Nicole Ohlde has led the team in rebounding in four of the five contests as well. However, in Minnesota's most recent win on Saturday, Svetlana Abrosimova keyed a second-half surge for the Lynx, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the second half and putting Minnesota ahead for good with a big 3-pointer four minutes into the second half.
Upcoming: at Houston, vs. Washington
2-4The Mystics have gotten out to a shaky start without ever having their regular starting lineup ready to go. With injuries shaking the team in the early going, the Mystics were able to win at home against the Lynx, but lost two against the Liberty. The good news is that everyone is back - Alana Beard is healthy as is DeLisha Milton-Jones. The early injuries also gave rookie guards Temeka Johnson and Laurie Koehn quality playing time and confidence that they can succeed in the league.
Upcoming: at San Antonio, vs. Seattle
Phoenix (11)
1-5The Mercury have been close, but remain unlucky when it comes to tallying wins in the first column of the standings. Phoenix welcomed back forward Penny Taylor, but still lost to Houston and Seattle. Center Kamila Vodichkova is on the verge of returning, and rumors have surfaced that 6-8 center Maria Stepanova is contemplating a comeback to the WNBA. However, until that happens, the Mercury remain depleted in the middle and will continue to rely on Diana Taurasi and Anna DeForge to do all of the scoring.
Upcoming: at Los Angeles, at Sacramento
1-5It hasn't been an ideal start for Trudi Lacey and the Charlotte Sting, who lost both games last week after notching a win at home against the Sparks the week before. Even though they missed the playoffs last season, they were never out of the race. Already, however, in 2005, the Sting are four games behind the conference leader. Over the weekend, Charlotte's six-game winning streak over the Lynx came to an end in a 73-67 loss. The Sting led briefly in the second half before the Lynx took the lead for good just 3:38 into the period. Tammy Sutton Brown led the way for Charlotte with 14 points, while Tangela Smith and Tynesha Lewis added 11 apiece.
Upcoming: at Detroit, vs. Seattle
13 1-6The Silver Stars got their first win of the season on Thursday, a home win against the Charlotte Sting. In San Antonio's most recent loss, a 80-69 loss to the Sun, forward Wendy Palmer-Daniel recorded a double-double while LaToya Thomas netted 17 points of her own. However, guard Marie Ferdinand needs to get more involved in the scoring if the Silver Stars are going to turn their season around and make a run to get back into the picture.
Upcoming: vs. Washington, vs. Connecticut