WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 5, 2005

The next ten days or so will bring about the halfway point for all 13 WNBA teams, including the unofficial halfway marker, the 2005 WNBA All-Star break. The Connecticut Sun have run away with the first half of the season, losing only twice in 14 games thus far. Teams still have one or two games left in the three days of action to go before the break, a time when competing hostilities and rivalries are temporarily suspended in the name of camaraderie and conference pride. Of course, there will be more games in the second half of the season than the first, and virtually every team is still alive in the playoff hunt. Did you really expect anything other than an all-out seven-week sprint to the finish line?

2005 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Six
TEAM (last)
1 12-2The Sun keep winning, and last week's foes were nothing to make light of, either. On Tuesday night, the Sun bested the leaders of the West at home, the Sacramento Monarchs, for the second time in less than a week. The Sun remained undefeated at home with a 71-56 win over the Lynx on Thursday. The victory lifted Connecticut´┐Żs record to 6-0 on their home court and a league-best 12-2 overall. They may not have been rewarded with a starter in the All-Star Game, but this is a team full of stars that would rather have the accolades after the season rather than during it.
Upcoming: at New York
2 11-5After a tough, tough road swing through the Eastern Conference and then back west, the Monarchs earned a well-deserved rest until the All-Star Game, which will have good Monarchs representation. After dropping the game in Connecticut, the Monarchs pulled off back-to-back wins in New York and Detroit on Thursday and Friday, but ran out of gas in Seattle on Sunday.
Upcoming: All-Star break
8-5 Look out, Western Conference, because the Comets are packing heat. After another four wins in a row, Sheryl Swoopes and co. are standing tall at second place. Swoopes is playing like an MVP and Tina Thompson is back practicing with the team. Without another load on his back to worry about this season (the Olympics), Van Chancellor is working magic in Texas.
Upcoming: at Detroit, at Indiana
4 9-6Here the Sparks come once again. All season long, they were criticizxed, questioned and tossed around topics of disappointment conversations among fans, experts, players and league personnel alike. But they are now tied for second in the Western Conference. L.A. has won two in a row since the bad loss to Detroit and is just two games behind the conference-leading Monarchs in the win column. Look out for the Sparks in the second half - seriously - because the team has too much talent not to challenge any and all comers.
Upcoming: vs. New York

The Fever only played one game last week, but lost that game and drop two spots this week. Further proof that you have to make the most of your opportunities in this league, the Fever lost at home to the Sparks as Kelly Miller had 12 points and Tully Bevilaqua chipped in 11 for Indiana, which forced 21 turnovers and held the Sparks to 41 percent (22-of-56) shooting. However, star Tamika Catchings, who shot just 1-of-9 in a 57-55 triumph over the Minnesota Lynx in the previous game, shot 4-of-17 in this one. Indiana is still in second place in the east, but Washington is not too far off.
Upcoming: vs. Houston

8-7Speaking of Washington, the Mystics' two wins in a row last week moves them up four spots - that's how close things are. The Mystics swept the Charlotte Sting in a real home-and-home last week. With the backcourt of the future (and present), Temeka Johnson and Alana Beard, running the show and doing everything but passing legislation and giving White House tours in D.C., there is no reason to think that this team can't make the playoffs and do some damage.
Upcoming: vs. Detroit
8-7The Lynx beat up on the visiting Silver Stars last Tuesday, but then ran into the immoveable force that is the Connecticut Sun on Thursday. The visiting Lynx trailed by only one with six minutes remaining in the first half Thursday, but they could not overtake the Sun in a 71-56 defeat. After a sluggish start, Minnesota went on a 16-7 run to come within 21-20 before Connecticut took over. Katie Smith led the Lynx with 11 points and Svetlana Abrosimova netted 10.
Upcoming: at Charlotte
Detroit (4)
6-6The Shock have been unable to find the early-season form that immediately vaulted them to the top of the Rankings. This up-and-down team lost their only game of the week last week, a visit from the Monarchs. The Monarchs were in the midst of a long road trip, playing for the second straight night, but the Shock could not deliver the knockout punch. In other news, Swin Cash is finally practicing and should be back sometime after the All-Star break.
Upcoming: vs. Houston, at Washington
8-8The defending champs had lost four games in a row on a brutal road trip before coming home and winning against the conference-leading Monarchs on Sunday. Lauren Jackson went off for 31 points in the win, but the Storm's total inconsistency so far this season reminds us of last year's defending champs, the Shock, who were capable of blowing out or getting blown out by any opponent until they turned it on down the stretch to make the playoffs. Anne Donovan hopes that they don't wait that long.
Upcoming: at Phoenix
5-7The fireworks in New York were not over the East River for the 4th of July this weekend. No, that was Liberty coach Pat Coyle going off about her team's recent lack of success. The Liberty have now lost three games in a row, including a home loss to the Monarchs and a road loss in San Antonio. If the Liberty are going to compete in the second half, they need to have more than just one player score in double figures per game.
Upcoming: at Los Angeles, vs. Connecticut
11 5-12A little life in the Silver Stars after all, San Antonio is on a two-game winning streak and could close out the first half of the season. Well, it would technically be the start of the second half of their season. The Silver Stars, led by Marie Ferdinand, have played more games than anyone else, which is already half of their games. And twelve losses. Who knows how they will turn out in the second half of the season, but they are making considerable strides despite the injuries and bad luck.
Upcoming: vs. Phoenix
2-12The Charlotte Sting may still be stuck on two wins at this point, and lost all three games last week, but Janel McCarville is back in the lineup, Dawn Staley is an All-Star and Tangela Smith and Sheri Sam have played well for the Sting. But Charlotte still lacks a dependable perimeter game and traded away a budding, young star in Nicole Powell. It really was a toss-up between the Sting and Mercury for the final two spots.
Upcoming: vs. Minnesota
Phoenix (12)
3-11Now that Maria Stepanova is back, the Mercury have a formidible frontline that can compete with any team in the league. Unfortunately they have lost five games in a row and 11 overall, which will make every game in the second half a do-or-die contest if the Mercury want to have any chance at making the playoffs. The lights may have already faded out for this season, but the nucleus is in place for next season once this team learns how to play together.
Upcoming: at San Antonio