WNBA.com Power Rankings: August 9, 2005

Only twice in WNBA history have two teams finished the season with single-digit losses (Los Angeles and Houston in 2000 and 2002), but the Connecticut Sun and Sacramento Monarchs have a good chance at becoming the third pair of teams to enjoy such dominance. As they battle for the best overall record in the league, they are also playing for home court advantage throughout the playoffs, which is even more important this season as the Finals expands to five games. Elsewhere, things are tightening up in both conferences - three and a half games separates second through fifth place in the east and only two and a half games separates second through sixth place in the west. In other words, prepare for anything in these final three weeks.

2005 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Eleven
TEAM (last)
1 20-6The Sun are back on the winning track after dropping their first home game of the season. They have won two straight since that game, including two big road wins in New York and Indiana to extend their lead in the conference. Had they not won both games, there is a good chance they could have fallen out of the top spot for the first time since week one. That's how close Sacramento is.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, at Washington
2 20-7The Monarchs won all three games last week to extend their streak to seven consevutive victories. They are now tied with the Sun for the most victories in the WNBA and are on track for the most wins in franchise history (they won 21 games in 2000). Five of the Monarchs remaining seven games come against teams with sub-.500 records.
Upcoming: at Phoenix
15-12 The Comets also have a favorable schedule with five of their last seven games coming against teams with losing records. Houston strumlbed a bit this week, losing to Phoenix and Sacramento on the road, but winning at home against the Sting. Right now, the Comets' primary focus if playoff seeding and two games against the Storm will go a long way in determining that.
Upcoming: at Seattle, vs. Seattle

With only four wins so far on the road, the Fever are winning at home and keeping up the pace for a likely return to the playoffs. However, Indiana has lost two in a row in back-to-back games against the Sun and Mystics this past weekend. They continue their road trip with a voyage out west and need wins to keep home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs
Upcoming: at San Antonio, at Los Angeles

5 14-12Cracking the top five for the first time in the history of the Power Rankings, the Washington Mystics are most deserving after two straight wins at home in the past week. DeLisha Milton-Jones´┐Ż two free throws snapped a tie with 7.3 seconds to play Sunday and the Mystics held on for a
61-60 victory over the visiting Fever. Chasity Melvin added two more free throws in the closing seconds for a 61-57 edge. Alana Beard led Washington with a game-high 17 points and Milton-Jones added 11.
Upcoming: vs. Connecticut, at Connecticut
14-12After winning six straight games and climbing all the way from fifth to third place, the Storm went on the road and lost two games against the Fever and Liberty. In the process, they also lost Betty Lennox with a wrist injury and now must look to other players to compensate for her scoring. The Storm now return to playing Western Conference teams for the remainder of the season, including two this week against the Comets.
Upcoming: vs. Houston, at Minnesota, at Houston
Phoenix (10)
12-13One of the hottest teams since the All-Star break, the Mercury have won eight of their last ten games and currently hold the tie-breaker for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. Diana Taurasi was the WNBA Player of the Week in setting a new career high for rebounds and matched her season high for assists on Friday as she led the Mercury to an exciting 80-75 win over the visiting Comets. Taurasi finished with nine boards and eight assists to go along with her 27 points, one short of her season's best output. The Mercury have six of their last nine games at home.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, vs. Indiana
13-13The only team in the WNBA currently sitting on a .500 record, the Liberty went 1-2 last week, winning at home against the Storm on Saturday night, but losing to the Sun on their home floor and dropping a close one to the Shock in Detroit on Sunday. New York holds a slim 1.5 games advantage over the Shock in the race for the final playoff spot. The Liberty have four home and road games apiece remaining, as well as four of their final eight against teams with winning records.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, at Charlotte, vs. Charlotte
Detroit (8)
11-14Even at 11-14, the Shock have a good chance of making the playoffs. Only a game and a half out of the final spot, the Shock face teams with a below-.500 record in six of their last nine games. They held off the Liberty at home on Sunday as Swin Cash posted her first double-double of the season, Deanna Nolan netted 20 points and Katie Smith chipped in with 11 points. Detroit must chip away at the deficit with one more west coast road swing left on the schedule next week, which could very well make or break the season.
Upcoming: vs. Charlotte, vs. Minnesota
12-14Don't count the Lynx out just yet. While Minnesota is a meager 3-10 on the road this season, they are still only a half game out of the fourth playoff spot. A big win over the Sparks on Sunday enabled them to gain valuable ground. Nicole Ohlde hit two free throws to seal the game after Los Angeles cut the lead to two with under 15 seconds to play. Kristi Harrower paced Minnesota with a season-high 15 points. Svetlana Abrosimova posted 14 points and nine rebounds and Ohlde added 13 points. The Lynx are still hard to beat at home and have four more games at the Target Center this season.
Upcoming: vs. San Antonio, at Detroit, vs. Seattle
11 12-13The Sparks have lost seven of their last ten games but are, by no means, sounding the panic alarm. They are still tied for fourth place in the Western Conference, but need to reverse their recent struggles if they want to keep pace with the rest of the competition. Of their nine games remaining, five are at the Staples Center but six games come against teams with winning records. A trip east won't make things any easier, however, and the Sparks are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
Upcoming: at Connecticut, at New York
12 7-20With only seven games to go in the 2005 season, the Silver Stars are focusing on developing their team play and rotation for 2006. Many of the stars will be back, hopefully healthy next year. But for fans in San Antonio, the Silver Stars have a chance to play spoiler against some top teams coming to town, the Storm, Sparks, Shock and Fever. Even though they only have two road wins this season, San Antonio will look to up that number and stave off playoff elimination as long as possible.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Indiana
4-22The first team to be eliminated from playoff contention last week, the Sting began moving forward by hiring a new head coach, former NBA standout Muggsy Bogues, and then proceeded to get their first win in the Muggsy era, a big OT shocker over Detroit on Saturday night, 82-73. The Sting took control in the second overtime, outscoring Detroit 11-2 in the final five minutes. Sheri Sam notched a season-high 26 points, including 11 in overtime, and collected a career-high 14 rebounds. Tangela Smith added 22 points and eight boards for Charlotte.
Upcoming: at Detroit, vs. New York, at New York