WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 10, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J. � Just like every Tuesday, it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com editorial staff's Power Rankings. Indiana stays on top but the defending champion Shock make the leap back up to No. 2. Despite being without Becky Hammon for the last week, the Silver Stars take over the top spot in the West. Take a look at our list, and let us know what you think in our Fan Voice.

2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 8
TEAM (last week)
13-4 Best record in the league? Three All-Stars (Tamika Catchings, Anne DeForge and Tammy Sutton-Brown)? Another 2-0 week that included wins over L.A. and Chicago? Yes, the Fever are still No. 1. They're balance is remarkable, their defense is allowing the fewest points per game in the league and they have a viable MVP candidate in Catchings.
12-5 The Shock have really struggled of late, losing four of five before Sunday's incredible 111-82 win over Phoenix in which they broke the all-time records by scoring 40 points in the third quarter and 72 in the second half. Yes, it's only one game, but Bill Laimbeer has to be pleased with the offensive outpouring, including double-digit games from subs Shannon Johnson, Plenette Pierson and Ivory Latta.
3 11-6 Maybe Becky Hammon doesn't mean as much to this team as most experts (OK, we) thought. Hammon has missed the Silver Stars' last three games, but the team has gone 3-0, thanks in large part to Western Conference Player of the Week Erin Buescher, who has posted 23.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg in Hammon's absence. Sophia Young has also stepped up her game as the Silver Stars now have the best record in the Western Conference.
4 12-7 The Monarchs fall a few spots after a 1-1 week that saw them narrowly beat the Lynx and fall to the Liberty at home. They struggled mightily from the field against New York, but All-Star Rebekkah Brunson and Nicole Powell have both been playing at a very high level. They're still solid on defense as well, allowing the second fewest points per game in the league, and are outrebounding their opponents by a league-best 6.1 boards a game.
Phoenix (5)
11-8 All had been right in the desert until Sunday's humbling loss to Detroit. But the four wins leading up to it were still impressive, and Penny Taylor's recent dominance earned her a spot on the Western All-Star Team. They're leading the league in points scored and points allowed and it's clear that when the Mercury are on, particularly with their shooting, they can play with anyone. But if they're off, their defensive looseness enables teams to run up the score.
10-8 Wow, talk about strength of schedule! In the span of three days, the previously struggling Liberty, losers of eight of their last 11 games, went into Detroit and topped the defending champs, then dumped the defending Western Conference champion Monarchs at home. Janel McCarville has been very solid since claiming a starting spot from rookie Jessica Davenport and shooting guard Erin Thorn has finally returned from her ankle injury.
10-8 The Storm had been raging before the announcement last Tuesday night that point guard Sue Bird was going to undergo surgery on her knee, which she did on Friday. Still, Bird helped Seattle to a win Tuesday and the Storm pounded the Comets on Friday before they fell in San Antonio on Saturday. Stepping in for Bird, however, youngster Tanisha Wright posted a team-high 23 in Saturday's losing effort. All-Star Lauren Jackson has been positively incredible, but she'll miss Bird, her biggest provider down low, for another few games.
8-10 The Sky continued their up-and-down season with another drop this week after losses to Washington and Indiana. All-Star Candice Dupree has kept up with her amazing start and is tied for second in the league -- behind only Lauren Jackson -- with six double-doubles. Newly re-signed Cathy Joens led the Sky with 16 points in the loss to the Fever. She could continue to see playing time until Dominique Canty returns to the lineup. This team has overachieved this season, but don't rule out a playoff appearance just yet.
9 7-11 The Sun averaged 109.5 points in their two games this week, but lost a double-overtime thriller to the Mercury on Friday night. The return of Nykesha Sales has definitely put some punch back into their offense, Katie Douglas earned another well-deserved All-Star nod and Asjha Jones will join her in Washington. Despite their record, the Sun will be dangerous down the stretch and could beat anyone if they put it together for a three-game playoff series.
10 7-11

Sorry, Sparks fans, but the Tom Petty classic Free Fallin' comes to mind. After keeping the ship more or less steady following the retirement of Chamique Holdsclaw, the sail seems to have fallen off. Now the losers of nine of 11 games, the Sparks are struggling. Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been dealing with nagging injury issues and Tameka Johnson hasn't yet returned from a family emergency. Though rookie starters Marta Fernandez and Sidney Spencer have done well and second-year guard Sherill Baker has averaged 10.8 points a game since coming over from the Liberty, there simply isn't enough talent elsewhere to compete with most of the other teams around the league.

6-12 After their terrible 0-8 start, the Mystics have gone 6-4 and are successfully ramping up to host the All-Star Game this weekend. Alana Beard and DeLisha Milton-Jones will be the Mystics' player representatives for the East. With Nikki Teasley, the solid Nakia Sanford and the maturing Monique Currie, Washington has built a good core of players. Tree Rollins seems to be making the right moves, and the Mystics now stand only two games out of a playoff spot.
Houston (13)
5-13 The Comets finally move out of the cellar thanks in large part to Sunday's 12-point win over the Lynx. Perennial All-Star Tina Thompson has kept up her blistering pace and her 18.4 ppg is well above her already stellar career average. Hamchetou Maiga-Ba and Crystal Smith have developed some chemistry in the backcourt with the recently re-signed Tamecka Dixon and Sancho Lyttle has proven to be a solid complement to Michelle Snow up front.
Minnesota (12)
5-14 An 0-3 week drops the Lynx to No. 13, but there are still positives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Second-year guard Seimone Augustus has earned her second All-Star selection, Nicole Ohlde posted a season-high 21 points in Friday's loss to the Monarchs and Lindsey Harding continues her maturation into a big-time WNBA point guard.