WNBA.com Power Rankings: August 14, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J. � Like every Tuesday during the season, it's time for the latest edition of the WNBA.com editorial staff's Power Rankings. Despite a shocking loss on Sunday, the defending champs remain in the top spot. In fact, the top four all remain the same as the Mercury and Sun both stay hot coming into this final week of the regular season. Moving down the list, the Liberty take a step up as they close in on the Mystics for the fourth playoff spot in the East. Take a look at our full list, and let us know what you think in our Fan Voice.

2007 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week 13
TEAM (last week)
24-7 The Shock fell to a buzzer-beating heave in New York over the weekend, but they still have a firm grasp on the No. 1 spot. Despite being without All-Star MVP Cheryl Ford for the last 10 games, Katie Feenstra and Kara Braxton have stepped in impressively and the Shock have gone 8-2 and secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Coach Bill Laimbeer now has the luxury of resting his big-time players to keep them fresh heading into the playoffs. Case in point: rookie Ivory Latta started against the Fever on Saturday.
Upcoming games: vs. Houston, at Minnesota, at Indiana
Phoenix (2)
21-11 The mighty Mercury are the hottest team in the league right now, having won nine of their last 10 to catapult into first place in the West. You know your team is doing well when the player many consider the team's third option -- Penny Taylor -- is winning Player of the Week honors and making a case to be on the All-WNBA First Team. Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter are having solid seasons as well and the Paul-ball-playing Mercury are rolling toward the postseason.
Upcoming games: at Sacramento, vs. Sacramento
3 19-11 The Silver Stars have been only so-so of late, going 5-5 in their last 10, including losses to Chicago and Houston. But they have won their last two and sit only a game behind Phoenix for first place in the West. Now that Becky Hammon is back and appears to be healthy, they can rest up a bit over the final week. Rookie Camille Little has started each of the last four games, and although she hasn't scored a lot, she contributes on the boards and on defense and forms an imposing frontcourt with Sophia Young and Ruth Riley.
Upcoming games: at Los Angeles, at Sacramento, vs. Indiana, at Minnesota
4 17-13 The Sun are still scorching hot, having won 11 of their last 13 games to clinch a playoff spot. They could catch Indiana for second in the East with a strong final week and some Fever losses, though they could also fall to fourth. But the way Katie Douglas, Lindsay Whalen and company have been playing, the trend in Connecticut is definitely bullish. On the other hand, with their 9-5 record on the road (compared to an 8-8 mark at home), the Sun might be happier without home-court advantage.
Upcoming games: at Washington, at Indiana, at New York, vs. Washington
5 18-13 Yes, the Monarchs topped the Sun last Tuesday in an 81-79 slugfest in Connecticut, but the injuries to starters and veterans Yolanda Griffith and Ticha Penicheiro are mildly troubling. They'll both likely be back come playoff time, but will they be 100 percent? If not, Rebekkah Brunson and Nicole Powell seem ready to take the reins along with All-Star sixth woman Kara Lawson.
Upcoming games: vs. San Antonio, vs. Phoenix, at Phoenix
19-12 Will she or won't she? The "she" in question is no other than all-world forward Tamika Catchings, who was arguably the league's best player this season before a foot injury sidelined her nine games ago. The question is whether or not she'll be on the court. If Catch is able to return at 100 percent for the playoffs, this makes Indiana a very deep, dangerous team. Without her, the Fever are decidedly less imposing, especially in the scoring column. As such, Tammy Sutton-Brown and Anna DeForge need to demand the ball more. Still, Tan White has stepped up her contribution as a starter and Tamika Whitmore brings size, strength and experience off the bench.
Upcoming games: vs. Connecticut, at San Antonio, vs. Detroit
15-17 The Storm struggled without Lauren Jackson (and starting center Janell Burse) in the lineup losing the two games LJ missed by an average of 24 points, but they finally clinched a playoff spot on Saturday. Betty Lennox and Iziane Castro Marques each had a big game with their star teammate out of the lineup, so they're capable of contributing offensively. But they're having trouble stopping teams on the defensive end, allowing the fifth-most points per game in the league. That's a stat that doesn't bode well against their current first-round opponent, the high-scoring, run-and-gun Mercury.
Upcoming games: vs. Minnesota, vs. Los Angeles
8 14-17 The Mystics are allowing the fourth-most points per game in the league, a fact that hurt them in their two losses to wrap up a 2-2 West Coast swing. The Mystics sit just a half game up on the upstart Liberty for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East, and the two squads face each other on Thursday in the nation's capital. Last time they squared off, Alana Beard dominated, slashing to the hoop for a game-high 24 points, and DeLisha Milton-Jones notched a double-double. Nakia Sanford will likely need to have a big week against her Eastern Conference post foes for the Mystics to reach the postseason.
Upcoming games: vs. Connecticut, vs. New York, at Connecticut
New York (10)
13-17 New York's fate is in its own hands. With four games to play, all against Eastern Conference foes, the Liberty's playoff dreams come down to the final week. Having scored a scintillating last-second victory over the defending champion Shock on Sunday, the Libs' pulses are sure to be racing. That can be a positive, but it can also create some pressure and nerves which they don't want to be dealing with heading into four tough games in six days. On the court, though, Janel McCarville continues her assault on opposing centers and Tiffany Jackson is quietly entering her name in the Rookie of the Year race. If they do qualify as the fourth seed in the East, their first-round opponents would be the Shock, who they've already beaten twice this season.
Upcoming games: at Chicago, at Washington, vs. Connecticut, vs. Chicago
12-19 After an 0-2 week and five straight defeats, the Sky are falling out of the playoff hunt in the East. They can still make it if they get hot and both the Mystics and Liberty falter, which is possible. And with veteran leadership from Chasity Melvin and youthful energy from Candice Dupree, Armintie Price and Jia Perkins, this team is capable of a run. Still, even if they can't catch up, Chicago has made major strides since last season's 5-29 mark and Bo Overton's name will be in the conversation for Coach of the Year.
Upcoming games: vs. New York, at Houston, at New York
Houston (11)
11-20 Houston won't be in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, but there is plenty for Karleen Thompson and her players to build on heading into 2008. Since their 0-10 start, the Comets have gone a very respectable 11-10 thanks in large part to veterans Tina Thompson and Tamecka Dixon. But young bigs Michelle Snow and Sancho Lyttle have made contributions as well, and with a bit of help in the backcourt, along with a healthy Sheryl Swoopes, they could surprise some people next season.
Upcoming games: at Detroit, vs. Chicago, at Los Angeles
12 10-21 The Sparks have lost 15 of their last 18 games, a mark that obviously hasn't helped their playoff hopes. In fact, this will be the franchise's first playoff-free season since 1998. Veterans Taj McWilliams-Franklin and Temeka Johnson sat out Sunday night's win over Minnesota, but LaToya Thomas stepped up with a season-high 23 and rookies Sidney Spencer and Marta Fernandez put up 15 and 11, respectively. With a healthy Lisa Leslie and a potentially high draft pick, the Sparks could very well be back in contention for the postseason next year.
Upcoming games: vs. San Antonio, at Seattle, vs. Houston
Minnesota (13)
8-23 When the Lynx had five rookies on their opening-day roster, we knew it could be a tough 2007 in Minnesota. And it has been, but an incredible amount of progress has been made. With Seimone Augustus, a more experienced and healthy Lindsey Harding and a solid core of role-playing contributors on the boards and on defense, this is a team that is capable of making some noise a year or two from now.
Upcoming games: at Seattle, vs. Detroit, vs. San Antonio