Apparently my computer left for a BBQ because this didn’t post on Memorial Day with the signature Monday Dribble. I’ll repost the news and notes from the road later, but wanted to at least get the power rankings out before Week 3 begins.
The Storm drops a spot due to a loss it shouldn’t have suffered in Chicago. It’s not alarming and actually better to drop a game there than in the Western Conference. But Seattle is a veteran team that has primarily been together for three years, so they should have figured some way to win. The flipside, again, is that no team is going to go undefeated in the new WNBA.
And that includes Atlanta (pictured right by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Yeah, I’m saying the Storm (5-1) beats the Dream (6-0) on Tuesday at KeyArena. Seattle has only lost there five times since coach Brian Agler has infused the team with a defensive mentality in 2008. The Dream’s frontline of Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza is tough plus Angel McCoughtry is electric, but we’re talking about Swin Cash, Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird’s house. C’mon son.
The Storm isn’t adjusting to a new lineup (Phoenix) or coaching system (Los Angeles), so don’t put those Atlanta road wins on the table as clues for the Dream being prepared for some sort of road hat trick, either.
The rest of the WNBA hasn’t separated themselves, except for Minnesota’s plummet. So, here’s how the third edition of the power rankings shake out:
Team (Record/Last week’s ranking) Comment
1. Atlanta (6-0/2): DYK? Teams that have started the season at 6-0 historically in the WNBA have reached the league Finals. Few dreamed of that in Atlanta’s third year.
2. Seattle (5-1/1): Lauren Jackson a week late for native Australian “Ranga (redhead) Day,” dying her hair Friday. But move fitting for Seattle’s fiery 28-point road win Sunday.
3. Washington (4-3/3): Stopped three-game losing streak with a win against tough Connecticut team. Doesn’t get easier with conference rival Atlanta up next.
4. Connecticut (3-2/6): Real champions win on the road and that’s been a struggle for the Sun in two games to start the season. Good thing New York has to travel.
5. New York (2-2/7): A week break where some players jetted home for the holiday will do this team good. Game on Friday vs. Connecticut a test.
6. Phoenix (2-2/5): Hmm. Should the Mercury file a claim with LifeLock? Seems Phoenix is suffering from identity theft.
7. San Antonio (2-3/4): The Silver Stars need work on chemistry defensively, especially inside where San Antonio has been outscored 78-46 combined in two losses.
8. Chicago (2-4/12): Chicago, that toddlin’ team might be finding its mojo. A win against previously unbeaten Seattle certainly builds confidence.
9. Indiana (2-3/8): True, loss to Tulsa should drop Indiana lower. Still believe this team is better than Shock and just needs time to show it.
10. Tulsa (2-3/11): The Shock supposedly don’t have much star power, but “team” game accounting for league-leading 19.6 assists to grab another win.
11. Los Angeles (1-4/9): Candace Parker leads WNBA in rebounding (11.0) and ranks third in scoring (21.8), but Sparks need backcourt help.
12. Minnesota (1-5/10): Uh, good news? Stars Candice Wiggins and Seimone Augustus closer to returning. Augustus has evaluation June 7 to see if can increase physical activity.