By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
1. Minnesota Lynx (9-0), It may be time to not just think of this team as a team that can win the championship this season, but what it could accomplish in a historical sense. The Lynx are yet to really be challenge and are off to the best start in league history. The WNBA record for wins in a season is in jeopardy.
2. Los Angeles Sparks (7-1), The Sparks appear to be the only team that can challenge Minnesota right now. With the exception of the loss to the Lynx, they have dominated the league themselves. Now that the young Sparks have had time to grow a bit more since meeting the Lynx early in the season, a match up between the two teams would be fun to watch.
3. Chicago Sky (7-1), The sample size appears to be large enough now that we can determine that the Sky are for real. Sylvia Fowles is a monster inside and Epiphanny Prince would be the league’s MVP if the season ended today. The Sky have all the pieces to be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
4. Connecticut Sun (6-2), The Sun somehow are managing to do it again. They win enough games that they have a very impressive record, yet they seem to fly under the radar throughout the season. They may like it that way.
5. Indiana Fever (4-2), The Fever haven’t played as much as some of the other teams lately, but with reigning league-MVP Tamika Catchings on their side they are still one of the best teams in the league and will contend for the best record in the East along with Chicago and Connecticut.
6. San Antonio Silver Stars (3-4), After Minnesota and L.A. it remains to be seen which Western Conference teams will step up into the elite of the conference. Currently, out of the remaining teams, the Silver Stars have the best record and they have the talent to be there. They are a team to keep your eye on before the league breaks for the Olympics.
7. Atlanta Dream (3-5), Slow starts are not easy to recover from in this league. The Dream did it last year, but they don’t want to make a habit of it. They are off to another semi-slow start this season and it already has them looking up at three teams in the East. When only four teams make the playoffs, that is a dangerous spot to be in.
8. New York Liberty (3-6), The Liberty got off to a terrible start, then looked like they had turned it around, then they dropped another game. If they get on a role they could be a tough team, but I expect them to be on the outside of the playoffs looking in at the end of the season.
9. Phoenix Mercury (2-5), In the difficult Western Conference, the Mercury have missed out on a great opportunity to distance themselves from struggling Seattle for the final playoff spot.
10. Seattle Storm (1-7), The deck is stacked against this team right now, but when you look at the roster as opposed to some of the other teams near the bottom of the league, the talent is still there. If they can start to put it together in time for Lauren Jackson’s return after the Olympics, a run can be made. But they are quickly playing themselves into a hole that is going to be difficult to dig out of.
11. Washington Mystics (1-5), The top 10 teams in the league are so clearly separated from these bottom two teams in my mind. I can’t think of any scenario where this team puts itself in the conversation with all the other teams in the East.
12. Tulsa Shock (0-8), The same could be said for the Shock, but the fact remains they are only one game behind the Storm and 2 1/2 games behind Phoenix for the final playoff spot despite not winning a single game yet.