One third of the way through the WNBA season: a team-by-team analysis

Standings as of right now:

Western Conference

Minnesota, 10-0
Los Angeles, 7-3
San Antonio, 4-4
Phoenix, 2-6
Seattle, 2-7
Tulsa, 0-9

Eastern Conference

Connecticut, 7-2
Chicago, 7-2
Indiana, 5-3
Atlanta, 4-5
New York, 3-7
Washington, 2-5

Minnesota

The Lynx have opened the season with a 10-game winning streak – only two contests of which have been close games. They are deep, with a bench that can make up for a sitting starter (as they did with Seimone Augustus June 6), and they have tremendous chemistry. Their hunger to win is palpable. If they stay healthy, they may be unstoppable in their quest to repeat at champs.

Connecticut

Tina Charles has propelled the Sun to the top of the East, with a 20.6 points-per-game average, with the help of Renee Montgomery and a newly-sleek Kara Lawson. If Connecticut can prevent momentary lapses of focus, as they had last week against LA, they could be in the Eastern Conference championship finals.

Los Angeles

The Sparks just dropped two out of three games on a four-day East Coast road trip, where they played without injured Ebony Hoffman and last night without rookie starter Nnemkadi Ogwumike. They have amazing chemistry on- and off-court, due in large part to dynamic new coach Carol Ross. If Los Angeles can get healthy – and perhaps get another guard besides Coco Miller – they will get back to the form they were in two weeks ago.

Chicago

After a fair start under second-year Coach Pokey Chatman, the Sky went on a six-game winning streak that ended only last night. Of even greater concern now is that star guard Epiphanny Prince was injured in the game. The depth of Prince’s injury, which hasn’t yet been determined, may point the way for how the Sky will go.

San Antonio

The Silver Stars have struggled with consistency so far this season, but had a big win last night over Los Angeles. Clearly they can get motivated to win, but can they keep that spirit?

Indiana

Their strong start was suddenly broken by three consecutive losses, which was puzzling as there didn’t seem to be a reason for it. The Fever stopped the bleeding last night with a win. Whether they can get back on track now and make their planned bid for repeating as Eastern Conference champs remains to be seen.

Phoenix

The reason for the Mercury’s woes is no mystery: they’re playing without their injured stars Penny Taylor, who is out for the season, and Diana Taurasi, who is out indefinitely. Coach Corey Gaines didn’t seem impressed with his team’s Herculean efforts at a recent game, saying they were like a car with two wheels. Fortunately, the players don’t seem to feel the same way, as they’re all playing their hearts out – especially DeWanna Bonner.

Atlanta

The Dream’s mediocre start has surprised fans, because they return mostly the same team that vied for the conference championship last year. But as they showed Friday in blowing out the Sparks, they’re a powerful team. Can they demonstrate that again in today’s game? Angel McCoughtry was disciplined before Friday’s game, but came off the bench for 31 points. Is she better off the bench?

Seattle

Last winter Coach Brian Agler looked brilliant as he tweeted about skating through Europe looking for athletes. He brought back Ann Wauters, but he traded Swin Cash and Ashley Robinson – two players who were crucial in the Storm’s team chemistry over the last several years. Add to that the absence of center Lauren Jackson, who is staying in Australia for the first half of the season to prepare for the Olympics, and it’s easy to see why point guard Sue Bird is curt in post-game interviews: they aren’t having fun. And their record won’t improve until they learn to have some.

New York

This team is mysterious. Management decisions defy explanation. They provided little to no information about training camp. Outsiders barely know who’s on the team. But one thing is sure: they keep losing this year, and once full seats are empty. Not sure what the problem is with this team and the franchise, but fans hope they can get back to their winning ways sooner rather than later.

Tulsa

First-year Coach Gary Kloppenburg has got the Shock playing some of the best defense in the league. The offense, however, is still coming together, which is one of the reasons Tulsa has yet to find a win. Unlike last year’s squad, however, players are unrelenting in their efforts, and are staying positive. When they do their first first win, it may burst the dam and lead to further victories.

Washington

Again this year, the Mystics got off to a rocky start with several losses, despite having a training camp full of great athletes. Last week Coach Trudi Lacey cut Dominique Canty and signed Shannon Bobbitt, who hustled and willed the team to a win Friday night. Whether Bobbitt and the Mystics can keep that energy going remains to be seen – first tomorrow night in Los Angeles, where they’ll play the Sparks.

3 COMMENTS

  1. All the seats are empty at Madison Square Garden, since the Liberty are in their second season of exile to Newark. That's part of why attendance is in the toilet.

  2. This is a good article. Unfortunately, two years later, the referees are still horrible. I have been a paying customer for over a decade & I leave many games wanting my money back because of bad calls. I am not impressed with the refeeres. Their bad or lack of calls has resulted in many games turning out the wrong way. Please WNBA President, draft high school refers whom I have seen make better calls. I am convinced they do not get graded on their performance & it is sad for the league. If I did not want to support the team, I would not continue to purchase two sets of full season tickets. However, if next season is the same way, I am going to join others who have had enough of the bad calls & spend their money on something else.

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