Opening weekend for the 2010 season was probably the WNBA’s best in history. We’re talking 14 years and I’m old, so I may be forgetting something. Also, all games weren’t able to be aired in the past, so I may have missed something.
But from Phoenix getting its 2009 championship rings to No. 1 draft pick Tina Charles picking up a double-double in her debut for the other Connecticut, WNBA excitement was spread across the country.
The league takes a two-day break before games start again on Wednesday with Seattle hosting the revamped Minnesota. The Storm (1-0) struggled to gel quick in its debut offensively against Los Angles, Lynx rookie Monica Wright could further test them with her noted defense. Minnesota is led by trade acquisition Lindsay Whalen, but overall the team remains young.
So, here are the WNBA Power Rankings after one weekend of play:
Team (Record/Last week’s ranking) Comment
1. Phoenix (1-0/1): Blondes may win championships, but brunettes can make their free throws despite just arriving from Turkey.
2. New York (1-0/4): The new-look Liberty didn’t disappoint; especially 39-year-old Taj McWilliams-Franklin beating youngsters down court and sinking FTs.
3. Seattle (1-0/3): The only thing Seattle really didn’t bring in their debut was a fluid offense, there’s an app for that — practice time together.
4. Washington (2-0/10): Monique Currie is rising to the occasion in the absence of Alana Beard to help get Mystics off to surprising start.
5. Los Angeles (0-2/2): Sputtering out of the block, but don’t play again until Saturday — yikes.
6. Atlanta (2-0/7): O-le. Ole, ole, ole! O-le! O-le!
7. Connecticut (1-0/6): Charles was electric in pro debut and pumped after second trip to White House for NCAA honors, only it was just one game.
8. Minnesota (1-1/9): Concerning that home opener couldn’t spark offensive boost late, Lynx will really be exposed Wednesday in Seattle.
9. Indiana (0-2/7): Remember, it’s not how you start the season, it’s how you finish.
10. San Antonio (0-1/9): All things are big in Texas — except for the play of the Silver Stars’ centers.
11. Tulsa (0-1/11): Signed, sealed, delivered. She’s yours! Transplanted Shock F Plenette Pierson appropriately makes new franchise’s first bucket.
12. Chicago (0-2/12): As expected, Chicago played some close games and decision-making remains questionable.
Mariners Pitcher: Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves will take the mound at the Mariners game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch like Storm All-Star Swin Cash did on May 4. Playing catch for Graves is former star Vivian Frieson (Garfield High), who is the school’s first WNBA draft pick. Frieson was selected in the third-round by Tulsa and cut during training camp.
Going camping: Former WNBA C Chantelle Anderson is keeping busy in retirement. She wrote a book she won’t publish just yet, and is getting into the public speaking realm. Anderson is also hosting a basketball camp in San Antonio for girls May 29 and 30. For more on that, including All-Star Sophia Young’s guest appearance, checkout Anderson’s video posting.
AROUND THE PAC-10: The conference has made plenty of news since UConn won the title. Oregon State doesn’t have any players or coaches, leader LaVonda Wagner rumored to be out while Washington State lost two players, Kiki Moore heading home because of rumored homesickness. We’ll have more on that later.
A couple of more positive stories are former Washington F Sami Whitcomb getting jazzed about hoops, again, choosing to play overseas to break into the WNBA. She was cut by Chicago. And NBA official Violet Palmer is going to head the conference’s crew for women’s basketball.
(NOTE: Photo credit: Mark Harrison/Seattle Times)