*********************** July 2012: Vol. 4, Issue 4************************
By David Zingler
With the Olympics finally here, most of the league has gone into hibernation for about a month. For fans needing their
fix however, many of the WNBA's top players - including three Lynx, of course - will be on display in London. Let's take a
quick look back at what has been an eventful and memorable first half in 2012.
Most Surprising Team:
While Chicago has been reeling since Epiphanny Prince went down with a fractured foot on June 16, they remain
solidly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture thanks to their 9-2 start. Prince, who was averaging 22.3 points per game
prior to the injury, is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which means she could return after the Olympics.
Team: Phoenix Mercury
With Penny Taylor lost for the season with a torn ACL, Diana Taurasi sidelined with a hip
flexor injury and Candice Dupree out with a knee injury, Phoenix has been a mess. Taurasi is expected to play in London and
return to the Mercury in the second half, but will it be too late? Phoenix is hovering perilously close to Tulsa at the bottom
of the Western Conference.
Most Surprising Player: Epiphanny Prince, Chicago
Even with her injury,
no player turned more heads during the first half than Prince. A solid player who averaged 11.7 points per game her first
two seasons, Prince scored over 30 in three straight games in June and was a serious challenger for the scoring title. Let's
hope she gets back on the court soon.
Most Disappointing Player: Renee Montgomery, Connecticut
Sun has been rising in the East, so this seems sort of harsh, but Montgomery just hasn't been in top form this season. The
point guard's stats are down across the board and veteran Kara Lawson is leading the team in assists. After improving steadily
in 2010 and 2011, Montgomery appears to be regressing in 2012.
Most Surprising Rookie: Samantha Prahalis,
The fiery point guard has shown bright in the Phoenix desert this summer. Prahalis has consistently been among
the league leaders in assists and is second to Los Angeles' Nneka Ogwumike among rookies in scoring. If the Mercury get back
to full strength, they will be fun to watch.
Most Disappointing Rookie: Shekinna Stricklen, Seattle
No. 2 overall pick in April's draft has struggled so far, shooting around 30% from the field and 20% from 3-point range. With
Lauren Jackson in Australia preparing for the Olympics and Swin Cash in Chicago (she was traded for the draft pick used on
Stricklen), Seattle needed a strong rookie campaign from Stricklen. So far, they haven't gotten it.
1. Chicago will qualify for the playoffs for the first time.
will hold onto the No. 1 seed in the East.
3. Sylvia Fowles will win the MVP and Defensive Player of the
4. Phoenix will get healthier and get back into the playoff race.
5. The Lynx
will finish 27-7.