This is an article from the June 8, 2009 issue
The defending champs have three banged-up starters, but later in the season they'll likely be the ones bringing the pain.
Asjha Jones has emerged as a star, leading the team last year in scoring (17.0) and rebounding (6.1).
Acquisition of 39-year-old, seven-time All-Star Yolanda Griffith will help Katie Douglas and Tamika Catchings battle in the East.
4. NEW YORK
Anne Donovan, who coached Team USA to Olympic gold in '08, joins the staff to help tutor rookie center Kia Vaughn.
The Dream gets needed frontcourt help from top dispersal pick Sancho Lyttle, rookie Angel McCoughtry and Holdsclaw.
The return of center Sylvia Fowles (2.12 blocks a game) from a left knee sprain will be a boon for the defense.
The trade for a trio of former Dookies (Monique Currie, Alana Beard and Lindsey Harding) could make magic for the Mystics.
1. LOS ANGELES
Candace Parker, the '08 MVP, will miss about a month after giving birth, but by adding veteran guard Betty Lennox (17.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and rookie Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton (Purdue), Lisa Leslie & Co. will stay at the top.
2. SAN ANTONIO
The Silver Stars will welcome the return of three-point specialist Shanna Crossley from a torn left ACL.
Former Sparks point guard Temeka Johnson will help 20-plus-point scorers Diana Taurasi (right) and Cappie Pondexter top the league's scoring charts again.
Rookie Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) and second-year center Crystal Kelly should augment the scoring of Nicole Powell and Rebekkah Brunson for the Monarchs.
Rookie point guard Renee Montgomery (Connecticut) will not be enough to push this team into the playoffs.
Two-time MVP Lauren Jackson re-signed, and the Storm added 6'1"?rookie Ashley Walker (Cal), who brings defensive versatility and three-point range.