WNBA team season preview capsules
A look at the 12 WNBA teams heading into the league's 19th season that tips off Friday in predicted order of finish.
2014: 25-9, 2nd place; beat Seattle 2-0 in conference semifinals; lost to Phoenix 2-1 in conference finals.
COACH: Cheryl Reeve, 6th season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Lindsay Whalen (14.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.6 apg), G Seimone Augustus (16.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg), F Maya Moore (23.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.4 apg), F Rebekkah Brunson (7.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Damiris Dantas (6.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: Reshanda Gray (draft, No. 16).
KEY LOSSES: Janel McCarville (rest).
OUTLOOK: Minnesota had an incredible season last year and had it not been for the Phoenix Mercury's record-breaking one the Lynx could have had a good shot at repeating as champions. With the main core back of MVP Moore, Whalen and Augustus, Minnesota is the favorite to win its third title in five seasons.
2014: 12-22, 6th place.
COACH: Fred Williams, 2nd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Skylar Diggins (20.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 5.0 apg), G Odyssey Sims (16.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.2 apg), G Riquna Williams (6.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.2 apg), F Karima Christmas (6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.9 apg), C Courtney Paris (9.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.1 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: C Amanda Zahui B. (draft, No. 2), F Plenette Pierson (free agent), Christmas (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: G Roneeka Hodges (free agent), Jennifer Lacy (free agent).
OUTLOOK: This could be the year that the Shock finally make it to the playoffs. No one improved more last year than Diggins and with the additions of Christmas and Pierson, Tulsa looks poised for the postseason. The Shock will be missing Glory Johnson for the first seven games because of her suspension for domestic violence. First round draft pick Zahui B. could step right in to fill that void.
2014: 29-5, 1st place; beat Los Angeles 2-0 in conference semifinals; beat Minnesota 2-1 in conference finals; beat Chicago 3-0 in WNBA Finals.
COACH: Sandy Brondello, 2nd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Noelle Quinn (3.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.3 apg), F Monique Curry (9.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Candice Dupree (14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.4 apg), F DeWanna Bonner (10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.3 apg), C Brittney Griner (15.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Curry (free agent), G Quinn (free agent), Shameka Christon (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: G Diana Taurasi (rest); G Penny Taylor (free agent).
OUTLOOK: Coming off a record setting season which ended with the Mercury as WNBA champions, Phoenix will be hard-pressed to repeat. Taurasi is sitting out the season to rest. Griner is suspended for the first seven games for a domestic violence arrest. Still the pieces are in place to make it to the playoffs again.
SAN ANTONIO STARS
2014: 16-18, 3rd place; lost to Minnesota 2-0 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Dan Hughes, 9th season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Danielle Robinson (12.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.3 apg), G Jia Perkins (12.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.7 apg), F Kayla McBride (13.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, F Sophia Young-Malcolm (8.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 apg), C Jayne Appel (4.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.1 apg)
KEY ADDITIONS: F Dearica Hamby (draft, No. 6), F Alex Montgomery (trade, NY Liberty).
KEY LOSSES: Becky Hammon (retirement).
OUTLOOK: For the first time in a long while, Hammon won't be on the court for the Stars. The team's long-time guard retired after last season and is now coaching with the San Antonio Spurs. The team will look to McBride, when she gets healthy, and Robinson to lead the way.
LOS ANGELES SPARKS
2014: 16-18, 4th place; lost to Phoenix 2-0 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Brian Agler, 1st season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Erin Phillips (5.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.2 apg), G Alana Beard (8.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Nneka Ogwumike (15.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Jantel Lavender (11.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 apg), Marianna Tolo (DNP).
KEY ADDITIONS: Phillips (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: G Candice Wiggins (free agent, Shock), Candace Parker (rest).
OUTLOOK: Agler will have his work cut out for him in his first season at the helm with Parker sitting out for at least the first half of the season to rest. He'll also be missing Toliver, who is playing overseas in the Eurobasket tournament for the first month of the season. The Sparks have only had a few weeks together to put in their coach's system.
2014: 12-22, 5th place.
COACH: Jenny Boucek, 1st season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Sue Bird (10.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.0 apg), G Jewell Loyd (rookie), F Jenna O'Hea (4.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.0 apg), F Abby Bishop (2.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 apg), F/C Crystal Langhorne (12.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Jewell Loyd (draft, No. 1), G/F Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (draft, No. 3), G Renee Montgomery (trade, Connecticut), C Quanitra Hollingsworth (trade, Washington), F Ramu Tokashiki (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: F Camille Little (trade, Connecticut), F Shekinna Stricklen (trade, Connecticut), G Tanisha Wright (free agent).
OUTLOOK: Boucek moves one chair over to take over the team and will have a young squad to guide. The Storm added Loyd and Mosqueda-Lewis in the draft and Montgomery via a trade. The Storm may take their lumps early, but the future is bright in Seattle.
2014: 15-19, 4th place; beat Atlanta 2-1 in conference semifinals; beat Indiana 2-1 in conference finals; lost to Phoenix 3-0 in WNBA Finals.
COACH: Pokey Chatman, 5th season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Courtney Vandersloot (7.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 6.0 apg), G Cappie Pondexter (13.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.9 apg), F Tamera Young (6.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 apg) F Elena Delle Donne (17.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.5 apg), C Cheyenne Parker (rookie).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Cappie Pondexter (trade, Liberty), C Cheyenne Parker (draft, 5th)
KEY LOSSES: G Epiphanny Prince (trade, Liberty).
OUTLOOK: Chicago is coming off the best season in franchise history with a trip to the WNBA Finals. The Sky were swept by Phoenix. The team made a huge offseason move trading Prince to the Liberty for Pondexter, allowing her to come home. The biggest question mark for the team is the status of center Sylvia Fowles, who asked for a trade. She said she'll sit out this season if her demand isn't met. The Sky also need Delle Donne to stay healthy. Last season she missed time because of Lyme Disease and a balky back. The Sky were 5-12 without her.
2014: 19-15, 1st place; lost to Chicago 2-1 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Michael Cooper, 2nd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Shoni Schimmel (8.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.6 apg), G Tiffany Hayes (12.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Angel McCoughtry (18.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.6 apg), F Sancho Lyttle (12.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.4 apg), C Erika de Souza (13.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 apg)
KEY ADDITIONS: G Roneeka Hodges (free agent), G Samantha Logic (draft, No. 10)
KEY LOSSES: G Jasmine Thomas (trade, Sun)
OUTLOOK: Atlanta had the best record in the Eastern Conference in the regular season, but fell to Chicago in the opening round. The Dream didn't make too many moves in the offseason and with their nucleus intact hope to make another deep playoff run. Perennial MVP candidate McCoughtry will be the key to see how far the Dream can go.
NEW YORK LIBERTY
2014: 15-19, 5th place.
COACH: Bill Laimbeer, 3rd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Tanisha Wright (8.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.6 apg), G Essence Carson (3.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.9 apg), F Tina Charles (17.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.2 apg), C Kiah Stokes (rookie), G Epiphanny Prince (15.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.8 apg)
KEY ADDITIONS: G Prince (trade, Sky), G Wright (free agent), C Stokes (draft, No. 11), G Brittany Boyd (draft, No. 9), F Rebecca Allen (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: G Cappie Pondexter (trade, Sky), G Anna Cruz (trade, Minnesota), G Alex Montgomery (trade, San Antonio).
OUTLOOK: New York brought back Laimbeer after letting him go in October. They have continued to retool the roster over the last few years, adding Wright and Prince as well as talented draft picks Stokes and Boyd. The biggest question is whether the Liberty can avoid being distracted by the hiring of Isiah Thomas as president and potential owner.
2014: 16-18, 3rd place; lost to Indiana 2-0 in conference semifinals.
COACH: Mike Thibault, 3rd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Ivory Latta (12.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.3 apg), G Bria Hartley (9.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg), F Emma Messeman (10.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.5 apg), F Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (4.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 apg), F Kia Vaughn (9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: G Natasha Cloud (draft, No. 15), Armintie Herrington (free agent).
KEY LOSSES: F Monique Currie (free agent).
OUTLOOK: Thibault's continued rebuilding of the Mystics is in year three. They've made the playoffs in each of his first two seasons and look to make the next jump this year.
2014: 16-18, 2nd place; beat Washington 2-0 in conference semifinals; lost to Chicago 2-1 in conference finals.
COACH: Stephanie White, 1st season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Briann January (10.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.7 apg), G Shavonte Zellous (11.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.1 apg), F Tamika Catchings (16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg), F Marissa Coleman (8.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.1 apg), F Erlana Larkins (9.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.5 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: None.
KEY LOSSES: F. Karima Christmas (free agent).
OUTLOOK: White takes over for Lin Dunn as coach of the Fever. The new head coach has a talented core group led by Catchings and she's hoping to run a more up-tempo offense while continuing the defensive attitude the Fever have been known for in making the playoffs the past 10 seasons in a row.
2014: 13-21, 6th place.
COACH: Anne Donovan, 3rd season.
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Jazmine Thomas (4.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.6 apg), G Alex Bentley (12.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.7 apg), F Camille Little (12.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg), F Alyssa Thomas (10.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), F Kelsey Bone (9.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 apg).
KEY ADDITIONS: F Elizabeth Williams (draft, No. 4), Little (trade, Storm), Shekinna Stricklen.
KEY LOSSES: G Katie Douglas (retirement), F Chiney Ogwumike (injury), Allison Hightower (injury), Kelsey Griffin (injury).
OUTLOOK: The Sun have already been devastated by injuries and the season hasn't even started yet. Ogwumike, last season's rookie of the year, is out indefinitely after having microfracture surgery on her knee. Hightower has played in just 35 games over the past two years with knee injuries. She's on the suspended list to start the year after knee surgery in March. Connecticut also cut Griffin on Tuesday after she underwent season-ending surgery on her left hip on Friday.