With the WNBA Season less than one week away, it's time to take a look at the story lines that could emerge in the league's 18th season as well as new and old faces making headlines this upcoming season.
1. Will the Minnesota Lynx repeat? - Since 2005, the WNBA Champion has been switched from one Eastern Conference team to one Western Conference team. The Minnesota Lynx have been to the finals the past 3 seasons and have come away with winning 2 championships, but they haven't been able to do it in back to back seasons. Will they do it? Or will another team become 2014 champions?
2. Will the Los Angeles Sparks star studded team break through? - The Sparks have gotten close to the WNBA Finals, but never have been really able to get past other Western Conference opponents. Will the reigning MVP Candace Parker, plus a whole lot of other WNBA stars finally take LA to the Finals? Or will they come up short again?
3. Will the Atlanta Dream find their groove? - The Atlanta Dream have been to the WNBA Finals 3 out of the past 4 seasons, but have yet to win a game in the Finals. Will their new championship coach Michael Cooper be able to drive Angel McCoughtry and the team back to winning on the big stage?
4. Where do the Indiana Fever go? - The Fever made the playoffs last year despite injuries and were able to get to the Eastern Conference Finals before bowing out to the Atlanta Dream. Do the Indiana Fever have another championship run in them in coach Lin Dunn's final year?
5. Griner, Griner, Griner - The 1st pick overall of last year's draft had a so so year last year although her team made the playoffs. Will Britney Griner take a new step in her still promising young career? Will she finally start to emerge as a WNBA superstar?
6. Will this be Becky Hammon's final year? Becky Hammon came off an ACL injury she suffered last July and is making her come back this season. However, Becky Hammon is 37 years old and with reports surfacing of her wanting to be a head coach either in the WNBA or NBA, will this be Becky Hammon's swan song?
7. Youth Movement - The Connecticut Sun have an entirely revamped roster after last year's disastrous season and have Chiney Ogwumike as their new star of the franchise. Can the youth movement for the Sun shock teams and be in the playoffs? Will they be a team to watch out for?
8. Welcome home Tina - The New York Liberty have a former MVP on their squad who just also happens to be a NY native. Will Tina Charles regain her MVP form and take the Liberty back to the playoffs? Will the Liberty be able to get Madison Square Garden rocking again?
9. Rock with the Shock - The Tulsa Shock hoped that last year that they would finally be in the playoffs. However, with close losses, they just weren't able to make it. With a new coach by their side ( who also happened to take Atlanta to the Finals) be able to take the Shock to the playoffs? Will the pairing of Skylar Diggins and Odyssey Sims work or will they falter?
10. How far will the Sky go? - The Chicago Sky had a great season last year and got a new superstar in Elena Delle Donne. Will they be able to repeat their regular season success into the playoffs? Can the Chicago Sky improve?
11. Can the Storm do it again? - Last season when the Seattle Storm announced that both Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird would be out for the season, many thought they wouldn't make the playoffs. They forgot about Tina Thompson and Tina had an almost MVP type season taking the Storm to the playoffs and made it a series against the champion Minnesota Lynx. Can Sue Bird and newly acquired Crystal Langhorne do it again?
12. Mystics uprising - Last season, the Washington Mystics had a terrific season under their new coach Mike Thibault. With Crystal Langhorne gone, who will step up? Can Ivory Latta repeat her All Star success?
With all of these team related storylines to watch for, it will be an interesting season to watch. The season officially tips of on May 16th in Connecticut with the Sun taking on the New York Liberty.