I have been thinking how the teams would do this season and I've gone back and forth. But after taking into account the offseason and injuries to various teams, here is where I think the WNBA's Eastern Conference teams will place this summer, so here we go!
1. Atlanta Dream
Atlanta has won three of the last four Eastern Conference championships, led by their star Angel McCoughtry, as well as Erika de Souza and Sancho Lyttle. The team acquired Swin Cash in the offseason who has been part of multiple championship teams in the past, and Celine Dumerc could very well be the starting point guard that this team has been looking for. Along with new head coach Michael Cooper, this team should be the team to beat in the conference in the regular season, at least on paper.
2. Chicago Sky
With Elena Delle Donne heading to her second season in the WNBA, and along with improving her strength in the offseason, she is in good position to pick up from where she went off from last season. With Sylvia Fowles out for at least some of the season though, it's not as easy to see this team repeat as the #1 team in the East for the regular season. Then Epiphanny Prince has still not yet reported to training camp. Still, the Sky should be in the playoff mix.
3. New York Liberty
The Liberty's success this season will predicate on how well Cappie Pondexter and Tina Charles play together. But there will likely be some growing pains or a learning curve as the season goes on. Once the playoffs begin however, it shouldn't be a shocker to see this team advance a round or perhaps even go to the Finals if the team hits its stride late in the season.
4. Indiana Fever
It's hard to count out any team with Tamika Catchings from the playoff picture entirely, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fever miss the postseason, which isn't the worst thing in the world either. Still, if Catchings, Shavonte Zellous, and Briann January hit all cylinders this summer, this team is a safe bet to make the playoffs and you can't count them out of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance either if you want to look at how they did in 2013.
5. Connecticut Sun
The Sun is rebuilding with a large collection of young talent and acquired veteran Katie Douglas to lead the locker room. Chiney Ogwumike and Alyssa Thomas could be the best rookie duo in the league this summer, and whenever Chelsea Gray returns from injury, this team could be in contention for a long time to come. All that said, this team is still a couple years from seriously contending given that it traded Tina Charles away, but Connecticut did get three young assets in exchange (Kelsey Bone, Alyssa Thomas, and next year's first round pick), so the future is bright there indeed.
6. Washington Mystics
We've given a lot of credit to the Mystics for their two offseasons during the Mike Thibault Era. This year's team will be among the youngest in the WNBA, and there should be multiple younger players playing significant roles this summer and developing well together. But this team doesn't have the talent at the top that most other teams do and basketball is a sport that revolves around superstars. The Mystics could make the playoffs if they develop well and others have injury woes, like what we saw in 2013, but they're still a couple years away from being a contender. In terms of number of wins, I'll say that they have about 12-15 wins in a relatively even Eastern Conference from top to bottom.
Western Conference standings will be out tomorrow. But for today, what are your Eastern Conference predicted standings? Do you think the #1 team in the East for the regular season will be the favorite to win the Eastern Conference championship? Sound off in the comments below!