If you missed it yesterday, here are some predictions where the Eastern Conference teams could place in 2014. Today, here are predictions on where the Western Conference regular season standings could be.
1. Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks have added some additional talent at the guard position, including Armintie Herrington and Candice Wiggins. Sandrine Gruda was a major acquisition for L.A.'s frontcourt Most of the team's top stars return as well, including defending WNBA MVP Candace Parker, and this team therefore has a good shot to be first in the conference at the end of the regular season and make a run for the championship.
2. Minnesota Lynx
Maya Moore is now entering her prime, while Seimone Augustus and Lindsey Whalen aren't showing signs of declining anytime soon. However, with injuries to Monica Wright, Devereaux Peters, and Rebekkah Brunson in the offseason, the Lynx will probably take a step back in the regular season, but this team is still very much in the mix for the league championship.
3. Phoenix Mercury
Considering that last year's team had arguably the most talent in the league but failed to meet expectations, I still wonder how well they will gel with new head coach Sandy Brondello. Since Brondello is also an assistant coach at UMMC Ekaterinburg, which is where Diana Taurasi plays during the NBA season, there should be some positive chemistry between the two right away. I also expect Brittney Griner to take a step forward in her development.
4. San Antonio Stars
Becky Hammon and Sophia Young return to action after being sidelined in 2013 due to injury. Along with Jayne Appel, Danielle Robinson, Danielle Adams, and rookie Kayla McBride, this squad should be back in position to make the postseason once again after a one-year absence.
5. Seattle Storm
The Storm lost Lauren Jackson due to injury for the second straight season and Sue Bird will return. Along with the retirement of Seattle's leading scorer, Tina Thompson last year, the team acquired Crystal Langhorne to help fill in the void. While Lang now goes to a team which is better suited to her strengths, I don't know how much the Storm has actually improved. I can very easily see this team make the playoffs, but I'm going with my gut with Seattle missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and I don't consider this necessarily a bad thing.
6. Tulsa Shock
The Shock doesn't quite have the depth that most other teams in the West do. But like what I said about the Mystics yesterday, I don't expect the Shock to be a five or a six win team. I think that Tulsa has a chance to be more competitive than some may think. If Skylar Diggins in particular can play like the way she did in the preseason, then things could be interesting for them.
Where do you think the WNBA's Western Conference teams will place this season? Sound off in the comments below!