Seattle Storm's Swin Cash courtesy WNBA
WNBA rookie Candace Parker lived up to the hype in her debut game last week: 34 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in the L.A. Sparks' victory over the Phoenix Mercury. But here's one number that didn't make the stat sheet: 1.07 million viewers for the game, on ABC. That may not sound like much, but it's a 35 percent increase over last year's tip-off game. Credit the buzz surrounding Parker's arrival for the boost.

Parker's potential and the return of Lisa Leslie have most experts picking the Sparks to win the league title this year. But don't underestimate the newly revamped Seattle Storm. The team is lead by reigning league MVP Lauren Jackson and All-Star point guard Sue Bird. And after being knocked out of last year's playoffs in the first round, the Storm added some serious star power to its roster: Sheryl Swoopes, Swin Cash and Yolanda Griffiths have seven WNBA championship rings between them. On Saturday they face the San Antonio Silver Stars (May 24, 3:30 pm/ET).