The Connecticut Sun and San Antonio Silver Stars finished with two of the WNBA's top five records last season, but both are off to woeful starts this year.
Connecticut might be better equipped to turn things around, however, as San Antonio's top two players remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Both will try to bounce back from losses as Connecticut hosts the first of two meetings in less than a week on Sunday.
The Sun earned the East's No. 1 seed last season with a 25-9 record, while the Silver Stars finished third in the West at 21-13. Neither have looked like playoff teams in 2013, however, going a combined 7-18.
The road ahead could be more difficult for the Silver Stars (4-9), though, as they're without Sophia Young and Becky Hammon - their two leading scorers from last season. Young is rehabbing an ACL tear suffered in a January game in China, while Hammon tore her left ACL in a 99-63 loss at Los Angeles on July 6.
Friday's 83-73 home loss to Washington was the club's eighth defeat in 10 games.
"We are what we are," coach Dan Hughes said. "You know, we have not taken care of what we need to take care of, so it really has nothing to do with the errors, but with the consistency of this group. That is what this is really about."
The Sun (3-9) have lost six of seven overall and five of six at home, including an 83-70 defeat to Chicago on Friday. Connecticut fell behind 12-0, missing its first 10 shots on the way to continuing the worst start in franchise history.
"Chicago (came out aggressive)," said Tina Charles, who scored a game-high 29 points. "They threw that first punch, and we were just trying to get back into the game."
Connecticut's own short-handed backcourt got a little healthier with the return of second-leading scorer Kara Lawson (14.9 points per game), who chipped in nine points and five assists after missing four games with a bruised knee.
Reigning Sixth Woman of the Year Renee Montgomery hasn't played since May 31 because of a high ankle sprain, while fellow guard Tan White has missed nine straight contests due to a broken finger.
The Sun won both meetings last year, with Charles averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. Danielle Adams averaged 21.5 points for the Silver Stars.
The teams will meet again in San Antonio on Saturday.