WNBA Weekly Power Rankings
Week of August 26, 2019
There are less than two weeks left in the regular season, with the final day of games just around the corner on September 8th. Six teams have already secured their playoff berths, but Atlanta is the only team eliminated from playoff contention so far. The remaining five teams (Lynx, Mercury, Fever, Wings and Liberty) are fighting down the stretch for the two final playoff spots.
Here are this week’s rankings (movements from last week’s rankings are noted in parentheses):
1. Washington Mystics
Record: 21–8, Offensive Rating: 114.8, Defensive Rating: 100.0, Net Rating: 14.8
The Mystics split their pair of games this week. While their loss to the Sky was a bit surprising, Washington followed it up with an impressive 101-point game against the Liberty. They still hold on to the top spot this week, but with Kristi Toliver sidelined with a bone bruise it will be interesting to see how they perform down the stretch.
2. Las Vegas Aces
Record: 19–11, Offensive Rating: 100.7, Defensive Rating: 95.7, Net Rating: 5.0
The Aces picked up a win against Phoenix last Tuesday, but followed it up with two losses this weekend. The narrow loss in Connecticut (just a 4-point margin) is nothing for Vegas fans to be concerned about, but their 21-point loss to the Lynx was surprising. Minnesota scored 98 points and shot 59 percent from the floor against the the Aces’ top-ranked defense. Still, the Aces remain at second this week.
3. Connecticut Sun
Record: 20–9, Offensive Rating: 100.5, Defensive Rating: 97.4, Net Rating: 3.1
The Sun went 1–1 this week, with the win over the Aces on Friday and a loss at Los Angeles on Sunday. While a win Sunday likely would have pushed Connecticut up to second in our rankings, they’re still in possession of second place in the league standings. However, injuries have riddled their depth at the guard position, which will be important to keep an eye on for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.
4. Los Angeles Sparks (↑1)
Record: 18–10, Offensive Rating: 101.0, Defensive Rating: 97.7, Net Rating: 3.3
The Sparks won three straight games at home last week (against the Lynx, Fever and Sun). They also clinched a playoff bid and are sitting at third place in the WNBA standings. With Riquna Williams’ (who scored 21 points against Connecticut) suspension over, the Sparks are finally at full strength.
5. Chicago Sky (↓1)
Record: 18–11, Offensive Rating: 101.9, Defensive Rating: 100.2, Net Rating: 1.7
The Sky also won out their week with road victories at Atlanta and Phoenix, and a home win over Washington. While the Sky continue to impress, standing at 7–2 for the month of August, the Sparks overtook the fourth spot as they finally have all their key pieces on the court. Chicago, however, is not far behind.
6. Minnesota Lynx (↑2)
Record: 15–15, Offensive Rating: 100.5, Defensive Rating: 97.8, Net Rating: 2.7
Minnesota’s big win over Las Vegas was one of the most surprising and impressive performances of last week. The Lynx also secured a win over Dallas, after losing at Los Angeles earlier in the week. The impressive offensive and defensive performance against the Aces helped the Lynx move up two spots this week. They need just one more win to secure a playoff bid — and they’ll have a chance to get it tonight with a win over Chicago.
7. Seattle Storm
Record: 15–14, Offensive Rating: 98.2, Defensive Rating: 98.2, Net Rating: 0.0
Seattle also clinched a playoff berth last week (thanks to a loss by the Liberty)— an accomplishment which caps off an impressive regular season in the absence of Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. The Storm, however, played just one game last week where they lost to the Indiana Fever. Their remaining schedule is highlighted by games against Connecticut, LA and Phoenix — all of which will have an impact on where Seattle falls in the seeding.
8. Phoenix Mercury (↓2)
Record: 13–15, Offensive Rating: 100.7, Defensive Rating: 100.6, Net Rating: 0.1
Despite the return of Diana Taurasi on Sunday, Phoenix dropped both of their games this week (to Vegas and Chicago). Taurasi did only play 22 minutes in Sunday’s return and may need a few games to be at full strength. Regardless, Phoenix will need to work on their defense, especially in the interior, down the stretch. Last week’s loss to the Aces came to the tune of 19 points apiece from Liz Cambage and A’ja Wilson.
9. Indiana Fever
Record: 10–19, Offensive Rating: 99.2, Defensive Rating: 105.0, Net Rating: -5.8
The Fever suffered losses to the Liberty and Sparks earlier in the week, but did pick up a win in Seattle on Sunday. They hold onto the ninth spot again this week. While Indiana has not officially been eliminated from playoff contention, they have a tough remaining stretch of schedule and barring any crazy happenings in Minnesota or Phoenix they will likely miss the postseason again this year.
10. Dallas Wings
Record: 9–20, Offensive Rating: 95.5, Defensive Rating: 102.0, Net Rating: -6.5
The Wings have now lost three straight games, after falling to Minnesota and Atlanta this week. Putting an end to the losing streak will not be an easy task for Dallas as the season winds down. Their next four games include Chicago, Connecticut and two matchups with Washington.
11. New York Liberty
Record: 9–20, Offensive Rating: 97.1, Defensive Rating: 106.4, Net Rating: -9.3
The Liberty picked up a win at Indiana before falling to Atlanta and Washington later in the week. They allowed an average of over 95 points in the two losses, which highlights the defensive woes that have plagued New York all season long.
12. Atlanta Dream
Record: 7–22, Offensive Rating: 92.6, Defensive Rating: 102.4, Net Rating: -9.8
It was actually a good week for Atlanta — something we haven’t been able to say much this season. The Dream picked up their 6th and 7th wins over New York and Dallas this week. They are heading back to their home court this week with two road victories under their belt, as they try to add a couple more games to the ‘W’ column before their season ends.