There is a little less than a month left in the WNBA season and the race for a playoff spot has continued to heat up. The WNBA standings are as close as we’ve seen them in a long time with five teams within two and a half games of each other. Outside of the Chicago Sky, Las Vegas Ace, Seattle Storm, Washington Mystics, and Connecticut Sun, we could see quite a bit of movement in the final three playoffs sports before the season is over. It’s going to be a tight race to the finish line, but one that’s going to be fun to watch unfold over the final 10 games.
The aforementioned teams, plus the Atlanta Dream, are the top six teams of our WNBA power rankings and ones that we’ll analyze a bit more in-depth. Let’s dive in.
The Chicago Sky earned the top spot in our WNBA power rankings for the second-straight week as the best team in WNBA. And for good reason. They’re 5-0 since the All-Star Break and have won 10 of their last 11 games. With a recent win over the Seattle Storm, the Sky tallied their 20th win of the season, becoming the first team to clinch a spot in this year’s postseason. Chicago was also without its All-Star point guard Courtney Vandersloot for its games against the Wings and Storm, yet the Sky didn’t miss a beat. They have arguably the best depth of any team in the league, making them primed for a long postseason run and a shot at winning back-to-back WNBA titles.
Las Vegas Aces
The Las Vegas Aces came out of the All-Star break on a tear, winning their first three games. They beat New York in back-to-back games and followed that up with a win over the Sun. Ace’s offense looked as good as it has all season, averaging 102 points per game across those three games. Then they were absolutely demolished by the Atlanta Dream; however, you can chalk that loss up to an off night by Vegas and a dominant shooting night from Atlanta. The Dream shot 51.2% from the field and 62.5% from three-point land. It’s hard to beat any team when they’re shooting that well. The Aces responded well with a thrashing of the Indiana Fever, which was to be expected.
The Storm is 2-1 since the break with wins over Dallas and Indiana, and a loss to Chicago. While their loss to the Sky was a narrow 74-70 defeat, the Sky were without their starting point guard and proved to be a much deeper team. Seattle has a tough schedule to close out the season with another meeting against Chicago, one against the Sun, and two against both the Mystics and Aces. This final stretch will be a great test for Sue Bird and company, and pending the results, could be a big confidence booster heading into the playoffs.
The Washington Mystics are 3-1 over their last four games with wins over the Sparks, Lynx, and Liberty. With eight games left on the schedule, Washington is looking like they could make a serious run in the postseason. The designed rest plan they implemented on Elena Delle Donne to deal with her back issues has paid off because she’s looking as healthy as we’ve seen her in a long time and is expected to play the majority of their remaining games. Defense is what the Mystics have hung their hats on this season – holding the Lynx under 60 and the Liberty under 70 in their last two games – and is what will carry them deep into the playoffs.
The Sun could easily be flip-flopped with the Mystic, but their loss to the Aces puts them in the fifth spot this week. Granted Connecticut was without their star Jonquel Jones who has been in health and protocol, but they turned the ball over 22 times against Las Vegas. They’ll need to clean that up going forward, especially with two meetings with Chicago and one with the Storm still on the schedule.
The Dream went on a nice two-game win streak earlier in the week, with wins over the Phoenix Mercury and the Las Vegas Aces. Their win over the Aces was especially impressive, not just because the Aces are one of the league’s best, but because Atlanta shot 51.2% from the field and 62.5% from deep. They controlled that game from start to finish and looked like a team that was starting to hit a stride. Outside of facing Chicago and Vegas one more time this season, all of Atlanta’s remaining games are ones which they have a fair shot to win. They’re also extremely important because the Dream currently sits in the 7th seed, which is half a game behind LA in the 6th spot, but just one game out of the playoffs altogether.
Remaining Six Teams
The remaining teams all have a chance to not only move up in our WNBA power rankings for next week but the WNBA standings as well. Outside of the Fever, who are clearly out of the playoff race, each team is only within a few games of each other, meaning this list could look drastically different before the season is over.
- Los Angeles Sparks
- Dallas Wings
- Phoenix Mercury
- Minnesota Lynx
- New York Liberty
- Indiana Fever