The WNBA All-Star break wrapped up over the weekend, which means that we’re now entering the final month of the season. At this point, in terms of WNBA Power Rankings, the league seems to have separated itself into three tiers: The top five teams, the middle five teams, and the bottom two teams. The Chicago Sky holds the best record right now, but the next four teams – Aces, Storm, Sun, and Mystics – are only separated by three games. There are then five teams – Dream, Sparks, Wings, Mercury, and Liberty – that are within one game of each other. The Lynx and Fever round out the bottom two.
With so many teams having similar records, playoff spots are up for grabs. This next month of the season will be extremely competitive and will tell us a lot about who has what it takes to make a deep postseason run. But for now, let’s take a look at our WNBA Power Rankings heading into the second half of the season. We’ll list all 12 teams but will analyze the six top WNBA teams a bit more in-depth.
The Chicago Sky sits atop of the league standings as well as our WNBA power rankings. They had a five-game win streak going before losing to the Minnesota Lynx just before the break. At this point of the season, the Sky looks like a well-oiled machine. Between the main core of players that were on Chicago’s championship team last season and the new players added this year, they have the chemistry of a team that looks primed to make a deep postseason run. If they continue playing as they did in the first half of the season, the Sky is going to be hard for any team to beat.
Seattle was playing some of its best basketball heading into the break. They’re 10-3 in their last 13 games and have cleaned up some of the issues that led to losses early in the season. The defensive end is where this team has really begun to shine. They lead the league in defensive rating, steals, and blocks. However, with Breanna Stewart leading the way in points and rebounds, and Sue Bird dishing out nearly six assists per game, it’s safe to say the Storm still has another level of play offensively that they’ll need to unlock heading into the playoffs.
Las Vegas Aces
We hesitated to put the Aces in the third spot on our WNBA Power Rankings because they went into the All-Star break on a bit of a downward spiral. After a score of 3-2 start to the season, Las Vegas is just 2-5 over their last seven games and are only half a game up on the Storm in the Western Conference. Despite their recent struggles, the Aces are just too talented for me to rank them lower right now. The All-Star break was a good opportunity for the team to reset and regroup in order to get back on track as they head into the final stretch of the season. Plus, Aces guard Kelsey Plum was just named MVP of the All-Star game, so she should be coming back with a renewed confidence that the team can build off of.
Similar to the Aces, the Sun didn’t go into the break on a high note. They’re just 2-4 in their last six games with losses to Dallas, Chicago, New York, and Washington. What Connecticut has worked for them, and should look to build off, is their offense. They rank third in offensive rating and first in net rating. They’re also the best offensive rebounding team in the league. The Sun has an opportunity to ease back into play with games against Indiana and Atlanta before a big nationally televised game against the Aces on July 17.
We like the way the Mystics have been playing as of late, but with Elena Delle Donne in and out of the lineup, it’s hard for us to put them much higher in our rankings. Delle Donne will continue to have rest days throughout the next month in hopes of heading into the playoffs fully healthy. Washington has made it clear that’s really important to them, so even if they drop a few games with Delle Donne out of the lineup, they’re still going to be in good shape heading into the postseason. They’ve hung their hat on the defensive end, ranking second in defensive rating, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The LA Sparks are a team on the rise. Since firing their head coach and general manager Derek Fisher in early June, LA has seen a turnaround in their play. They went 5-3 heading into the All-Star break and are starting to look like a more cohesive unit. However, those three losses came to Chicago, Las Vegas, and Seattle. If the Sparks want to take that next step, they’re going to have to learn to beat the league’s top teams. That test will come quickly with Washington and Chicago on the schedule this week.
We have outlined the top six WNBA teams, their strengths, and why they should be thought of as the teams to beat. Below, you will find teams 7-12. Be sure to stay tuned for more WNBA coverage and previews, right here.
- Minnesota Lynx
- Phoenix Mercury
- Atlanta Dream
- New York Liberty
- Dallas Wings
- Indiana Fever