WNBAINSIDR POWER RANKINGS: Week 10

Every Monday during the regular season, Maurice Brooks and Aryeh Schwartz will rank the WNBA teams from 1 to 12. Also, Insidr beat writers will provide interesting tidbits on each team that they cover.

1. Seattle Storm (Last week: 1 | record: 18-7)

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The Seattle Storm went 2-1 for the week, dropping a decision against Atlanta. Much of the Storm's success rides on the play of Alysha Clark and Jewell Loyd. While the first two wins featured outstanding offensive plays from Loyd (20 points against Chicago, 31 against Connecticut), Atlanta started to double her when they sensed her hot hand warming up. Clark's defensive presence (two steals in each win) was not as strong in the loss to Atlanta. The Storm look to bounce back in Indiana on Tuesday. -- Jameelah Johnson

2. Atlanta Dream (Last week: 4 | record: 15-9)

The Atlanta Dream set a franchise record with seven consecutive wins when they defeated the Seattle Storm on Sunday. Coach Nicki Collen has found a winning formula so far with her defense-focused lineups. The success of this Atlanta team goes back to the strength in their depth. When the players are 100 percent healthy, Collen plays with the rotations and is able to give her top scorers in Tiffany Hayes and Angel McCoughtry a rest. In the four wins for the week, the pair played less than one minute over 30 in just one game each. Atlanta will hit the road to face the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday. -- Jameelah Johnson

3. Minnesota Lynx (Last week: 8 | record: 14-10)

The Lynx went 2-0 this week with wins over the Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury. Maya Moore completely went off against Phoenix finishing with a season-high 38 points. The Lynx currently stand in fifth place overall in the standings. They will host the New York Liberty this Tuesday before the All-Star break. Three Lynx players will rep the All-Star Game facing off with one another. Maya Moore was chosen by Team Parker. Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus were chosen by Team Delle Donne. -- Rachel Galligan

4. Washington Mystics (Last week: 5 | record: 14-10)

The Mystics snapped their two-game losing streak by defeating the New York Liberty, but they will need to start beating the teams that are going to make the playoffs and are at the top of the standings. Their defense has started to lack after having a strong start earlier in the season. They are a team capable of going far, but they have to tighten up on their defense and protect the perimeter. -- Jasmine Brown 

 

5. Los Angeles Sparks (Last week: 3 | record: 15-10)

The season long ebb and flow trend continues for the Sparks, who have now lost four in a row at home, while winning three in a row on the road. They've shown an ability to play elite basketball and compete for a title. They've also displayed a trend of playing down to opponents (as they did during Friday's home loss to the previously-two win Fever), that should scare their fans should the team find itself in a single-elimination playoff game. -- Brady Klopfer

 

6. Phoenix Mercury (Last week: 2 | record: 15-10)

Returning home from their four-game road trip, the Mercury were handed their fourth loss in five games as Phoenix fell to the Aces, 85-82, on Thursday night after committing 15 turnovers in the contest. The Mercury’s losing trend continued on Saturday as they were defeated by the Minnesota Lynx, 80-75, at home. Since Sancho Lyttle went out for the season with an ACL injury, Phoenix has gone 2-5 and is struggling to both rebound and defend. This team could use Lyttle now more than ever, and Phoenix’s dependence on Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and DeWanna Bonner to carry the load could finally be rearing its ugly head. -- Pat Ralph 

7. Dallas Wings (Last week: 6 | record: 14-11)

After winning a franchise-best five consecutive games, the Dallas Wings limp into the All-Star break losers of two in a row. The Wings played 11 games in 21 days - including four road games and a back-to-back and finished 7-4. The five-game winning streak showed what the team is capable of when they lock in defensively. Hopefully a few days off to regroup and refresh will put them back on the winning track. -- Dorothy Gentry

8. Connecticut Sun (Last week: 7 | record: 13-12)

The Sun went 1-2 this past week in a tough slate that featured the top two teams and losses to the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm. The Sun responded on Sunday with a solid 92-75 win over the Dallas Wings. Shekinna Stricklen tied a WNBA record for three-pointers made in a game finishing 8 of 11 from deep. The Sun are currently in eighth place and host the Washington Mystics on Tuesday before heading into the All-Star break. Chiney Ogwumike was named a 2018 All-Star. -- Rachel Galligan

9. Las Vegas Aces (Last week: 9 | record: 12-13)

The Aces are very close to playoff contention. Once a team that was projected to actually miss the playoffs, the Aces have a really good chance of making the postseason. Bill Laimbeer has done a great job of getting his team together and the biggest thing is that the team has bought into what he envisioned for the new franchise. -- Jasmine Brown 

10. Chicago Sky (Last week: 11 | record: 8-17)

Friday's big win against the Wings should breathe some life and confidence into the Sky, even if it was followed up by a large loss to the Sparks. But at this point in the season, with the playoffs not in question, the Sky are focused on the positives, and they can take from the dominant victory some very positive signs from the blossoming Gabby Williams, as well as some star moments from their other four starters. It seems inevitable that the Sky will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years; the only question is how quickly they can get there. -- Brady Klopfer

11. New York Liberty (Last week: 10 | record: 7-17)

The Liberty’s two-game winning streak was brought to a screeching halt last Tuesday afternoon when All-Star center Liz Cambage scored a WNBA-record 53 points on 17-of-22 shooting and collected 10 rebounds to power the Dallas Wings to a 104-87 home win. On Thursday, New York’s offense struggled to score on the road against Atlanta, arguably the best defensive team in the WNBA, as the Dream grinded out a 82-68 win. To conclude the week on Saturday, the Liberty struggled defensively as they were blown out by the Washington Mystics 95-78 on their home floor. Having lost all three games this past week, New York is all but out of the playoff race barring a miracle finish and some help. -- Pat Ralph 

12. Indiana Fever (Last week: 12 | record: 3-22)

They remain in last place in the league but on any given day, the Indiana Fever can compete, such as Friday's 2-point win over the Los Angeles Sparks. The Fever play host to the first-place Seattle Storm on Tuesday, their final game before the All-Star break. The season may be essentially over but after surprise wins against the Lynx and Sparks, you never know what the Fever have up their collective sleeves. -- Dorothy Gentry