WNBAINSIDR POWER RANKINGS: Week 5

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. Phoenix Mercury (Last week: 2 | record: 10-3)

There’s no hotter team right now in the WNBA than the Mercury, who extended their league-best win streak to eight games this week with a trio of wins. First, the Mercury grinded out a 75-72 road win over the Wings this past Tuesday before returning home and blowing past a fellow title contender in the Sun, 89-72, in impressive fashion. On the second half of a back-to-back, Phoenix took care of Las Vegas, 92-80, on the road on Sunday. The Mercury are now 10-0 when the trio of Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and DeWanna Bonner each scores 12 or more points in a game. Look out folks, Phoenix is for real this season. -- Pat Ralph 

2. Los Angeles Sparks (Last week: 3 | record: 8-2)

The Sparks are firmly hitting their groove, and starting to look like the team we all expected to contend for the title. The question now is how deep can they be? Los Angeles has been employing an 11-woman roster, and is slowly starting to incorporate rookie Maria Vadeeva into the fold, after she joined the team last week. They're eligible to add a 12th player next week, and Karlie Samuelson will increase depth and spacing. But between those two, and an injury to Sydney Wiese, the Sparks have been playing only 8 or 9 players on many nights. Getting 12-deep could help Los Angeles be fresh and energetic when the playoffs start. -- Brady Klopfer

3. Seattle Storm (Last week: 4 | record: 8-3)

Seattle did a good job rebounding from their loss to Atlanta last week, going 2-0 this week with big wins against Chicago and Connecticut. Breanna Stewart is the second leading scorer in the WNBA with Jewell Loyd cracking the top 10 as well. They’ve done a good job pacing the Storm but their continued success can be credited to newcomer Natasha Howard. Howard has been a key contributor in most of the games she has appeared in and is proving to be very valuable in Seattle. -- Nicholas LeTourneau

4. Connecticut Sun (Last week: 1 | record: 7-4)

The Sun fell into some hard times and a tough road swing this past week as they dropped three contests to the Mystics, Storm and Mercury. The Sun hosted Washington at home and came back from a 30-point deficit to have a chance, but fell 95-91. Next, they faced a tough road swing to the west coast to take on the Storm where Chiney Ogwumike scored 30 and Jasmine Thomas had 29, but it wasn't enough and they fell 103-92. They finished the week off with an 89-72 loss to the Mercury. Thankfully, Connecticut gets a chance to head home and regroup before going to Atlanta on Friday to take on the Dream. -- Rachel Galligan

5. Dallas Wings (Last week: 5 | record: 5-4)

It's a big week for the Wings who are coming off a 77-67 win over the Aces. They travel to Minnesota on Tuesday to take on the defending champion Lynx. The Lynx beat the Wings 76-68 in their first meeting of the season. The Wings will return home for a two-game homestand after Minnesota where they will take on the Sparks on Friday and the Storm on Sunday. -- Dorothy Gentry

6. Atlanta Dream (Last week: 6 | record: 6-5)

To say the Dream had an up-and-down week would be an understatement. Last Sunday, they beat the Storm, then lost to the Sparks, then beat the Fever once before tragedy struck in the form of a loss to Indiana that cost them both Brittney Sykes and Tiffany Hayes. They are going to be sidelined for an extended period of time due to their injuries. Things were looking pretty alright for Atlanta but now without Hayes, their season looks to be in doubt. -- Nicholas LeTournea

7. Washington Mystics (Last week: 7 | record: 6-5)

The Mystics went from being the hottest team to being in the middle of the pack all in two weeks. Some changes have to be made. Rookies Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen really compliment each other on the court and Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne have been a dynamic duo. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Latoya Sanders are starting to emerge. Sanders gave the team some second-chance points in the paint, which is something to look out for in the future. -- Jasmine Brown 

8. Minnesota Lynx (Last week: 9 | record: 4-6)

After one of the rougher starts in team history, the Lynx could potentially be starting to look more like their normal selves. Following six days of preparation, rest and a "mini camp" to get back to the basics, the Lynx responded with a much-needed 85-71 victory over the Liberty on Saturday. Sylvia Fowles led all scorers with 25, Maya Moore added 20 and Cecilia Zandalasini chipped in 13. The Lynx host the Wings on Tuesday and follow that up on Friday as they face the Mercury. -- Rachel Galligan

9. New York Liberty (Last week: 8 | record: 3-6)

After playing in seven close games to open up the season, the Liberty were run off the floor in consecutive blowouts this week. First, in former head coach Bill Laimbeer’s return home to New York, the Aces rolled past the Liberty, 78-63, this past Wednesday. The Liberty followed that loss up with an 85-71 defeat at the hands of the defending champion Lynx on the road. New York’s offense has struggled to score as of late, as the Liberty are second only to the Dream in fewest points per game in the league. -- Pat Ralph 

10. Las Vegas Aces (Last week: 11 | record: 3-9)

The Aces are starting to show some signs of improvement as of late. It looks like they are slowly starting to click and get the ball rolling. They are 3-9, but the one thing head coach Bill Laimbeer can do is rebuild. The Aces are just going through growing pains. A’ja Wilson and Kayla McBride have been sensational for Las Vegas, but when you face off against the three-headed monster in Phoenix, it’s proven to be a tough chance to overcome them.  -- Jasmine Brown 

11. Chicago Sky (Last week: 10 | record: 3-7)

The Sky are starting to freefall a little bit. They have lost six of their last seven after opening the season with consecutive wins. The team simply looks out of sync. Courtney Vandersloot has been rusty since her return, Gabby Williams is struggling to find rhythm in her rookie year, and Chicago doesn't seem to know who their go-to player is, or how to move the ball fluidly. The Sky are a long-term project, and right now they look like one.  -- Brady Klopfer

12. Indiana Fever (Last week: 12 | record: 1-10)

It took 10 tries but the Fever are finally in the win column after a high-scoring 96-64 win over the Dream. A potent mix of offense and defense from different players at different times and aspects of the game was the key to victory coach Pokey Chatman said. With confidence on their side and a game against the Sparks (winners of four straight) coming on Tuesday, can the Fever snag back-to-back wins?  -- Dorothy Gentry