WNBAINSIDR POWER RANKINGS: Week 7

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: 3 | record: 13-5)

After a brief two-game slide, the Mercury snapped back to their winning ways with an 83-69 road win over the Liberty this past Tuesday behind a classic Diana Taurasi performance. The WNBA’s all-time leading scorer finished with 27 points and hit seven threes in the game, as Phoenix was on fire all night against New York. The Mercury followed it up with a dominating 95-77 road win over the Fever behind a combined 60 points from Taurasi, Brittney Griner, and DeWanna Bonner. To close out the week, the Mercury grabbed an impressive 84-74 road win over the Mystics behind 24 points from Griner and 23 points from Bonner. -- Pat Ralph 

2. Seattle Storm (Last week: 2 | record: 12-5)

A busy week for the Storm proved to be an overall successful one as they went 3-1. The sole loss came in a hard-fought contest in Minnesota where Breanna Stewart scored 27 points but Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles combined for 60. This is a matchup to keep an eye on as Seattle faces this Lynx team two more times this season. In their three wins, Seattle averaged 24.7 assists per game. The Storm hit the road to face the New York Liberty on Tuesday.  -- Jameelah Johnson

3. Los Angeles Sparks (Last week: 1 | record: 12-5)

The Sparks continued their trend of impressive victories and enormous defeats, though the losses came with Nneka Ogwumike sidelined. This pattern has made one thing clear: LA is the best team in the league when they’re locked in, but that doesn’t always happen. 
-- Brady Klopfer

4. Minnesota Lynx (Last week: 4 | record: 10-6)

The Lynx are currently the hottest team in the league, riding a seven-game win streak. This past week, the Lynx beat the Seattle Storm, 91-79, behind a dominant 60 combined points between Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles. Moore finished with 32 and Fowles added 28 points and 17 rebounds. On Friday, the Lynx defeated the Atlanta Dream, 85-74, and followed that up with a tough, 76-72, win on Sunday against the Dallas Wings. At the mid point of the season, Moore leads the team in scoring at 20.4 points per game followed by Fowles at 17.8. This week, the Lynx look to continue to climb the standings and continue their win streak as they host the Fever on Tuesday, the Sparks on Thursday in a highly anticipated Finals rematch and finish out the week at Chicago on Saturday. -- Rachel Galligan

5. Washington Mystics (Last week: 6 | record: 10-6)

After ripping off four straight wins, the Mystics had their streak come to an end against the red-hot Mercury. The reason for the loss was shaky defense. But then again, it’s hard to stop Brittany Griner when she leads the league in blocks. Also, rookie Ariel Atkins is still going through concussion protocol, so that puts a damper on the whole team being healthy. Nonetheless, the Mystics are still in good shape. -- Jasmine Brown 

6. Connecticut Sun (Last week: 5 | record: 9-7)

The Sun finished the week going 1-2 with a win over the Indiana Fever and falling to the Mystics and Storm. They are still without Alyssa Thomas, who has been out for a few weeks now with a shoulder injury and on Sunday versus the Storm, Courtney Williams did not travel with the team due to personal reasons. In the win over the Fever this past Wednesday, they had five players score in double figures with Chiney Ogwumike and Jonquil Jones finishing with 21 points each. A very tough week awaits as they hit the road to travel to Los Angeles next to take on the Sparks on Tuesday and Phoenix Mercury on Thursday, two teams ahead of them in the standings. They round out the week in Las Vegas on Saturday. -- Rachel Galligan

7. Atlanta Dream (Last week: 8 | record: 8-8)

Going 1-2 for the week for Atlanta still reflected the impact of injuries on the team. Against the Chicago Sky, Atlanta had no answer for slowing down Diamond Deshields and Allie Quigley. Tiffany Hayes returned to game action for a tough matchup versus the Minnesota Lynx on their homecourt.  In the matchup against the Indiana Fever, the Dream were able to find their rhythm behind the play of Brittney Sykes and Hayes, while Imani McGee-Stafford's length gave the defense some trouble. The Dream return home to face the Seattle Storm on Friday.  -- Jameelah Johnson

8. Dallas Wings (Last week: 7 | record: 7-8)

Despite a major milestone for Liz Cambage - who scored her 1,000th career point on an and-one layup -  the Dallas Wings found themselves in all-too familiar territory in their Sunday afternoon battle against the Lynx. Racing out to an early lead, losing it midway, valiantly fighting back, then losing the game in the final minute. They lost at home to the streaking Lynx, 76-72. Of major concern is Cambage, who left the game at the beginning of the third quarter with an eye injury and did not return. No word yet on her injury or how severe but this is not news the Wings needs as they continue a three-game homestand and seek to piece together a winning record before the All-Star break. -- Dorothy Gentry

9. Chicago Sky (Last week: 11 | record: 6-10)

Chicago isn’t clicking, per se, but they’re showing signs of life. Their losses are far more encouraging than before, and the team is showing teamwork and energy on both sides of the floor. They need more from their stars if they want to make a postseason push, but they’re trending upwards. -- Brady Klopfer

10. Las Vegas Aces (Last week: 9 | record: 6-12)

The Aces have put together some impressive wins. A’ja Wilson has put together a dominant season and Kayla McBride is also turning into a great reliable player. Moriah Jefferson is now back in the lineup as well, so we will see how good this team will become since key pieces have returned.  -- Jasmine Brown 

11. New York Liberty (Last week: 10 | record: 5-11)

The Liberty’s losing ways continued this past Tuesday after Diana Taurasi torched New York’s defense with 27 points and seven threes to lead Phoenix to an 83-69 win. Then, the Liberty were defeated in heartbreaking fashion this past Thursday after Elena Delle Donne drained a three with less than a second remaining to push Washington to a 80-77 home win over New York. On the second night of a back-to-back, the Liberty defense wasted a strong offensive performance at home versus Chicago as the Sky pulled out a 103-99 win. However, the Liberty finally snapped their five-game losing skid on Sunday in the second part of a home and home with the Sky, defeating Chicago, 97-94, in overtime behind 28 points from Tina Charles. -- Pat Ralph 

12. Indiana Fever (Last week: 12 | record: 1-16)

The Fever are off to the worst start in franchise history, after an 87-83 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. But the real story of the day came with the out-of-nowhere signing of veteran WNBA guard Cappie Pondexter to a free-agent contract. The Fever waived Hind Ben Abelkader and signed the seven-time All-Star four days after she was waived by the Los Angeles Sparks. Pondexter, who has won two WNBA titles and averaged 10 minutes per game with the Sparks, will be counted on to bring some additional veteran leadership in a season that is essentially lost. 

 -- Dorothy Gentry