WNBAINSIDR POWER RANKINGS: Week 8

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: 2 | record: 15-5)

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This Seattle squad is clicking on all cylinders. Going 4-0 for the week, they're continuing to see success in believing in each other as a team. Sue Bird's attention to detail in her court vision allowed the Storm to average 23 assists for the week. They are currently the sole holders of the number one spot in the standings. Seattle faces the L.A. Sparks next, Tuesday, July 10. -- Jameelah Johnson

2. Phoenix Mercury (Last week: 1 | record: 14-6)

After several days off, the Mercury returned to the floor at home to defeat the Sun 84-77 on Thursday night behind 25 points from Diana Taurasi, 23 points from Brittney Griner, and a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds from DeWanna Bonner. However, Phoenix’s winning ways were brought to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon on the road by the Atlanta Dream. One of the best defensive teams in the WNBA, the Dream were able to take Phoenix out of its groove offensively and slow down one of the best offenses in the league. But have no fear Mercury fans; Phoenix would hold a playoff bye until the semifinals if the regular season were to end today.. -- Pat Ralph 

3. Washington Mystics (Last week: 5 | record: 12-7)

the Mystics went through a rough beginning of the season riddled with injuries an illnesses, but they have turned their season around and have put in enough work to climb to the 3rd spot in the league. The team is fully healthy now so we will be able to see how they play at full strength now that rookie Ariel Atkins is back. Everyone stepped up in the wins against the Liberty and the Sparks on a slow night for Elena Delle Donne, so that shows that  this team is capable of going very far. -- Jasmine Brown 

4. Minnesota Lynx (Last week: 4 | record: 11-8)

Following a hot 7-0 win streak these past few weeks, the Lynx ran into more troubling times this week as they went 1-3. In a devastating 71-59 loss to the last placed Indiana Fever, the Lynx scored their lowest point total this season. They responded with an 83-72 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday but lost to the Chicago Sky on Saturday 77-63. Minnesota goes on the road to Indiana this week to take on the Fever on Wednesday and will host the Aces and Sun at the end of the week on Friday and Sunday. -- Rachel Galligan

5. Los Angeles Sparks (Last week: 3 | record: 12-8)

LA appears to be spiraling and they’re doing so quickly. They’ve lost 5 of their last 6, with many not being close. If the Sparks don’t figure things out quickly, they could find themselves in a one-game playoff against one of the teams that has given them fits.  -- Brady Klopfer

6. Dallas Wings (Last week: 8 | record: 10-8)

The Dallas Wings finally found their groove and ride a 3-game win streak (Sky, Fever and Liberty) into a home game with the 14-6 Phoenix Mercury (their last season match-up) on Tuesday night. The Wings are 0-2 against the Mercury but despite the win streak, must still put up some wins against the Western conference powerhouses if they hope to make it past Round 1 of the playoffs.

-- Dorothy Gentry

6. Connecticut Sun (Last week: 6 | record: 10-9)

It was another long week on the road for the Connecticut Sun as they headed out west to take on the Sparks, Mercury and Aces this past week. After a nail biting 73-72 victory against Los Angeles on Tuesday, they dropped the next two in a 84-77 loss to Phoenix and a 94-90 loss to Las Vegas on Saturday. The Sun return home this week for two games as they host the Liberty on Wednesday and Mercury on Friday. They are still without Alyssa Thomas (shoulder injury) and Courtney Williams. It is unclear when either will return. -- Rachel Galligan

7. Atlanta Dream (Last week: 7 | record: 9-9)

Atlanta went 1-2 on the week, dropping a hard fought contest against the number one Seattle Storm. The Dream find their success in their defense determined by their scouting. If their reads of an offense falter, they fall behind in getting to their spots and fighting around screens. That was a major weakness in their solo loss. When they get everyone together on defense, their offense thrives. In both wins, they defensively outrebounded the opposition 61-49. Atlanta travels to D.C. on Wednesday, July 11 to face the Washington Mystics.  -- Jameelah Johnson

9. Chicago Sky (Last week: 9 | record: 7-12)

The Sky went 1-2 on the week, but when the “1” is a 14-point victory against the Lynx, it still feels like a good week. Chicago is starting to prove that they can be a quality team, they just need to learn how to be consistent. -- Brady Klopfer

10. Las Vegas Aces (Last week: 10 | record: 8-12)

the Aces looked to be a contender to miss the playoffs, but they now look like they may have a chance to sneak into the playoffs at at least the 8th seed. Rookie A’ja Wilson is still doing A’ja Wilson things and has been impressing on the court as well as off the court. Bill Laimbeer is the king of turning teams around, so give them a year and we will be seeing a new start to a team that can do damage in the future 

-- Jasmine Brown 

11. New York Liberty (Last week: 11 | record: 5-14)

After snapping their five game losing streak, the Liberty got back to their losing ways this week with a 77-62 loss at home to Seattle. Despite being able to hold one of the best offensive teams in the league to only 22% shooting from three, New York just did not have enough firepower and talent to keep up with the Storm. Then, the Liberty lost for the second time in a week against the East-leading Mystics in DC. While last week’s loss came at the buzzer, Thursday’s night defeat was a blowout as the Liberty wasted a signature Tina Charles performance of 26 points and 12 rebounds. New York closed out the week with its third loss in a row, this one coming at home at the hands of the Dallas Wings behind a 32-point performance from Skylar Diggins-Smith.. -- Pat Ralph 

12. Indiana Fever (Last week: 12 | record: 2-17)

The never-say-die, 2-17 Fever are starting to show signs of life after acquiring free agent veteran Cappie Pondexter, dropping the defending champion Minnesota Lynx two days later. They will have enjoyed a 5-day break before their next game on Tuesday - a rematch against the Lynx. We'll see if the extended rest helped. -- Dorothy Gentry