QotC Week 5 Power Rankings

Our WNBA Power Rankings for Week 5 Monday, July 1: 

  1. Washington Mystics (9 – 3) – We all know what Washington is capable of on offense, but it is their defensive efficiency that stands out as they take the top spot from the Connecticut Sun after a 43 point blowout win at home.  Burn THAT down, Sun.  Apart from what has become a star studded starting lineup the Mystics are getting strong contributions from the bench and are now the team to beat.  Oh and Emma Meeseman returns in a week.
  2. Connecticut Sun (9 – 4) – The Sun had a shaky week on the road and have lost 3 in a row after starting 9 – 1.  De Ja Vu anyone?  The Sun started the 2018 season 7 – 1 before falling to 10 – 10 with a mid season rough patch.  Luckily they bounced back and won 9 of their last 10 but Curt Miller’s squad has to hope for more this season.  The top two seeds get important byes in the current wnba playoff format and the Sun aren’t likely to secure a top 2 spot if they fall to .500 again.
  3. Las Vegas Aces (7 – 5) – Aces’ fans can’t help but feel a little frustrated with how this year has gone.  They’re up, they’re down, they win, they lose.  If there’s one thing the Aces are, it’s inconsistent.  Former Number 1 pick A’ja Wilson dropped 39 on 14 – 20 shooting in a win against the fever.  Former Number 1 pick Kelsey Plum went 0 – 8 in that same game.  There’s no doubt the talent is there (I sound like a broken record).  What is it going to take to win a few in a row and find some separation from the rest of the pack?
  4. Seattle Storm (8 – 6) – The Storm continue to impress by winning with a “next woman up” mentality despite the growing injury list.  Jewell Loyd is out for 2 – 4 weeks with an ankle injury, so Sami Whitcomb steps up and drops 13, 6, and 5 in a tight home loss to the surging Mercury.  Presumably the Storm will get most of their stars back this year, but can the current crop keep them in the hunt for the top spots until then?
  5. Los Angeles Sparks (6 – 6) – The Sparks are 1st in my rankings among teams even at .500 because of what I expect from this group of talent.  They bounced back with a couple of wins this week against quality opponents in the Aces and Sky with the win against the Sky looking a bit more like the kind of score lines I was expecting from the Sparks this season.  Candace Parker is only going to get better as the season goes on.  Look out for a marquee matchup with Washington this week!
  6. Phoenix Mercury (5 – 5) – The Mercury are 2nd among teams even at .500 because Diana Taurasi isn’t back yet.  Odd that it was rumored Taurasi would return a week ago and still hasn’t played a minute.  I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see how good the Mercury are going to be when she returns.  Are they title contenders? Are they middle of the pack? Unclear.  In a season when every team has significant strengths, its going to be the teams that can squeeze out the close ones that will thrive and no one is better at that than Diana Taurasi.
  7. Chicago Sky (6 – 6) – The Sky have lost three in a row but all to quality opponents.  Despite the losses I am actually more of a believer in the Sky now than I was a few weeks ago.  I like the shooting, I like the pace of play, I like the team chemistry that continues to grow.  I question who they turn to late in a game when they need a bucket.  Do they have that player right now? You can say that anyone of the starters (and some bench players I might add) could be that player on any given night, but that’s also an indication to me that they simply don’t have that type of star right now.
  8. Minnesota Lynx (6 – 6) – The Lynx have played 10 straight games decided by a single digit scoring margin including a number of nailbiters, but that amount of tension day in and day out is going to wear on a young team still developing its new identity.  I expect this team to continue to hover around the .500 mark for the rest of the season.  It also wouldn’t surprise me to hear the Lynx mentioned in trade rumors later this summer as they will look to build the next potential dynasty.
  9. New York Liberty (5 – 7) – The Liberty are 5 – 3 in their last 8 after a slow start.  I expect them to challenge for a playoff spot, particularly when they get their overseas talent back in a week or so.  The identity of this team is starting to take shape with Tina Charles at the helm and strong, young, guard support from Asia Durr, Kia Nurse, and Brittany Boyd.  The future is bright for the Liberty.
  10. Indiana Fever (5 – 9) – The Fever have struggled of late losing 4 in a row after what many thought was a surprisingly positive start to the season.  But for the most part these losses have been tight.  They’ll need more consistency from their guards if they’re going to start winning those close ones, but veteran Candace Dupree has been an ageless wonder providing some much needed leadership and scoring.
  11. Dallas Wings (4 – 7) – Dallas won two out of three games this week that were all decided by 3 points or less.  Rookie sensation Arike Ogunbowale looks like she is starting to adjust to the league despite posting a 2 – 23 game in their lone loss this week.  And to me, Dallas looks like a team that recently remembered that they’re actually really talented.  Their record is more a reflection of how intensely competitive the WNBA is this year.
  12. Atlanta Dream (2 – 8) – The nightmare season continues for the dream who can’t seem to find any answers to a league overflowing with talent.  Shots aren’t falling, the defense doesn’t look sharp, and on the court leadership is lacking.  I expect the Dream to be involved in trade talks to move their veteran talent and get younger in a hurry.  The rebuild is on.

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