QotC Week 8 Power Rankings

Our WNBA Power Rankings for Week 8 Monday, July 22nd:

  1. Washington Mystics (11 – 6) – The Mystics bounced back with two wins this week as Elena Delle Donne returned to action.  In a season where some teams are displaying incredible depth, the Mystics look like two different teams depending on whether EDD is on court or not.  Still, simply because they’re the best team when she’s on the court, they hold the top spot in our rankings and assuming they stay healthy, the Mystics are my pick to win it all.
  2. Las Vegas Aces (12 – 6) – Vegas is winning, and having fun doing it, just take a look at the Instagram videos and tweets, but they just lost All Star A’ja Wilson to an ankle injury and while it’s not serious, it will keep her sidelined for the time being.  Vegas has been lucky this season with minimal injuries or missing players, but they’re about 7 players deep so anymore injuries and they may not be able to maintain their winning ways.
  3. Connecticut Sun (12 – 6) – The Sun continue to bounce back and for the time being have avoided a repeat of last season when they fell to .500 before winning again.  Still, I’m not entirely sold that they’ll keep winning and hold onto a top spot.  Every team is afforded their lulls, but the Sun seem to be extremely streaky and that can either work for or against you come playoff time.  With just a contest against the NY Liberty on the schedule before the All Star break, they’re looking strong heading into the second half.
  4. Seattle Storm (12 – 8) – The Storm are riding a 4 game winning streak which they’ll look to extend tomorrow night against the Aces on ESPN2.  I’m done writing about how surprising the Storm’s performance is this season since the season is more than halfway through and they’re still a top team.  However, this could change if Natasha Howard’s domestic violence inquiry goes against her.  The Sparks’ Riquna Williams was slapped with a 10 game suspension for domestic violence and if Natasha Howard suffers the same, it will be yet another opportunity for the Storm to show the quality of their depth.
  5. Chicago Sky (11 – 8) – The Sky have an extended break with no games until the 30th, but send their very talented three player backcourt to the All Star Game.  However, their 4 game winning streak comes at the expense of the 4 teams on the outside looking in so Sky fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a WNBA championship this year.  Their schedule gets significantly more challenging after the All Star Break so we shall see whether the Sky can keep up with the other title contenders.
  6. Minnesota Lynx (10 – 9) – Despite sitting at 10 – 9 after two tough losses this week, the Lynx boast the league’s 5th best scoring differential suggesting that they’re better than the record indicates.  This is a dangerous team with a lot of weapons and I wouldn’t want to face them in a winner takes all playoff game.  The all star break couldn’t come at a better time for this team which looks a bit fatigued, physically and mentally from a tough season with a lot of missing personnel.
  7. Phoenix Mercury (9 – 8) – Diana Taurasi returned for one game and has been riding the bench since.  Undoubtedly a precaution as the Mercury have enough weapons to get them to the playoffs at which point they become as dangerous as anyone if Taurasi is healthy.  Griner and Bonner continue to be an intimidating scoring pair with the potential to take over the game when needed and will represent the Mercury in the all star game.  Don’t sleep on this team down the stretch.
  8. Los Angeles Sparks (10 – 8) – My preseason picks to win the championship have not had the year they needed.  Between a slew of injuries to impact players, Riquna Williams suspension, questions about new coach Derek Fisher, and inconsistent play, the Sparks simply don’t look as threatening as they were expected to be this year.  They’re undoubtedly a winning team this year, but its hard to see them beating the Aces or Mystics in a playoff series.
  9. New York Liberty (8 – 10) – The Liberty need to find something extra if they’re going to get into the playoff picture.  While they are only 1.5 games out, the competition is stiff and the Liberty don’t seem to have any hidden weapons waiting to emerge.  Number 2 overall pick Asia Durr has been out with a groin strain though there has been some mystery around her absence and the team could very much use a scorer like Durr back on the floor.  Katie Smith needs to find a winning formula and fast or the Liberty will lose out on the playoffs AND the top draft pick in next year’s draft.
  10. Indiana fever (6 – 14) – Then there’s everybody else.  The Fever are riding a 5 game losing streak right now and have very little to show for yet another rebuilding season.  They send two players to the All Star game in aging star Candice Dupree and Erica Wheeler: perhaps the two all stars that have been talked about least this year.  Expect the Fever to continue the battle for 10th place with the Wings and Dream without much hope for ascension.
  11. Dallas Wings (5 – 14) – The good news is, they will likely have the Rookie of the Year this year as Ogunbowale continues to be the go-to player for the Wings.  There’s a solid core here that looks like it could be capable of winning a lot of games, but they are lacking leadership.  The hope of Skyler Diggins Smith returning early enough to make an impact is gone but the Wings would benefit from having a handful of games with her back on the court to develop some chemistry in anticipation of a stronger showing next year.
  12. Atlanta Dream (5 – 14) – The Dream could just as easily be ranked 10th as 12th, but I’ve gotta put someone last so its the Dream because I don’t see enough talent on this roster to feel hopeful about the future without some big changes.  Angel McCoughtry would be a big change, but its unclear if she’ll be back this season and at age 32, one wonders how good she’ll be when she does come back.  If I were the dream, I’d be trading some of my talent for future draft picks and young undeveloped studs.

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