QotC Week 9 Power Rankings

Our WNBA Power Rankings for Week 9 Monday, July 29th:

  1. Washington Mystics (12 – 6) – Team Delle Donne may have come up short in the All Star Game, but they start the second half of the season as our number 1 team.  They’ll look to get back on track against the Phoenix Mercury Tuesday night on Twitter.  Its always interesting to see who comes back from the break sharp and who needs a few games to find their rhythm.  Unfortunately there is little room for error as the Mystics chase the Aces and Sun for a coveted top two spot.
  2. Las Vegas Aces (13 – 6) – Las Vegas lived up to its reputation as sun city this past weekend hosting the all star game festivities and parties with none other than Star Liz Cambage DJing a set Friday night.  However, on the court, the Aces are challenged to adjust without A’ja Wilson who is working her way back from an ankle injury but is still confined to the boot.  They proved they can win without her with a convincing win over the Storm before the break, and Dearica Hamby looks ready to step up and fill Wilson’s shoes.
  3. Connecticut Sun (13 – 6) – One of my biggest takeaways from the all star game is that Jonquel Jones is only scratching the surface of her potential.  She had an impressive showing in the Skills Challenge followed up by a solid all star game where she displayed her silky shot from long distance.  If she’s mentally prepared for superstardom, the makeup of this Sun team could shift from a well-balanced 5 woman attack to the Jonquel show who above average support. Oh and Shekinna Stricklen won the 3 point contest.  The Sun are ready to Burn It Down.
  4. Seattle Storm (12 – 9) – Seattle looks to build on an impressive season so far as Jewell Loyd gets back up to speed and finds her rhythm again.  Jordin Canada and Natasha Howard both look like top 5 candidates for Most Improved Player honors and Mercedes Russell has been impressive at the 5 since joining the starting lineup.  Dan Hughes must continue to find meaningful minutes for Sami Whitcomb who has been incredible in extended minutes while Jewell Loyd was out with injury.
  5. Chicago Sky (11 – 8) – The Chicago Sky were out in force for the all star festivities supporting their extremely talented backcourt trio.  Diamond DeShields emergence as an all star and dominant force is largely responsible for what many consider a surprisingly good season for the Sky, especially after losing number 4 overall pick Katie Lou Samuelson to injury early on.  The Sky are deep with next level athleticism from multiple spots on the floor, but they’re going to have their hands full come playoff time when they go up against some of the bigger teams in the league.
  6. Phoenix Mercury (10 – 8) – Speaking of bigger teams in the league…Britney Griner delighted fans with multiple throw downs in the all star game, all of which looked effortless for the perennial all star.  But mystery surrounding Diana Taurasi and her return have me concerned that the Mercury might not be able to put it together in time for a deep playoff run.  Expect the Mercury to look for meaningful help at the guard position in next year’s draft.
  7. Los Angeles Sparks (11 – 8) – 2019 might be the year of what could have been for the Sparks.  Injuries and suspensions have forced the Sparks to lean more heavily on all stars Chelsea Gray and Nneka Ogwumike who have done a phenomenal job keeping the Sparks relevant this year.  If 6’7″ rookie Kalani Brown can take the next step in her development, the Sparks could be scary good next year combining skill, size, and scoring from all spots on the floor.
  8. Minnesota Lynx (10 – 10) – Its a bit disheartening to see the Lynx fall to .500 on the season as we begin the second half.  They have a lot to be excited about for the future, but will have their hands full staving off the Liberty for the final spot in the WNBA playoffs.  Despite a complimentary trio of all stars with diverse skillsets, the Lynx are seriously missing Maya Moore’s passion, ferocity, and ability to close out close games.  Most of the Lynx’s losses have been tight games that didn’t go their way in the final minutes.
  9. New York Liberty (8 – 11) – First timer Kia Nurse dropped 15 efficient points in the all star game and 7 time all star Tina Charles mostly took a back seat to let the younger players enjoy the spotlight.  But as the Liberty look to make a push for the final playoff spot, expect Tina Charles to step up and put this team on her back as she has done time and time again.  Katie Smith may be on a short leash if she is unable to lead this talented group to the playoffs.
  10. Indiana Fever (6 – 15) – The fever were not expected to be very competitive this year, but expect newly crowned 2019 WNBA all star game MVP Erica Wheeler to take on more responsibility as her confidence grows.  The Fever might look to make some meaningful trades and shake up the team chemistry down the stretch as they continue to rebuild a winning culture.  Shout out to big T (Teaiera McCowan) who has steadily improved and acclimated to the WNBA all season long.
  11. Dallas Wings (5 – 14) – It was a quiet week for Dallas who did not send anyone to the all star game.  Rumors that Skyler Diggins Smith is nearing a return is welcome news for this group of young talent that is lacking veteran leadership.  Diggins-Smith was also announced as a new member of Team USA basketball that will participate in a new training and promotion program during the fall, winter and spring designed to grow interest in the game and prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
  12. Atlanta Dream (5 – 15) – Despite not having an all star selected this year, the Dream sent Elizabeth Williams to Vegas to compete in the Skills Challenge where she showed off her skill set but ultimately came up short.  Despite having some strong individual talents, the Dream are lacking leadership and a cohesive offensive philosophy.  Will Angel McCoughtry return to lift the Dream? Will they score big in next year’s draft? Somethings gotta give.

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