WNBA Power Rankings: Minnesota Lynx are finally getting right

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images /

The top three teams hold onto their spots in this week’s WNBA Power Rankings but teams like the Minnesota Lynx and L.A. Sparks are climbing.

It was a fun week in the WNBA. Jewell Loyd hit a buzzer-beater against Dallas. Arike Ogunbowale hit what was basically a buzzer-beater against Seattle. The Minnesota Lynx seemed to right the ship after a tough start to the year.

So, how does all of that shake up the power rankings this week? There’s no change at the top and bottom, but plenty of movement among the rest of the teams.

Where does each team rank in this week’s WNBA Power Rankings?

1-9. Previous: 12th. Indiana Fever. 12. team. 1341.

Yeah, things aren’t going well for the Fever. Their last game was a 98-63 loss to the Sparks, which followed an 88-73 loss to the Storm. In that Sparks loss, the team continued to make questionable lineup decisions, with first-rounder Kysre Gondrezick continuing to see limited minutes while the team runs Kelsey Mitchell and Danielle Robinson into the ground. As I mentioned last week, the Fever will probably stick in this 12th spot for the rest of the season.

team. 1337. . 2-7. Previous: 9th. Chicago Sky. 11

The Sky have lost their last seven games. Candace Parker is still sidelined with an ankle injury, though they’ve gotten Stefanie Dolson back from the 3×3 qualifiers and Allie Quigley back from injury. That…hasn’t really changed anything about the direction of this team, which keeps losing. The losses are competitive and I still believe this team is going to make the playoffs, but a 2-7 start is bad, and will put even more pressure on this team once Parker is back.

10. team. 1344. . 2-5. Previous: 8th. Washington Mystics

The good news for Washington is they have two fewer losses than Chicago. The bad news is that they still don’t have Elena Delle Donne back from back surgery, and every game without EDD is another game where they risk falling too far back to make the postseason. On the bright side, Myisha Hines-Allen and Tina Charles have formed a really formidable frontcourt, and Ariel Atkins is having a strong season as well. Delle Donne would make this into a really good team. It’s just…well, when we will see her?

. 3-5. Previous: 11th. Dallas Wings. 9. team. 1342


The third-year guard hit a shot just before the buzzer on Sunday to lift the Wings to a win over Seattle. Before that, the team had an overtime loss to Seattle on Friday, with Satou Sabally finishing that one with 18 points in her season debut. Dallas is finally at full strength, and this Dallas team with all of their players is scary. The team appears to be going with a bit of an anti-rookie thing in terms of the rotation, but when the other players are playing so well, it’s hard to justify giving too many minutes to players like Awak Kuier and Chelsea Dungee.

1345. . 4-4. Previous: 4th. Atlanta Dream. 8. team

After dropping consecutive games to the Lynx, the Dream — who are currently without second-year guard Chennedy Carter because of an elbow injury — have fallen back to .500. While the backcourt in Atlanta continues to play well thanks to Courtney Williams, Tiffany Hayes, and rookie Aari McDonald, the team is struggling to generate offense upfront. Elizabeth Williams, Tianna Hawkins, and Monique Billings are barely taking shots, and the big offseason acquisition, Cheyenne Parker, has yet to make much of an impact in the limited time she’s played after returning from a COVID absence.

New York Liberty. 7. team. 1339. . 5-4. Previous: 5th

The losers of three in a row, the Liberty are suffering from two serious issues. One is fixable, which is that Sabrina Ionescu just isn’t scoring right now. In the past three games, Ionescu hasn’t scored more than six points. But we’ve seen Sabrina score, so don’t be surprised if she pulls out of that slump. A bigger issue is Natasha Howard is out, which has left this team thin upfront. Add in that Kiah Stokes is leaving for EuroBasket and the team is left with just one option at center in Kylee Shook. They’ll add someone on a hardship, but that won’t fix the huge hole at the 5.

. 3-4. Previous: 10th. Minnesota Lynx. 6. team. 1336

A team under .500 in sixth? Why? Because the Lynx have won three in a row and have Napheesa Collier back, allowing them to finally look like the team they were expected to be. The addition of Layshia Clarendon has also helped them shore up the backcourt, with the team going 3-0 since signing the veteran guard. In the preseason, virtually everyone thought this was a top-four team. Now, they’re finally playing like that top-four team.

4-3. Previous: 7th. Los Angeles Sparks. 5. team. 1335.

What do we make of the Sparks, who are 3-0 against Chicago and 1-3 against the rest of the league? I don’t know. I truly don’t at this stage. Nia Coffey should be in the Most Improved discussion. Amanda Zahui B. has been a great addition. But the team’s best player, Nneka Ogwumike, is injured, and the teams they’ve defeated are a combined 3-16 on the season. I have the Sparks fifth because power rankings should account for how a team is playing lately and they’ve been really good lately, but the quality of their wins is suspect. Let’s see if the Sparks can maintain this level of play against the Mystics and Lynx this week.

Previous: 6th. Phoenix Mercury. 4. team. 1338. . 5-3

Are the Mercury better without Diana Taurasi? Let’s not go that far, but they are playing some cohesive basketball right now, with Skylar Diggins-Smith shouldering much of the offensive load and Brittney Griner playing some dominant basketball inside. Offseason acquisitions Megan Walker and Kia Nurse have been crucial parts of this team, with Walker — who struggled tremendously in New York as a rookie — showing hints of why many think she would have been the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 if she’s stayed one more season at UConn. Depth remains a concern, but the team will have reinforcements coming at some point in Taurasi and guard Bria Hartley.

3. team. 2048. . 7-3. Previous: 3rd. Las Vegas Aces

Liz Cambage has found her footing, with a pair of 20-plus point games in the past three games. After playing limited minutes earlier in the year, Cambage is a full go now, and she’s producing like you’d expect Liz Cambage to produce. Add in that it seems like the Cambage and A’ja Wilson pairing is heading in the right direction and that Jackie Young is third in the league in Positive Residual’s Estimated Contribution metric, and you can see the makings of a title winner in Vegas.

2. team. 1346. . 8-2. Previous: 2nd. Connecticut Sun

The Sun hold onto the two spot again this week, but things could start to go south in Uncasville soon. Jonquel Jones will miss at least the next four games because of EuroBasket, and losing the frontrunner for MVP for even four games could be an issue. Though, the Sun facing Chicago three times in the next four games could be a blessing if the Sky continue to play like one of the W’s worst teams. We’ll see what happens. If you told me in the preseason Jonquel would miss three games against the Sky, I would have been incredibly worried for the Sun! Now, I’m a little less worried.

1340. . 7-2. Previous: 1st. Seattle Storm. 1. team

Seattle lost to Dallas on Sunday thanks to a near-buzzer beater by Arike Ogunbowale, but the Storm retain this No. 1 spot because…well, because they’re the league’s best team. No team has a better duo than Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, with Loyd taking some huge leaps and becoming an MVP candidate in her own right, not just Stewie’s running mate as people have wanted to pigeonhole her into being. I still have depth concerns, but players like Stephanie Talbot are answering some of that concern.

Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty are on one. light. More WNBA