After a switch between the Storm and Aces, the rest of our rankings go on the leaderboard, even though the different moods had things messed up. Discover why every team is where they are and what has changed since our position of power June 3 and before the season.
1) Las Vegas Aces (15-6) (up 2)
The Aces get the lead over the Storm, even though they are one game behind in the standings. Vegas still has the most talent in the league, though Seattle has a better record. His star center, Liz Cambage, has withdrawn from the Olympics due to mental health concerns, but if she’s back as a WNBA game resume, you need to be careful. Kelsey Plum will be an X-factor for the bait. We know they have a depth with four players, besides A’ja Wilson and Cambage, who score the double figures and another one averaging nine points per game. But when Plum (13.5 points per game) becomes an elite pro-level scorer, which she has threatened to do, it takes them to a whole new level.
2) Seattle Storm (16-5) (Under 1)
We said in our preseason rankings that the Storm will be pretty dependent on Breanna Stewart to be the best player in the game in every game. However, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird were phenomenal, so that was not the case. The rest of Seattle’s rankings still continue with overwhelming numbers, but players like Mercedes Russell, Jordin Canada, Ezi Magbegor and others make their impact felt with intangible things.
3) Connecticut Sun (14-6) (Under 1)
Jonquel Jones has shown no signs of slowing down since her return, with three games of 16 plus setbacks in five games. With DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones both performing at All-Star levels, the Sun has the biggest three we thought they would not have after Alyssa Thomas tore her Achilles. And with the scrappy play of their role players, they will be dangerous to move forward.
4) Minnesota Lynx (12-7) (at 6)
The Lynx scored two wins over the Aces, giving them a third-place finish. Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles play like one of the best duos in the league, and it’s scary to think of their ceiling. Kayla McBride also made it a notch after being left out of most All-Star talks, and Layshia Clarendon’s story and play were both inspiring. Notice when the Lynx Aerial Powers get back. And even without powers, they have good contributions up and down their roster.
5) Chicago Sky (10-10) (at 4)
The Sky finished fourth and may have a better big four (Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields) than both Connecticut and Minnesota. Their talent level and high level of play during their seven-match victory are reasons for optimism. However, their 1-3 record over their last four games is worrying. In one of those losses, they scored just 58 points. They do not seem to have the right mojo at the moment.
6) New York Liberty (10-11) (even)
The Liberty appears at number 6 on this list because Natasha Howard returns and, remember, she has the potential to be the best player on the team, even ahead of Betnijah Laney. Given the role Laney has played so far and her familiarity with the rest of the team, she will likely remain the forward and best player. However, Howard was the biggest gain and the Liberty has a very good big try with her back. New York was good, but contradictory without Howard, and without her left their place on the relevant list.
7) Phoenix Mercury (9-10) (under 3)
The Mercury’s win over the Aces on July 7 was encouraging and they have since played 1-1 against the Storm without any other games. The momentum will therefore be on their side after the Olympic break. And as always, they have the best talent to be a part of it. They received a sixth place.
8) Washington Mystics (8-10) (even)
Like the Liberty, the Mystics’ place on this list really depends on the return of a star. For Washington, it’s Elena Delle Donne, whose status is uncertain. Ariel Atkins and more so that Tina Charles could deliver a sample performance, and some of these performances resulted in Mystics wings. However, losses against the minor Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream and Los Angeles Sparks, as well as a 20-point lead against the Liberty, indicate to most that this team cannot really get far without Delle Donne. Washington did earn a seventh place for this list and could be even higher with the double MVP.
9) Dallas Wings (9-12) (Under 2)
The Wings was a feel-good story this year and has a lot of potential. They received a seventh place for this list. However, it’s hard to overlook a current three-game streak and a record that has now fallen half a game behind eighth-place Mystics. Dallas has enough important contributors to pull itself out of the slump and become a dangerous team in the playoffs. However, the Mercury and Mystics (featuring Delle Donne) are more talented and experienced.
10) Los Angeles Sparks (6-13) (on 1)
With Nneka Ogwumike’s reinstatement, the Sparks will have the strength to separate themselves from the Dream. They lost six in a row, but many have to do with injuries to N. Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver. Our expectations for the Sparks were not very high this season, but they showed flashes of potential.
11) Atlanta Dream (6-13) (Under 6)
Chennedy Carter’s suspension due to behaviors that are detrimental to the team, it is a concern in Atlanta. The team made a hard effort to lose the Stormers by three points when Carter’s adverse actions occurred during a loss to the Aces, and the dream has since been lost to the sun and the low fever. It is therefore possible that they were heading in a good direction before things were thrown from the right side. We have consistently mentioned the excellent depth of the Dream and that it, along with the return of Tiffany Hayes and the potential return of Carter, are reasons for optimism.
12) Indiana Fever (4-16) (even)
The fever has won three in a row as they try to push to get out of last place. Teaira McCowan scored 16.3 points and 11.7 rebounds during the series. When she replenished the post to supplement what Indiana’s guards are doing, the fever showed they could win a few games.