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WNBA Power Rankings: Las Vegas Aces take over the top spot

(Abbie Parr / Getty Images)

It seems crazy, but teams have just about two and a half weeks left to position themselves in the standings before the WNBA breaks for the Olympics.

The power rankings are designed to give you a better understanding of who’s likely to improve and decline in the weeks ahead. So, let’s get to it.

12. Indiana Fever (1-14) —

Wins are going to be hard to come by when you’re surrendering nearly 90 points per game and are not succeeding at your own game of scoring in the paint and winning on the boards. So is life in the WNBA for the Fever this season.

11. Los Angeles Sparks (5-7) —

The Sparks are playing better defense than the Dream, but their offense continues to rank last in the WNBA. It doesn’t help that their leading scorer and rebounder and most efficient shooter, Nneka Ogwumike, hasn’t played since June 1 because of a knee sprain.

10. Atlanta Dream (5-7) -2

Say what you want, but offense wins games in today’s WNBA — three of the four teams with the best offensive ratings sit atop the WNBA standings. The Dream can get it done on offense, currently fifth in offensive rating at 101.7, and you have to think that will translate to more wins especially when Chennedy Carter returns.

9. Minnesota Lynx (5-7) -3

The Lynx play a fast-paced game that often stifles ball movement and leads to more turnovers. Opponents are currently scoring 20.3 points per game off of their turnovers, which is the most in the league. If they can limit those mistakes and get out to earlier leads, they have the offensive talent to close out more games.

8. Phoenix Mercury (6-7) -1

The Mercury run their offense through their post players, with 44.9 percent of their points this season coming in the paint. When you have a 6-foot-9 center in Brittney Griner, that strategy makes sense. The problem is they’ve become too one-dimensional, shooting just 22.3 percent from 3 during their recent four-game losing streak.

7. Washington Mystics (6-6) +2

The Mystics, ravaged by injuries, are still playing .500 basketball thanks to a combination of Tina Charles and unlikely heroes. In Washington’s last two wins, that player was Theresa Plaisance, who’s scored in double figures in four straight games. Leave it to Mike Thibault to find a way through adversity.

6. New York Liberty (7-6) -1

The Liberty are close to being at full strength, with Sabrina Ionescu back in the mix and Natasha Howard eyeing early July for her possible return from an MCL sprain. The team needs them considering the Liberty haven’t proven they can beat top competition. In their four games against the Sun and Aces, they’ve lost by an average of 20.5 points.

5. Chicago Sky (7-7) +5

So, this is the Sky team we had high hopes for in preseason. During their five-game win streak, which has helped them recover from a disastrous start, the Sky are turning the ball over nearly four fewer times than their season average and are shooting more efficiently from all areas on the floor.

4. Dallas Wings (6-7) —

The Wings continue to show more potential than their losing record indicates, as they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the league so far. Interestingly, the free-throw line is their biggest enemy right now. Dallas is committing a league-leading 21.5 personal fouls per game, allowing teams an average of 9.5 trips to the line.

3. Connecticut Sun (8-5) —

The absences of Jonquel Jones and coach Curt Miller have hampered the Sun perhaps more than expected, though their three losses have come against the Storm and the surging Sky. For a team that scores 45 percent of its points in the paint, Jones’ presence down low is particularly key to its success.

2. Seattle Storm (12-2) -1

Comparing the Storm and the Aces, who are both on five-game winning streaks, is a game of inches. They’re 1-1 against each other and the Storm have the better record. They’re both playing great defense, so what’s separating them is offense. And right now, the Aces’ is more potent, with the most 100-point games (four) and the best offensive rating in the league (108.1).

1. Las Vegas Aces (10-3) +1

One other factor the Aces have going for them is their rotation. As players like Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby and Riquna Williams continue to step up, Las Vegas only gets more dangerous.

Midge Purce-Backed Docuseries ‘The Offseason’ to Drop This Summer

cast of the offseason nwsl reality series
'The Offseason' follows a group of NWSL stars as they prepare for preseason play. (The Offseason)

The Offseason, a reality series created by Gotham and USWNT star Midge Purce, has officially confirmed its streaming debut, Purce announced in Cannes on Tuesday.

The six-episode, half-hour docuseries will stream this summer on X, though a specific premiere date hasn't yet been set.

The Offseason was filmed in Miami, two weeks before the NWSL preseason. It's a crucial time for athletes, a period where they prepare to join their respective teams and compete for both starting and roster spots. Production designed all the facilities, bringing in top-tier trainers, masseuses, chefs, and gym equipment to create a high-level training environment, ensuring the players were in peak condition, per the show's release. Throughout filming, athletes lived together in one house — a reality TV conceit rife for entertainment.

The series follows a number of NWSL stars, including Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Maria Sanchez (Houston Dash), Lo’eau LaBonta (Kansas City Current), Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash), Taylor Smith (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Nikki Stanton (OL Reign), Ally Watt (Orlando Pride), Taryn Torres (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Paige Nielsen (Angel City FC), and Ify Onumonu (Utah Royals).

"We wanted to create a series that truly captures the essence of what it means to be a professional athlete," said Purce. "This series has always been about more than just sports — it's about the human experience behind the athlete, as well."

The show promises a behind-the-scenes look at professional women's sports, teasing major life decisions, on-field tensions, and players taking stock of the environments they'll be entering once their preseason trip is over. The series delves into the real-life challenges faced by the athletes, including club trades, contract negotiations, burnout, and the relentless pressure from outsiders commenting on the players' personal lives.

The Offseason's official trailer, released on Tuesday, shows snippets of Hubly contemplating retirement, Sanchez joining the group after signing a high-profile contract, and a healthy amount of banter about on-field achievements.

The spirit of the series is reflected in its producers: Box To Box Films is known for their sports content (Drive to Survive, Break Point, Full Swing), whereas 32 Flavors is the creative force behind Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The series was funded by Seven Seven Six, and executive produced by Purce.

Lilia Vu adds Meijer LPGA Classic to tour wins record

Lilia Vu won in her first tournament in two months. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lilia Vu won her fifth LPGA Tour event on Sunday, taking home the Meijer LPGA Classic title in her first tournament since March. 

The world No. 2 had been sidelined with a back injury, but returned with a vengeance. She began the day eight shots back of leader Grace Kim, and survived a three-hole playoff against Kim and former champion Lexi Thompson to take the title. 

“I think this is the most meaningful win,” said Vu, “because there was a time two months ago where I was just crying on the range not being sure if I would ever play a tournament again without pain.”

A two-time major champion, Vu hadn’t before won the Meijer LPGA Classic, but a birdie on the third playoff hole helped secure it. She’s now 2-for-3 in LPGA Tour playoffs. 

She said on Sunday that being unable to defend her title at the Chevron Championship was the “breaking point” in her season.

“Not being able to compete there really killed me,” she said. “I feel like I thought I was taking the steps in the right direction, but I’m glad that I was able to take a couple months off and reevaluate my body, let it recover, do what I needed to do to get back out here again.

“And we did the right thing and took two months off. I think it hurt me not to play competitive golf because I literally live for competitive golf, but we did the right thing and that’s why I’m here today.”

Top tennis players pull out of Olympics citing health reasons

Aryna Sabalenka will not play in the Olympics. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka joined a growing list of tennis stars opting out of the Olympics on Monday.

Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and world No. 3, told reporters in Berlin that she was looking after her health while citing WTA tournament participation requirements. The Belarusian had struggled with a stomach bug during the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals of a major for the first time since 2022. 

“Especially with all the struggles I was having last month, I feel like I need to take care of my health. … It’s too much with the scheduling,” Sabalenka said. “It’s just too much. I made the decision to take care of my health.”

Similarly, Jabeur cited the health risks that come with the change of surface. The world No. 10 has been battling knee injuries this season, and lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Coco Gauff. 

Players will spend the next few weeks playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, while the Olympics will be played at Roland-Garros and be held on clay. 

“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice.”

The two join Emma Raducanu in opting out of the Olympics. Raducanu – who has dealt with a number of injuries since her US Open win in 2021 – cited the changing surface as “not worth the risk.”

Jaedyn Shaw Breaks NWSL Record for Most Goals Scored as a Teenager

Jaedyn Shaw of the san diego wave
Jaedyn Shaw is now holds the record for most NWSL goals as a teenager. (Julia Kapros-USA TODAY Sports)

Jaedyn Shaw continues to make NWSL history, surpassing Trinity Rodman for the most NWSL goals by a teenager on Saturday. 

She did it in a game against Rodman's Washington Spirit in the 20th minute of the 1-1 draw. It brings her total to 13 league goals, after making her NWSL debut at 17 years old in July 2022. 

The goal is her third this season. Shaw currently leads Wave alongside Makenzy Doniak. 

Shaw has also been a member of the USWNT, alongside Rodman, netting seven goals over 14 national team appearances. If she gets called up to this summer’s Olympics under Emma Hayes, it will mark her first official tournament with the USWNT.

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