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WNBA Power Rankings: Minnesota Lynx rise, New York Liberty fall


Coming off arguably the best game of the season between the Storm and Aces, we have a fresh batch of equally enthralling power rankings.

Where does every team stand two weeks before the All-Star game and Olympic break? Find out below.

12. Indiana Fever (1-15) —

In their one win this season, the Fever scored a season-high 89 points on 51.6 percent shooting from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range. They haven’t surpassed 80 points since then and are averaging a WNBA-worst 26.7 percent from 3. They also waived their 2020 No. 3 draft pick, Lauren Cox, this week. Times are tough in Indiana.

11. Atlanta Dream (5-9) -1

Chennedy Carter is back, but Atlanta’s defense from earlier in the season isn’t. The Dream are giving up a league-high 88.3 points per game, made worse by the Liberty putting up 101 points against them on Saturday. They’re forcing steals and turnovers with their speed, but they’re letting opponents shoot nearly 47 percent against them per game.

10. Los Angeles Sparks (6-8) +1

The Sparks are currently the worst rebounding team in the league, collecting just 29 per game to their opponents’ 40.1. When you combine that with a low-scoring offense, the Sparks need to shoot lights out — like they did in a win over the Mystics last week — to make up for the lack of possessions.

9. New York Liberty (8-8) -3

From watching the Liberty closely last week, it’s pretty obvious that Sabrina Ionescu is their X-factor. When she’s in the game, she spreads out defenses with her vision and passing ability. The problem is she’s still working her way back from ankle tendinitis and she hasn’t been hitting enough of her own shots to draw defenders toward her and away from her teammates.

8. Phoenix Mercury (7-7) -1

It’s taking the Mercury more time than most to heat up offensively during games. They’re averaging the second-fewest points in the first quarter (18.7) and the third-fewest in the first half (39.1). That’s forced them to play catch-up in many games decided by last-minute possessions. Diana Taurasi’s return has come at a good time.

7. Washington Mystics (7-8) —

In their seven wins this season, the Mystics are attempting nearly 30 3-pointers a game, the most in the WNBA. It’s clear that where 3-point shooting and Tina Charles go, Washington goes. The question continues to be how long they can hover around .500 with Elena Delle Donne’s return not looking any closer.

6. Minnesota Lynx (7-7) +3

The Lynx are relying heavily on Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier down low, averaging 36.1 points in the paint per game. What’s held them back this season is their backcourt. Crystal Dangerfield has regressed since winning Rookie of the Year, Aerial Powers is hurt and Kayla McBride has been inconsistent. If Layshia Clarendon can prove to be a steady starting point guard, Minnesota should only improve.

5. Dallas Wings (8-8) -1

When you have Allisha Gray, Tyasha Harris, Isabelle Harrison and All-Star candidate Marina Mabrey coming off the bench, your team is in pretty good shape. Dallas’ bench continues to lead the league with 30.4 points per game. When they can wear down opponents with their youth and depth, the Wings are hard to stop.

4. Chicago Sky (9-8) +1

Rachel Galligan explored how the Sky have been able to turn around their season so dramatically in a piece for Just Women’s Sports last week. The Sky’s offense went cold in their loss to the Sun on Sunday, which brought their seven-game winning streak to an end, but their outlook is still bright.

3. Connecticut Sun (10-5) —

The Sun went 2-3 while their best player was dominating at Eurobasket. Jonquel Jones returns Tuesday night after clearing COVID-19 protocols and should give the Sun’s offense an immediate boost.

2. Seattle Storm (12-4) —

The Storm committed 16 turnovers and shot 30.8 percent from 3 against the Aces on Sunday, numbers that are considered bad for them, and they still almost pulled out the win. As long as Mercedes Russell can continue to hold her own down low, the Storm’s backcourt will get it done.

1. Las Vegas Aces (11-4) —

We boldly moved the Aces into the top spot in last week’s power rankings, and they proved us right with their overtime win over the Storm on Sunday. The Aces now hold the season series, 2-1, and don’t show any signs of slowing down. How much longer until the playoffs?