The Chicago Sky and Atlanta Dream made big jumps in this week’s WNBA Power Rankings. But while Chicago vaulted six spots after putting together five consecutive victories, Atlanta fell five places after losing five of its last six games.
The Sky moved to No. 4, Atlanta dropped to No. 10 and Phoenix — which had lost four straight before snapping the skid Friday — fell three spots, to No. 9.
The teams in the middle and at the bottom of the standings all have similar profiles, each hovering around .500. It’s hard to decipher which teams might have the edge in the playoff hunt and can turn things around in time for the postseason.
But one thing is for certain: The top of the league is truly the upper echelon. The Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces — who play Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN App) — look unstoppable. And the only thing holding the Connecticut Sun back is the absence of MVP candidate Jonquel Jones.
As we stare down the end of June with the Olympic break about three weeks away, here’s how things shape up in the Week 6 Power Rankings.
Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
1. Seattle Storm
Previous ranking: 1
The Storm have won five consecutive games and sit 1½ games ahead of second-place Las Vegas and 3½ games ahead of Connecticut. During this latest winning streak, they have looked in sync and well-rounded.
Seattle ranks second in the WNBA with 88.2 PPG and first with 23.1 APG. Since their last loss (June 6), the Storm have held each opponent to 75 or fewer points.
The statistics paint the perfect picture of how well the Storm are playing. Breanna Stewart (21.1 PPG, 10.1 APG) is averaging a double-double while further solidifying her MVP résumé. Sue Bird is averaging 11.4 PPG and 6.0 APG, and Jewell Loyd is averaging a career-high 18.9 points on a career-best 46.5% from the field.
Their schedule has been grueling, with the past five games on the road. Seattle gets a game at home before hitting the road again for a tough Saturday matchup (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN App) against Las Vegas. The Storm are 7-0 away from home this season.
This week: WAS, @LV
2. Las Vegas Aces
Previous ranking: 2
Like the Storm, the Aces are solidifying themselves as one of the best teams in the WNBA. Also on a five-game winning streak, they have only lost two of their past 10 games. The Aces offense is formidable: They lead the league in scoring (91.2 PPG) and shooting percentage (48.1%). They rank second in rebounds (37.5), assists (21.0) and blocks per game (5.6).
Liz Cambage (15.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG) is leading the way, shooting a staggering 60.5% from the floor. A’ja Wilson is averaging a team-high 18.5 PPG, as well as 8.1 RPG and 3.2 APG.
After we pointed out last week that the Aces’ previous two wins had come by single digits, they responded with two blowout wins against New York, hitting the century mark in both contests. Their schedule isn’t the easiest this coming week — the Minnesota Lynx have been playing well, and the Storm are the best team in the WNBA. Notching two wins would be huge.
This week: @MIN, SEA
3. Connecticut Sun
Previous ranking: 3
Well, this is different: The Sun, who lost only two games in their first 10 contests of the season, are on a three-game skid that includes a loss to the Storm and back-to-back losses to Chicago. Connecticut is missing its No. 1 player and facilitator as Jonquel Jones continues playing for Bosnia-Herzegovina in the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket Tournament. Jones was the only player averaging a double-double (21.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG) when she left (she has since been joined by Phoenix’s Brittney Griner and Seattle’s Stewart).
Brionna Jones and DeWanna Bonner have stepped up in Jones’ absence, but without their star, the Sun are committing turnovers and struggling with assists.
Connecticut continues to shoot well — their 43.7 field goal percentage is third-best in the WNBA. But overall, the Sun offense is struggling to put up big points, and it was rough to play the strong Storm and a surging Sky.
The Sun’s next two games are at home, and they have a chance to get Chicago back for at least one of their losses.
This week: DAL, CHI
4. Chicago Sky
Previous ranking: 10
Don’t look now, but the Sky are on a five-game winning streak after a seven-game skid that threatened to doom their season. Back-to-back wins over the Sun are something to brag about for a team that finally is healthy.
Courtney Vandersloot continues to put together an MVP-caliber résumé, most recently dropping a double-double. She’s averaging 12.1 PPG and a league-best 8.5 APG, and is a big reason the Sky rank fourth in the WNBA in averaging 19.9 assists. With Vandersloot facilitating, her teammates are also playing well, including Candace Parker (11.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG) and Allie Quigley (12.0 PPG). Kahleah Copper (team-high 14.1 PPG), Diamond DeShields (12.6 PPG) and Astou Ndour-Fall (10.1 PPG) give Chicago six players averaging double figures; Las Vegas is the only other team with six in double-digits scoring.
The Sky sit tied for fifth, but five games behind Seattle, in the standings. Going on the road to play New York, which is 2-2 in its last four games (both losses at Las Vegas), this week could play to their advantage as they begin to look like the team everyone thought they were at the beginning of the season.
This week: @NY, @NY, @CON
5. New York Liberty
Previous ranking: 4
The Liberty are happy to be back in the win column after successive blowout losses to the Aces, even with Sabrina Ionescu back from ankle issues. Ionescu had nine points in Sunday’s road victory at Los Angeles, and is averaging 12.4 PPG, 6.3 APG and 6.1 RPG in 11 games so far this season.
Betnijah Laney continues to star for the Liberty. Last season’s Most Improved Player is averaging a career-high 19.9 PPG and 5.3 APG.
The Liberty have made a league-high 142 3-pointers, but their defense needs work. In their two losses — again, on the road at Las Vegas — they allowed 100 and 103 points.
New York’s 3-2 record at home will be tested with surging Chicago coming to town.
This week: CHI, CHI, @ATL
6. Washington Mystics
Previous ranking: 8
Slowly but surely, the Mystics are turning around their season — even with no indication of when two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne will return. Currently on a two-game winning streak, the Mystics have won four of their past five games and sit tied for fifth place with Chicago. Once floundering, the Mystics’ offense now ranks fifth in the WNBA with 82.8 PPG.
A lot of the team’s turnaround is thanks to Tina Charles, who is making a push for league MVP. She’s averaging a career-high — and league-leading — 24.5 PPG, in addition to 9.0 RPG. Ariel Atkins has made 33 3-pointers, one off the league lead. Atkins will have to continue her stellar play, as the Mystics could be without guard Natasha Cloud because of an ankle injury going forward.
Things also might get harder for Washington, which is on the road for its next three games. The Mystics are 1-3 away from home this season.
This week: @SEA, @LA, @DAL
7. Dallas Wings
Previous ranking: 7
Dallas is still struggling to find consistency and is smack in the middle of the league. The Wings are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Still, the young Wings are showing flashes of success. Marina Mabrey, the leading contender for Most Improved Player, is averaging 16.5 PPG and 5.2 RPG and dropped a career-high 28 points, which included shooting 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Arike Ogunbowale — who tweeted that Mabrey is a lock for this season’s MIP after Saturday’s game — ranks fourth in the league with 20.5 PPG. Ogunbowale has scored in double figures in 50 consecutive games.
Dallas scores 85.3 points per game, which ranks third in the league, and its 38.8 RPG leads the WNBA.
But after the Wings win a game, they lose a game — they’ve only been able to win successive games on two occasions this season. Dallas needs to muster together some consistency if it wants to make the playoffs. The Wings are on the road this week, and beating a struggling Sun team would push them in the right direction.
This week: @CON, @IND, WAS
8. Los Angeles Sparks
Previous ranking: 9
Moving the Sparks up in the rankings might feel confusing after they went 1-2 last week, but they are like the Wings.
Before Los Angeles’ loss to New York on Sunday, the Sparks split games with the Mercury, scoring 85 points one night only to be held to 66 points two days later against the same team. The Sparks average a league-worst 74.3 PPG, and their 14.9 APG also rank last.
The Sparks could really use Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike, who are still both out with injury.
Next up: A week that could prove tricky: Both Washington and Phoenix have spurts that might cause the Sparks to slide further.
This week: WASH, @PHX
9. Phoenix Mercury
Previous ranking: 6
The Mercury got a much-needed win Saturday after a rough four-game losing streak pushed them down the standings. If the season ended today, Phoenix would be one of the last teams to get a postseason berth. During the losing streak, they averaged just 75.8 PPG — they average 78.8 points per game on the season, which ranks third-worst in the league.
Phoenix’s offense picked up steam in its win Friday against Los Angeles thanks to 21 points from Skylar Diggins-Smith. Brittney Griner has also been playing lights-out, averaging a double-double (19.6 PPG, 10.1 RPG).
The Mercury, who won’t play again until Sunday, play their next three games at home and have the chance to improve upon their 1-5 record on their court.
This week: LA
10. Atlanta Dream
Previous ranking: 5
On paper, the Dream’s numbers are impressive. They rank fourth in the league with 84.3 PPG and lead the WNBA in averaging 9.9 steals.
But Atlanta — like so many teams in the bottom half of the standings — is struggling to have any consistency. While the schedule hasn’t exactly been favorable, the Dream are 1-5 in their last six games.
Courtney Williams (16.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG) continues to lead the way for the Dream, who play their next three games at home and are looking to improve a 2-4 record on their court.
This week: MINN, NY
11. Minnesota Lynx
Previous ranking: 11
Much like last week, the Lynx are still stuck in the bottom half of the league and haven’t won back-to-back games since the first week of June. Since winning three in a row, Minnesota has lost three of its last five games, including falling 95-77 to Dallas on Saturday.
The Lynx have five scorers in double figures — led by Napheesa Collier (17.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG) and Sylvia Fowles (15.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG) — but Aerial Powers (10.0 PPG) and Natalie Achonwa are out indefinitely with injuries. Now the question is whether the Lynx can build on their offense — they rank sixth in the league at 81.4 PPG and fifth in APG at 19.5 — and overcome the injuries.
This week: @ATL, LV
12. Indiana Fever
Previous ranking: 12
Despite playing Washington closely on Saturday, the Fever are still looking for their second win of the season and have lost 10 games in a row. They have the second worst offense in the league, averaging 74.5 PPG.
Teaira McCowan is still playing good basketball, averaging a career-high 11.1 PPG to go along with a team-high 8.9 RPG.
The Fever’s next four games are at home, but they have just one game this week. A pair of home games against Connecticut highlight next week’s schedule.
This week: DAL