WNBA Power Rankings: Here Come The Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Lynx are here. Riding high on a five-game winning streak that’s shown flashes of brilliance from Sylvia Fowles, Napheesa Collier, and Kayla McBride, it’s easy to buy stock in what the Lynx are doing. A 31-point blowout over the Phoenix Mercury, one-point win over the championship-favorite Las Vegas Aces, and six-point victory against the playoff-hopeful Dallas Wings is enough proof.

Sure, Minnesota stands just 10-9 due to a flurry of injuries and late arrivals, but the top of the WNBA has been proven beatable in the last week alone. The Connecticut Sun dropped to the historically bad Indiana Fever, the Aces lost to a Diana Taurasi-less Mercury team, and Seattle had scares against a pair of low-tier opponents.

Keep an eye on the Lynx, and in the meantime, let’s power rank all 12 teams:

1. Seattle Storm (15-4)

The Storm had a few close calls this week (a three-point win over the Atlanta Dream and late pull-away from the Los Angeles Sparks), but still edged out three wins in three games. By nature of the Aces losing to a Mercury team missing its most prolific scorer, Seattle owns the top spot for now, but it doesn’t feel convincing heading towards the Olympic break.

2. Las Vegas Aces (14-5)

The Aces were tormented by Brittney Griner in the post and stonewalled for the first four minutes of overtime in a nine-point loss to Phoenix. We’ll write that one off as a game that got away though, considering the team has won nine of its last 11 games.

3. Connecticut Sun (12-6)

It’s been a bit of a rough week for the teams at the top. The Sun losing to the then one-win Fever is … well, embarrassing. Jonquel Jones had, by far, her worst game of the season and nobody else stepped up. Watch out for the red-hot Minnesota Lynx. This could be their spot next week.

4. Minnesota Lynx (10-9)

After a rocky start, the Lynx are on fire. They look solid with Sylvia Fowles producing MVP-level nights alongside her Olympic teammate Napheesa Collier. Kayla McBride has also been on a tear, scoring 75 points on 27-for-39 shooting in her last three games. The Lynx can play big, small, and everything between. When Aerial Powers returns, this team could make even bigger waves.

5. Chicago Sky (10-9)

Though the Sky are much-improved with Candace Parker back in the rotation, they haven’t shown a level of consistent, elite play yet. A nine-point loss to the Wings on Friday didn’t help. Chicago could be a team that really benefits from a month break to regroup and return as the powerhouse we expect them to be.

6. Phoenix Mercury (8-9)

Brittney Griner has been spectacular this season and her shredding of the Aces showed why she’s such a problem for opposing defenses. Without Diana Taurasi in the lineup, Griner scored 33 points with 10 rebounds and five assists matched up against Liz Cambage. Phoenix is a scary single-elimination team.

7. New York Liberty (10-9)

We’re eagerly awaiting the return of Natasha Howard, but in the meantime, the Liberty are playing about as well as anyone could’ve reasonably hoped. Sabrina Ionescu’s finding her rhythm (28 points on 11-for-18 shooting in her last two games), Betnijah Laney is an All-Star, and Michaela Onyenwere is the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year. They’re in position for a playoff berth one year after posting the second-worst record in WNBA history.

8. Dallas Wings (9-11)

Despite a positive net rating, the Wings find themselves two games below .500 and in constant question over rotational roles and playing time. Four losses by four points or fewer stings. Still, they’ve got too much talent to miss the postseason this year. Hopefully, they can turn things around in the second half of the season.

9. Washington Mystics (7-10)

Mercifully, Natasha Cloud is set to return to play on Saturday for the most-injured team in the WNBA. We’re still awaiting Myisha Hines-Allen, Elena Delle Donne, and maybe Emma Meesseman (who is overseas) to re-join the Mystics. Even if the team drops this weekend’s game against the Sky, they can’t be too upset with their record all things considered. They could be a whole new team by August.

10. Atlanta Dream (6-11)

They’ve lost five of their last six games and star point guard Chennedy Carter is suspended “until further notice.” Yikes.

11. Los Angeles Sparks (6-12)

The Sparks may be the team most in need of the Olympic break after losing their fifth straight game on Wednesday. With all signs pointing to both Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike being healthy enough to compete in the Olympics, it looks like we can safely say they’ll both close out the season for the Sparks. That’s great news.

12. Indiana Fever (2-16)

I can’t figure out how they beat the Sun, but it happened. They’re still far and away the league’s worst team, but at least they can hang a “Made Jonquel Jones Shoot 29 Percent From The Field” banner from the rafters.