Note: WNBA.com’s Power Rankings, released every Tuesday during the season, are the opinion of this writer and do not reflect the views of the WNBA or its clubs.
With a win over the red-hot Connecticut Sun on Sunday, the Dallas Wings extended their win streak to four games and improved to 8-8 on the season. That’s right, 8-8. Dallas has already played 16 games this season, while the rest of the league has played an average of 12.4 games so far.
In their win over Connecticut, the Wings matched their season high in points (96), led by Karima Christmas-Kelly’s 24 points and Western Conference Player of the Week Skylar Diggins-Smith notching 15 and a season-best nine dimes. On June 23, Diggins-Smith dropped a career-high 30 points while hitting a franchise record seven triples against the Stars. After playing their league-high 11th game of June on Sunday, the Wings are off until Saturday when they host the Storm.
While having five days off after such a busy run sounds great, with the way the Wings are rolling right now, they would probably like to keep playing and look to extend their win streak. But with only two games over the next 12 days, the Wings will be able to get some rest, some practice, and hopefully Aerial Powers back on the court soon to add more firepower to the lineup.
1. Minnesota Lynx
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
2017 Record: 11-1; This Week: 2-0
OffRtg: 110.1 (2); DefRtg: 95.3 (1); NetRtg: 14.9 (1)
After suffering their first loss of the season last week, the Lynx got back on track with wins over East-leading Washington and San Antonio. The latter victory was a special one as Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen set a WNBA record with 122 wins as a quartet.
2. Los Angeles Sparks
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
2017 Record: 9-3; This Week: 1-0
OffRtg: 111.7 (1); DefRtg: 101.8 (4); NetRtg: 9.9 (2)
The Sparks picked up a win in Indiana last week to extend their winning streak to five games, the longest active streak in the league. They are back in action Tuesday on Twitter against the Sun (7 ET).
3. Washington Mystics
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
2017 Record: 8-5; This Week: 1-1
OffRtg: 107.8 (3); DefRtg: 103.1 (6); NetRtg: 4.6 (4)
The Mystics had lost three of four before bouncing back with a 34-point win over Chicago on Sunday. The top team in the East faces a tough week with matchups with Seattle (Tuesday, 12 ET, NBA TV), New York (Thursday, 7 ET, ESPN3) and Los Angeles (Sunday, 5 ET, League Pass). The first two games are at home, where the Mystics are 5-2 so far this season.
4. Connecticut Sun
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
2017 Record: 6-6; This Week: 1-1
OffRtg: 107.5 (4); DefRtg: 102.5 (5); NetRtg: 5.0 (3)
The Sun saw their five-game win streak snapped in Dallas on Sunday, but are back in action with a pair of home games this week. After playing eight of their first 12 games on the road, the Sun are home for matchups with the Sparks (Tuesday, 7 ET, Twitter) and Seattle (Thursday, 8 ET, ESPN2) before heading back on the road for the next two games. Following the All-Star break, the Sun will play nine of their final 13 games at home.
5. Phoenix Mercury
Last Week’s Ranking: 7
2017 Record: 7-5; This Week: 1-0
OffRtg: 102.6 (9); DefRtg: 98.8 (2); NetRtg: 3.8 (5)
After winning four of five games to close May and open June, the Mercury have traded wins and losses in their past five games. They are coming off an 85-82 win in Seattle, a game that featured the ninth dunk of Brittney Griner’s career, as she and Diana Taurasi each poured in 25 points in the win. They will need more of that this week when they host the Lynx on Friday (10 ET, League Pass).
6. New York Liberty
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
2017 Record: 7-5; This Week: 0-1
OffRtg: 103.0 (7); DefRtg: 103.5 (7); NetRtg: -0.4 (7)
Just as the Liberty looked to be rolling with a four-game win streak to open the month, New York has lost two of its last three, both to the suddenly hot Connecticut Sun. The Liberty open a four-game road trip this week with stops in Washington (Thursday, 7 ET, ESPN3) and Atlanta (Sunday, 6 ET, League Pass) before heading out west next week.
7. Seattle Storm
Last Week’s Ranking: 6
2017 Record: 6-6; This Week: 0-1
OffRtg: 105.9 (5); DefRtg: 103.9 (8); NetRtg: 2.0 (6)
Seattle has lost four of its last five games, with the only W coming against the winless Stars at home. After playing their last three games at KeyArena, where they are 5-3 on the season, the Storm hit the road for their next three contests against Washington (Tuesday, 12 ET, NBA TV), Connecticut (Thursday, 8 ET, ESPN2) and Dallas (Saturday, 8 ET, League Pass). The Storm have played a home-heavy schedule and are just 1-3 on the road so far this season.
8. Dallas Wings
Last Week’s Ranking: 10
2017 Record: 8-8; This Week: 3-0
OffRtg: 105.4 (6); DefRtg: 106.7 (11); NetRtg: -1.2 (8)
As we discussed above, the Wings have been the busiest team in the league with Saturday’s contest against Seattle (8 ET, League Pass) putting them at the halfway point of the regular season. After five days off, the Wings will look to keep their four-game win streak alive when they host the Storm.
9. Atlanta Dream
Last Week’s Ranking: 8
2017 Record: 5-6; This Week: 0-1
OffRtg: 94.1 (10); DefRtg: 99.2 (3); NetRtg: -5.1 (9)
After opening the season by winning four of their first five games, the Dream have struggled over the past few weeks. They have now lost five of their last six to fall under .500. Unfortunately for the Dream, their next opponent happens to be the defending champs that are riding a five-game win streak. It’s a matchup between the teams with the highest true shooting percentage (LA at 59.3%) and the lowest (Atlanta at 47.7%).
10. Indiana Fever
Last Week’s Ranking: 9
2017 Record: 6-7; This Week: 0-1
OffRtg: 102.9 (8); DefRtg: 109.7 (12); NetRtg: -6.8 (10)
The Fever honored Tamika Catchings by retiring her No. 24 during a halftime ceremony of Indiana’s matchup with L.A. on Saturday. However, the festivities honoring the greatest player in franchise history were not enough to lift the Fever to a win, as they fell 84-73 to the Sparks to end a two-game win streak. The Fever hit the road to face the Sky (Wednesday, 12:30 ET, Twitter) in a matchup of the fastest-paced team (Chicago at 81.0 possessions per 40 minutes) and the slowest-paced squad (Indiana at 76.9).
11. Chicago Sky
Last Week’s Ranking: 11
2017 Record: 3-10; This Week: 1-1
OffRtg: 93.4 (11); DefRtg: 104.4 (9); NetRtg: -11.0 (11)
The Sky suffered their worst loss of the season on Sunday, as they fell to Washington 97-63 at home. The Sky have yet to win a game at home this season in six tries, but will have three chances in their next four games to try to break through in front of their home fans. This week, they host the Fever on Wednesday (12:30 ET, Twitter) before heading to San Antonio on Friday for a matchup with the Stars (8 ET, League Pass).
12. San Antonio Stars
Last Week’s Ranking: 12
2017 Record: 0-14; This Week: 0-3
OffRtg: 92.6 (12); DefRtg: 104.5 (10); NetRtg: -12.0 (12)
The Stars were in position to not only pick up their first win of the season, but to knock off the league-leading Lynx as they led by nine points early in the fourth quarter. However, the Lynx struck back with a 12-0 run to seize the lead and they never trailed again. At 0-14, the Stars are off to their worst start in franchise history and now own the second-longest losing streak to start a season. The Stars face 3-10 Chicago on Friday (8 ET, League Pass) as they look to avoid inching closer to Atlanta’s record 17-game losing streak to start the season in 2008.