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2019 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 12

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.

We are officially less than a month away from the 2019 WNBA Playoffs, which tip off on Sept. 11. With 60 games to be played over the final four weeks of the season, there is still much to be decided when it comes to playoff positioning and securing the all-important playoff byes.

Entering this week, the Washington Mystics have taken over the top spot in the standings (and the Power Rankings), but they have a trio of teams right on their heels – the Connecticut Sun are a game back, while the Las Vegas Aces and the red-hot Los Angeles Sparks are just 1.5 games back.

While those four teams battle for the top two seeds and the double-bye to the semifinals, Chicago and Seattle will try to join that top tier and challenge for the first-round bye that comes with a No. 3 or 4 finish in the standings. There is currently a three-game gap between the final playoff team (Phoenix) and the first teams on the outside looking in (Indiana and New York).

If the playoffs started today:

  • (1) Washington and (2) Connecticut would earn double-byes to the semifinals
  • (3) Los Angeles and (4) Las Vegas would earn first-round byes
  • (5) Chicago would host (8) Phoenix in the single-elimination first round; Phoenix is 6-0 in first two rounds since playoff format changed in 2016
  • (6) Seattle would host (7) Minnesota in the single-elimination first round in a matchup of the past two WNBA champions

With the standings so tight, these matchups could change on a daily basis over the next four weeks. This should be fun.

Biggest Rise

Los Angeles went 2-0 this week to extend their win streak to five games – the longest active win streak in the WNBA. The Sparks are a perfect 4-0 since Candace Parker, Maria Vadeeva and Alexis Jones returned to the court on Aug. 1. And there are more reinforcements on the way with Alana Beard getting closer to a return from injury and Riquna Williams nearing the end of her suspension.

Biggest Fall

Powered by their second seven-game win streak of the season, the Connecticut Sun returned to the top of the Power Rankings last week; it was their fifth week at the No. 1 spot this season, more than any other team (Las Vegas 4, Washington, 2). The Sun followed their first seven-game win streak with a five-game losing streak. They have now lost two straight following their second seven-game win streak to fall out of the top spot. Connecticut is just 5-7 away from home and wrap up a four-game road trip Wednesday in Phoenix before returning home (where they are 11-1) for games against Seattle and Dallas as they look to put together another win streak.

This Week’s Rankings

1. Washington Mystics (17-7)

    • Previous Rank: 2
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. IND 91-78; W vs. MIN 101-78
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 vs. SEA; Fri. 8/16 at MIN; Sun 8/18 vs. IND
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 111.5 (1); DefRtg: 99.4 (9); NetRtg: 12.0 (1); eFG%: 52.9 (1); Pace: 94.04 (8)

2. Los Angeles Sparks (15-8)

    • Previous Rank: 4
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. PHX 84-74; W vs. CHI 84-81
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 at DAL; Fri. 8/16 at CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.1 (7); DefRtg: 95.5 (5); NetRtg: 1.6 (6); eFG%: 47.4 (4); Pace: 96.70 (4)

3. Las Vegas Aces (16-9)

    • Previous Rank: 3
    • Last Week: (1-1) L vs. CHI 87-84; W vs. CON 89-81
    • This Week: Tue. 8/13 vs. ATL; Sun. 8/18 at CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.6 (6); DefRtg: 91.9 (1); NetRtg: 5.7 (2); eFG%: 46.6 (7); Pace: 98.79 (2)

4. Connecticut Sun (16-8)

    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at MIN 89-57; L at LVA 89-81
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 at PHX; Fri. 8/16 vs. SEA; Sun. 8/18 vs. DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.6 (5); DefRtg: 95.3 (4); NetRtg: 3.3 (3); eFG%: 46.3 (8); Pace: 95.70 (5)

5. Chicago Sky (14-10)

    • Previous Rank: 5
    • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. NYL 101-92; W at LVA 87-84; L at LAS 84-81
    • This Week: Fri. 8/16 vs. LAS; Sun. 8/18 vs. LVA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.1 (3); DefRtg: 98.0 (6); NetRtg: 1.1 (7); eFG%: 49.8 (2); Pace: 99.08 (1)

6. Seattle Storm (14-11)

    • Previous Rank: 7
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. DAL 69-57; W at NYL 84-69
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 at WAS; Fri. 8/16 at CON; Sun. 8/18 vs. MIN
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.6 (8); DefRtg: 94.8 (2); NetRtg: 1.7 (4); eFG%: 46.7 (6); Pace: 93.53 (9)

7. Minnesota Lynx (12-12)

    • Previous Rank: 8
    • Last Week: (2-1) W at ATL 85-69; W vs. CON 89-57; L at WAS 101-78
    • This Week: Tue. 8/13 at NYL; Fri. 8/16 vs. WAS; Sun. 8/18 at SEA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.6 (9); DefRtg: 94.9 (3); NetRtg: 1.7 (5); eFG%: 48.4 (3); Pace: 95.30 (6)

8. Phoenix Mercury (11-12)

    • Previous Rank: 6
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at LAS 84-74; L vs. DAL 80-77
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 vs. CON; Fri. 8/16 vs. ATL; Sun. 8/18 vs. NYL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.5 (2); DefRtg: 98.6 (8); NetRtg: 0.9 (8); eFG%: 47.4 (5); Pace: 91.62 (11)

9. Indiana Fever (9-16)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (1-1) L at WAS 91-78; W vs. ATL 87-82
    • This Week: Sun. 8/18 at WAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.9 (4); DefRtg: 101.8 (11); NetRtg: -2.9 (9); eFG%: 46.3 (9); Pace: 93.01 (10)

10. New York Liberty (8-15)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at CHI 101-92; L vs. SEA 84-69
    • This Week: Tue. 8/13 vs. MIN; Fri. 8/16 at DAL; Sun. 8/18 at PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.7 (10); DefRtg: 102.8 (12); NetRtg: -8.1 (11); eFG%: 45.8 (10); Pace: 97.96 (3)

11. Dallas Wings (7-17)

    • Previous Rank: 11
    • Last Week: (1-1) L at SEA 69-57; W at PHX 80-77
    • This Week: Wed. 8/14 vs. LAS; Fri. 8/16 vs. NYL; Sun. 8/18 at CON
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 91.6 (11); DefRtg: 98.2 (7); NetRtg: -6.6 (10); eFG%: 42.9 (11); Pace: 91.40 (12)

12. Atlanta Dream (5-19)

    • Previous Rank: 12
    • Last Week: (0-2) L vs. MIN 85-69; L at IND 87-82
    • This Week: Tue. 8/13 at LVA; Fri. 8/16 at PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 88.6 (12); DefRtg: 99.9 (10); NetRtg: -11.3 (12); eFG%: 41.0 (12); Pace: 94.21 (7)