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2019 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 13

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.

Over the past week, the Washington Mystics, Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces became the first three teams to clinch spots in the 2019 WNBA Playoffs. It is the third straight playoff berth for both the Mystics and Sun, while the Aces snap a four-year playoff drought that dates back to their time in San Antonio.

For those three teams step one is complete – make the postseason. But there is still plenty of work to do for step two – secure a top two seed and a double-bye to the semifinals. The top three teams are separated by just two games, which means every game from here on out is important. But there are a few on the schedule over the next week that are absolutely critical.

  • Friday: Las Vegas at Connecticut, 7:30 ET, NBA TV
  • Sunday: Connecticut at Los Angeles, 5:00 ET, NBA TV
  • Tuesday: Los Angeles at Washington, 7:00 ET, ESPN2

With the standings so tight, there is a realistic chance that teams could finish with matching records, which means that tiebreaks will be needed to determine which team gets the higher seed in the playoffs. Here is how the tiebreakers currently stand for the top four teams in the standings.

Washington Mystics

  • Won season series with Las Vegas 2-1
  • Lost season series with Connecticut 2-1
  • Season series tied with Los Angeles 1-1, final game Tues. Aug. 27 in Washington

Connecticut Sun

  • Won season series with Washington 2-1
  • Season series tied with Las Vegas 1-1, final game Fri. Aug. 23 in Connecticut
  • Season series tied with Los Angeles 1-1, final game Sun. Aug. 25 in Los Angeles

Las Vegas Aces

  • Lost season series with Washington 2-1
  • Season series tied with Connecticut 1-1, final game Fri. Aug. 23 in Connecticut
  • Losing season series with Los Angeles 2-1, final game Sat. Aug 31 in Las Vegas

Los Angeles Sparks

  • Winning season series with Las Vegas 2-1, final game Sat. Aug 31 in Las Vegas
  • Season series tied with Connecticut 1-1, final game Sun. Aug. 25 in Los Angeles
  • Season series tied with Washington 1-1, final game Tues. Aug. 27 in Washington

If Connecticut is able to win out this week, they would hold tiebreakers over the other three teams vying for those top seeds. The same goes for Los Angeles as they have the most ground to make up out of this quartet. The Sparks know the advantage of earning a top two seed as they had it during their back-to-back Finals appearances in 2016 and 2017; without the bye in 2018, they were knocked out in the second round by the Mystics.

As the No. 3 seed last year, the Mystics had a first-round bye before knocking out the Sparks in the single-elimination second round, followed by a five-game series win over the Dream to earn their first trip to the Finals in franchise history. As they look to run it back to the championship round again this season, they’ll look to make their road a bit easier with a double-bye to the semifinals.

Biggest Rise

The Connecticut Sun and Dallas Wings both climbed two spots in this week’s rankings. After losing a pair of road games last week, the Sun have bounced back to win three straight and climb to No. 2 in the standings. The Sun are a league-best 13-1 at home, but just 6-7 on the road this season – yet another reason the Sun need to push for the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Wings posted a season-high three-game win streak before falling to the Sun in Connecticut on Sunday. Arike Ogunbowale won her first Western Conference Player of the Week honor on Monday as she continues to strengthen her Rookie of the Year resume.

Biggest Fall

The Los Angeles Sparks rose to No. 2 in last week’s Power Rankings behind a five-game win streak. However, that streak was snapped with a pair of road losses last week to Dallas and Chicago. Those losses pushed L.A. down from the race for a top two seed (they are two games back of No. 3 seed Las Vegas and three games back of No. 2 Connecticut) and into the fight for a top four seed (they are just a half-game up on Chicago and are up three in the loss column to Seattle and Phoenix).

This Week’s Rankings

1. Washington Mystics (20-7, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Last Week: (3-0) W vs. SEA 88-59; W at MIN 86-79; W vs. IND 107-68
    • This Week: Fri. 8/23 at CHI; Sun 8/25 vs. NYL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 112.4 (1); DefRtg: 98.2 (7); NetRtg: 14.2 (1); eFG%: 53.5 (1); Pace: 94.01 (8)

2. Connecticut Sun (19-8, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 4
    • Last Week: (3-0) W at PHX 78-71; W vs. SEA 79-78; W vs. DAL 78-68
    • This Week: Fri. 8/23 vs. LVA; Sun. 8/25 at LAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.5 (5); DefRtg: 94.8 (2); NetRtg: 3.7 (3); eFG%: 46.5 (8); Pace: 95.76 (5)

3. Las Vegas Aces (18-9, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 3
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. ATL 94-90; W at CHI 100-85
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 vs. PHX; Fri. 8/23 at CON; Sun. 8/25 at MIN
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.9 (4); DefRtg: 92.7 (1); NetRtg: 6.2 (2); eFG%: 47.1 (6); Pace: 98.99 (2)

4. Los Angeles Sparks (15-10)

    • Previous Rank: 2
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at DAL 84-78; L at CHI 91-81
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 vs. MIN; Thur. 8/22 vs. IND; Sun. 8/25 vs. CON
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.6 (7); DefRtg: 96.8 (5); NetRtg: 0.7 (6); eFG%: 47.3 (4); Pace: 96.38 (4)

5. Chicago Sky (15-11)

    • Previous Rank: 5
    • Last Week: (1-1) W vs. LAS 91-81; L vs. LVA 100-85
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 at ATL; Fri. 8/23 vs. WAS; Sun. 8/25 at PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.8 (2); DefRtg: 99.0 (9); NetRtg: 0.7 (7); eFG%: 49.7 (2); Pace: 99.00 (1)

6. Seattle Storm (15-13)

    • Previous Rank: 6
    • Last Week: (1-2) L at WAS 88-59; L at CON 79-78; W vs. MIN 82-74
    • This Week: Sun. 8/25 vs. IND
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.3 (9); DefRtg: 95.7 (3); NetRtg: 0.6 (8); eFG%: 47.1 (5); Pace: 93.54 (9)

7. Phoenix Mercury (13-13)

    • Previous Rank: 8
    • Last Week: (2-1) L vs. CON 78-71; W vs. ATL 77-68; W vs. NYL 78-72
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 at LVA; Sun. 8/25 vs. CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.1 (3); DefRtg: 97.9 (6); NetRtg: 1.2 (5); eFG%: 47.0 (7); Pace: 91.87 (11)

8. Minnesota Lynx (13-14)

    • Previous Rank: 7
    • Last Week: (1-2) W at NYL 89-73; L vs. WAS 86-79; L at SEA 82-74
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 at LAS; Thur. 8/22 vs. DAL; Sun. 8/25 vs. LVA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.2 (8); DefRtg: 95.7 (3); NetRtg: 1.5 (4); eFG%: 48.9 (3); Pace: 95.27 (6)

9. Dallas Wings (9-18)

    • Previous Rank: 11
    • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. LAS 84-78; W vs. NYL 83-77; L at CON 78-68
    • This Week: Thur. 8/22 at MIN; Sun. 8/25 vs. ATL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 92.9 (11); DefRtg: 98.7 (8); NetRtg: -5.8 (10); eFG%: 43.4 (11); Pace: 91.33 (12)

10. Indiana Fever (9-17)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (0-1) L at WAS 107-68
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 vs. NYL; Thur. 8/22 at LAS; Sun. 8/25 at SEA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.4 (6); DefRtg: 103.0 (12); NetRtg: -4.7 (9); eFG%: 46.1 (9); Pace: 93.10 (10)

11. New York Liberty (8-18)

    • Previous Rank: 10
    • Last Week: (0-3) L vs. MIN 89-73; L at DAL 83-77; L at PHX 78-72
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 at IND; Fri. 8/23 vs. ATL; Sun. 8/25 at WAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.6 (10); DefRtg: 103.0 (11); NetRtg: -8.5 (11); eFG%: 45.7 (10); Pace: 97.62 (3)

12. Atlanta Dream (5-21)

    • Previous Rank: 12
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at LVA 94-90; L at PHX 77-68
    • This Week: Tue. 8/20 vs. CHI; Fri. 8/23 at NYL; Sun. 8/25 at DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 89.4 (12); DefRtg: 100.5 (10); NetRtg: -11.1 (12); eFG%: 41.4 (12); Pace: 94.30 (7)