Select Team

2019 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 14

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.

Since last week’s Power Rankings, three more teams have punched their tickets to the 2019 WNBA Playoffs as the Los Angeles Sparks, Chicago Sky and defending champion Seattle Storm joined the field. That leaves two spots open, which will likely go to Minnesota and Phoenix barring a surprising final two weeks of the season for either team.

Here’s a quick snapshot of where things stand, should the Playoffs begin prior to Tuesday’s games.

Playoff Picture

Double Bye To Semifinals
– (1) Washington
– (2) Connecticut

Single Bye To Second Round
– (3) Los Angeles
– (4) Las Vegas

Single Elimination First Round
– (8) Phoenix at (5) Chicago
– (7) Minnesota at (6) Seattle

Clinching/Eliminations for Tuesday, Aug. 27
– MINNESOTA clinches a playoff spot with a win OR an Indiana loss.
– NEW YORK is eliminated with a loss.
– INDIANA is eliminated with a loss AND a Phoenix win.

On The Rise

Both the Sparks and Sky enter this week having won three straight games as both are peaking with the postseason on the horizon.

In Los Angeles, the Sparks had their full 12-player roster available for the first time all season just last week. In their first two games at full strength, they defeated the Fever by 33 points and upended the Sun by 12 points to extend their home win streak to 11 straight games. The win over Connecticut also clinched the season series with the Sun, giving the Sparks the head-to-head tiebreaker should they finish the season with the same record.

The Sparks begin this week with another huge game as they take on the league-leading Mystics with a chance to win that season series as well. That is the first of three straight road games for the Sparks, who are just 6-8 away from Staples Center this season; they also face the Fever (who may or not still be in playoff contention by Thursday) and Aces (a win would seal the series series for L.A.) this week.

Another team that has caught fire recently is the Chicago Sky, who have won three in a row and four of their last five games – including wins over the first-place Mystics, the Sparks and an impressive road win in Phoenix in Diana Taurasi’s return game.

Chicago’s offense has improved drastically since the All-Star break (up 9.4 points per game) thanks in part to a significant rise in both their free throw (up 8.7 attempts per game) and 3-point (up 3.7 attempts per game) shooting rates. There have been 10 games this season in which a team has attempted more than 30 free throws – the Sky and Aces each have three of those games, with all three of Chicago’s coming in the past three weeks.

Both the Sky and Aces have 11 losses on the season, which will make it a challenge to catch either Washington (eight losses) or Connecticut (nine losses) for one of the top two seeds – they would also have to pass L.A. (10 losses) in the process. Making things more difficult for Chicago is the fact that they do not have the tiebreaker with the two teams directly in front of them (L.A. and Vegas).

While much of the playoff field has been determined, there is still much to be decided in terms of seedings, byes and the first round matchups that open play in single-elimination games beginning Sept. 11. Week 14 may give us some of those answers, but with so many teams clustered together it may take until the final games of the season to deliver the final playoff picture.

This Week’s Rankings

1. Washington Mystics (21-8, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Last Week: (1-1) L at CHI 85-78; W vs. NYL 101-72
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 vs. LAS; Sat. 8/31 at DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 111.9 (1); DefRtg: 97.9 (6); NetRtg: 14.0 (1); eFG%: 53.3 (1); Pace: 94.43 (8)

2. Los Angeles Sparks (18-10, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 4
    • Last Week: (3-0) W vs. MIN 81-71; W vs. IND 98-65; W vs. CON 84-72
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 at WAS; Thur. 8/29 at IND; Sat. 8/31 at LVA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.6 (5); DefRtg: 95.5 (4); NetRtg: 3.1 (3); eFG%: 48.0 (4); Pace: 96.55 (4)

3. Connecticut Sun (20-9, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 2
    • Last Week: (1-1) W vs. LVA 89-85; L at LAS 84-72
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 at SEA; Fri. 8/30 at NYL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.4 (6); DefRtg: 95.4 (3); NetRtg: 3.0 (4); eFG%: 46.7 (7); Pace: 95.96 (5)

4. Chicago Sky (18-11, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 5
    • Last Week: (3-0) W at ATL 87-83; W vs. WAS 85-78; W at PHX 94-86
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 at MIN; Thur. 8/29 vs. DAL; Sun. 9/1 vs. PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.3 (2); DefRtg: 98.9 (8); NetRtg: 1.4 (6); eFG%: 49.5 (3); Pace: 99.25 (1)

5. Las Vegas Aces (19-11, Clinched Playoff Berth)

    • Previous Rank: 3
    • Last Week: (1-2) W vs. PHX 84-79; L at CON 89-85; L at MIN 98-77
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 at IND; Sat. 8/31 vs. LAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.7 (3); DefRtg: 93.9 (1); NetRtg: 4.8 (2); eFG%: 46.7 (5); Pace: 98.86 (2)

6. Seattle Storm (15-14)

    • Previous Rank: 6
    • Last Week: (0-1) L vs. IND 63-54
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 vs. CON; Sun. 9/1 vs. ATL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.5 (9); DefRtg: 95.3 (2); NetRtg: 0.2 (8); eFG%: 46.7 (8); Pace: 93.39 (9)

7. Minnesota Lynx (15-15)

    • Previous Rank: 8
    • Last Week: (2-1) L at LAS 81-71; W vs. DAL 86-70; W vs. LVA 98-77
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 vs. CHI; Sun. 9/1 vs. IND
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.3 (7); DefRtg: 95.8 (5); NetRtg: 2.5 (5); eFG%: 49.5 (2); Pace: 95.16 (6)

8. Phoenix Mercury (13-15)

    • Previous Rank: 7
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at LVA 84-79; L vs. CHI 94-86
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 at NYL; Thur. 8/29 at ATL; Sun. 9/1 at CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.7 (4); DefRtg: 98.2 (7); NetRtg: 0.5 (7); eFG%: 46.7 (6); Pace: 92.48 (11)

9. Indiana Fever (10-19)

    • Previous Rank: 10
    • Last Week: (1-2) L vs. NYL 82-76; L at LAS 98-65; W at SEA 63-54
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 vs. LVA; Thur. 8/29 vs. LAS; Sun. 9/1 at MIN
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.1 (8); DefRtg: 102.5 (11); NetRtg: -5.5 (9); eFG%: 45.7 (10); Pace: 93.33 (10)

10. Dallas Wings (9-20)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (0-2) L vs. MIN 86-70; L vs. ATL 77-73
    • This Week: Thur. 8/29 at CHI; at. 8/31 vs. WAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 92.9 (11); DefRtg: 99.1 (9); NetRtg: -6.2 (10); eFG%: 43.3 (11); Pace: 91.47 (12)

11. New York Liberty (9-20)

    • Previous Rank: 11
    • Last Week: (1-2) W vs. IND 82-76; L vs. ATL 90-87; L at WAS 101-82
    • This Week: Tue. 8/27 vs. PHX; Fri. 8/30 vs. CON
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.0 (10); DefRtg: 103.7 (12); NetRtg: -8.7 (11); eFG%: 45.7 (9); Pace: 97.59 (3)

12. Atlanta Dream (7-22, Eliminated From Playoffs)

    • Previous Rank: 12
    • Last Week: (2-1) L vs. CHI 87-83; W at NYL 90-87; W at DAL 77-73
    • This Week: Thur. 8/29 vs. PHX; Sun. 9/1 at SEA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 90.8 (12); DefRtg: 100.6 (10); NetRtg: -9.7 (12); eFG%: 42.0 (12); Pace: 94.64 (7)