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2019 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 6

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.

Connecticut’s four-week run atop the Power Rankings comes to an end this week thanks to an emphatic statement win from the Washington Mystics on Saturday. Washington’s 102-59 win marked the fourth-largest margin of victory in any game in WNBA history. But considering the matchup, it may be the most impressive regular season win we’ve ever seen.

Here is a rundown of the most lopsided wins in the history of the WNBA, headlined by Minnesota’s record 59-point blowout of Indiana back in 2017.

Largest Margin Of Victory, Game, WNBA History
59: Minnesota (111) vs. Indiana (52), Aug. 18, 2017
46: Seattle (111) vs. Tulsa (65), Aug. 7, 2010
45: Houston (110) at Washington (65), Aug. 17, 1998
43: Washington (102) vs. Connecticut (59), June 29, 2019

What do the top three games on this list have in common? Each featured the top team in the WNBA at the time crushing either the last place (twice) or second-to-last place team in the league. Check out the disparity in the team’s records entering those games.

59: Minnesota (111) vs. Indiana (52), Aug. 18, 2017
Records Entering Game: Lynx 21-5 (1st in WNBA), Fever 9-19 (11th)

46: Seattle (111) vs. Tulsa (65), Aug. 7, 2010
Records Entering Game: Storm 23-4 (1st), Shock 5-23 (12th)

45: Houston (110) at Washington (65), Aug. 17, 1998
Records Entering Game: Comets 25-3 (1st), Mystics 3-25 (12th)

The win differentials entering those three games – Minnesota plus-12, Seattle plus-18 and Houston plus-22 – help explain the end result of those matchups.

Entering Saturday’s showdown, the Sun held the top record in the WNBA at 9-3, while the Mystics were a half-game back at 8-3. This is the type of matchup that should produce a nail-biter, not a blowout, which made the end result so surprising and Washington’s performance so impressive.

While the Mystics did not get their big win against an inferior opponent like their predecessors did, one thing they would like to have in common with those three teams is the season’s end result. The teams with the top three biggest wins in league history all went on to win the WNBA title that same season – Houston in 1998, Seattle in 2010 and Minnesota in 2017.

Biggest Rise

The L.A. Sparks picked up double-digit home wins over Las Vegas and Chicago this week to bounce back after dropping four straight games. The Sparks aren’t the only team to yo-yo up and down the standings recently as plenty of teams have had losing streaks followed by winning streaks and vice versa in the season’s first six weeks.

Here’s a glimpse of the current streaks in the WNBA, and what preceded them.

  • Washington: five straight wins after two straight losses
  • Connecticut: three straight losses after seven straight wins
  • Los Angeles: two straight wins after four straight losses
  • Phoenix: three straight wins after three straight losses
  • New York: two straight wins after losing three of previous four
  • Chicago: three straight losses, have lost four of last five after four straight wins
  • Indiana: four straight losses, have lost eight of last 10 after opening the season 3-1
  • Dream: three straight losses, had five straight losses earlier in season

Biggest Fall

As seen above, both the Chicago Sky and Indiana Fever are riding losing streaks that have sent them down the standings and each dropped five spots in the power rankings. Chicago had single-digit losses to Washington and Seattle before suffering a 25-point loss to Los Angeles. While the Fever have lost eight of their last 10 games, only two of those losses have come by more than seven points. During their current four-game slide, their losses have come by four, four, five and 22 points. The Fever have to start closing out some of their close games as they currently lead the WNBA with nine losses.

This Week’s Rankings

1. Washington Mystics (9-3)

    • Previous Rank: 2
    • Last Week: (2-0) W at CHI 81-74; W vs. CON 102-59
    • This Week: Fri. 7/5 at LVA; Sun. 7/7 at LAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 109.6 (1); DefRtg: 92.4 (2); NetRtg: 17.1 (1); eFG%: 52.0 (1); Pace: 95.05 (7)

2. Connecticut Sun (9-4)

    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Last Week: (0-2) L at DAL 74-73; L at WAS 102-59
    • This Week: Sat. 7/6 vs. MIN
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.5 (3); DefRtg: 96.7 (5); NetRtg: 1.7 (4); eFG%: 45.9 (8); Pace: 95.49 (6)

3. Las Vegas Aces (7-5)

    • Previous Rank: 4
    • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. SEA 60-56; L at LAS 86-74; W vs. IND 102-97
    • This Week: Tue. 7/2 vs. CHI; Fri. 7/5 vs. WAS; Sun. 7/7 at NYL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.4 (7); DefRtg: 91.6 (1); NetRtg: 4.8 (2); eFG%: 46.9 (5); Pace: 101.10 (1)

4. Seattle Storm (8-6)

    • Previous Rank: 5
    • Last Week: (1-2) L at LVA 60-56; W vs. CHI 79-76; L vs. PHX 69-67
    • This Week: Wed. 7/3 vs. NYL; Fri. 7/5 vs. ATL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.7 (10); DefRtg: 92.4 (4); NetRtg: 2.3 (3); eFG%: 45.6 (9); Pace: 93.30 (9)

5. Los Angeles Sparks (6-6)

    • Previous Rank: 8
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. LVA 86-74; W vs. CHI 94-69
    • This Week: Sun. 7/7 vs. WAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.7 (9); DefRtg: 97.0 (6); NetRtg: -2.2 (7); eFG%: 46.0 (7); Pace: 98.60 (3)

6. Minnesota Lynx (6-6)

    • Previous Rank: 7
    • Last Week: (1-1) W at IND 78-74; L at DAL 89-86
    • This Week: Tue. 7/2 vs. ATL; Sat. 7/6 at CON
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.3 (5); DefRtg: 95.6 (4); NetRtg: 1.7 (4); eFG%: 49.1 (2); Pace: 95.70 (5)

7. Phoenix Mercury (5-5)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. IND 91-69; W at SEA 69-67
    • This Week: Fri. 7/5 vs. NYL; Sun. 7/7 vs ATL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.0 (4); DefRtg: 98.7 (8); NetRtg: -0.7 (6); eFG%: 47.2 (4); Pace: 91.08 (12)

8. Chicago Sky (6-6)

    • Previous Rank: 3
    • Last Week: (0-3) L vs. WAS 81-74; L at SEA 79-76; L at LAS 94-69
    • This Week: Tue. 7/2 at LVA; Sun. 7/7 vs. DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.6 (6); DefRtg: 99.4 (9); NetRtg: -2.8 (9); eFG%: 48.8 (3); Pace: 97.45 (4)

9. New York Liberty (5-7)

    • Previous Rank: 10
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. DAL 69-68; W at ATL 74-58
    • This Week: Wed. 7/3 at SEA; Fri. 7/5 at PHX; Sun. 7/7 vs. LVA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.3 (8); DefRtg: 100.6 (10); NetRtg: -4.4 (10); eFG%: 45.3 (10); Pace: 98.70 (2)

10. Dallas Wings (4-7)

    • Previous Rank: 11
    • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. CON 74-73; L at NYL 69-68; W vs. MIN 89-86
    • This Week: Fri. 7/5 vs. IND; Sun. 7/7 at CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 92.5 (11); DefRtg: 97.6 (7); NetRtg: -5.1 (11); eFG%: 42.2 (11); Pace: 91.36 (11)

11. Indiana Fever (5-9)

    • Previous Rank: 6
    • Last Week: (0-3) L vs. MIN 78-74; L at PHX 91-69; L at LVA 102-97
    • This Week: Fri. 7/5 at DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.4 (2); DefRtg: 103.0 (12); NetRtg: -2.7 (8); eFG%: 46.7 (6); Pace: 92.52 (10)

12. Atlanta Dream (2-8)

    • Previous Rank: 12
    • Last Week: (0-1) L vs. NYL 74-58
    • This Week: Fri. 7/5 at SEA; Sun. 7/7 at PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 89.4 (12); DefRtg: 102.4 (11); NetRtg: -13.0 (12); eFG%: 41.7 (12); Pace: 94.20 (8)