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2019 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 7

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.

On Sunday, Spain defeated France 86-66 to repeat at Women’s EuroBasket champions. The final game featured Bria Hartley (France, New York Liberty) and tournament MVP Astou Ndour (Spain, Chicago Sky) as the two were among a handful of players that left their WNBA teams midseason in order to participate in the tournament.

Some returned early after their teams had been eliminated, while most are just getting set to return after a multiple week absence. The returns should provide a boost for their respective WNBA squads, but also provides a challenge of having to adjust lineups, minutes and roles with the players that stepped up while they were out.

  • Atlanta: Alex Bentley (returned on July 2, has played three games since return, had been out since June 15)
  • Chicago: Astou Ndour (last played June 1)
  • Dallas: Glory Johnson (returned for July 7 game, had been out since June 15)
  • Los Angeles: Maria Vadeeva (last played on May 26)
  • Minnesota: Temi Fagbenle (last played May 19)
  • New York: Bria Hartley (last played June 9), Marine Johannes (has yet to play), Amana Zahui B (last played June 19)
  • Phoenix: Yvonne Turner (last played June 20)
  • Washington: Emma Meesseman (last played June 5), Kim Mestdagh (last played June 5)

The Liberty and Mystics – who have both won four of their last five games – should be the biggest beneficiaries of EuroBasket concluding. New York will get Hartley and Zahui B back, while also adding Johannes, who the Liberty signed in the offseason, but has yet to play in the WNBA. Washington will see the return of Meesseman (who also missed all of last season with national team commitments) and Kim Mestdagh after more than a month away from the team. The Mystics have remained atop the standings without them, but dropped their only completed game last week after Elena Delle Donne suffered a broken nose after playing just one minute against the Sparks and is now listed as day-to-day.

Biggest Rise

After dropping four straight games, the Minnesota Lynx have bounced back by winning four of their past five games, including handing the Connecticut Sun their first home loss of the season. Odyssey Sims is averaging 21 points and seven assists over the past five games, while Sylvia Fowles has added 15.2 points and 9.2 rebounds during the stretch. On the other hand, the Lynx have lost Damiras Dantas (calf) and Karima Christmas Kelley (knee, out for season) to injury. The return of Temi Fagbenle, who was the leading scorer in EuroBasket at 20.9 points per game for Great Britain, should definitely help.

Biggest Fall

The Seattle Storm enter the week having lost three in a row and four of their last five games. Seattle lost Jewell Loyd to an ankle injury after just four minutes against Las Vegas on June 25. In their 11 games prior to Loyd’s injury, the Storm averaged 75.3 points on 42.9% shooting from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc, with an average point differential of plus-2.5. In the five games since her injury (including the June 25 loss to the Aces), the Storm have averaged just 70.2 points per game on 37.4% shooting from the field and 28.1% from three, with their average point differential dropping to minus-3.0. The Storm have played valiantly in the absence of Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird all season long. Will the loss a third No. 1 overall pick in the draft be too much to overcome? Or can the Storm again find a way to stay in the playoff mix?

This Week’s Rankings

Note: All rankings and stats are through games played on July 8 and do not include the Tuesday afternoon game between the Sparks and Wings.

1. Washington Mystics (9-4)

    • Previous Rank: 1
    • Last Week: (0-1) Suspended at LVA; L at LAS 98-81
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 vs. PHX; Sat. 7/10 vs. LVA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 109.0 (1); DefRtg: 94.8 (3); NetRtg: 14.3 (1); eFG%: 51.6 (1); Pace: 95.08 (7)

2. Las Vegas Aces (9-5)

    • Previous Rank: 3
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. CHI 90-82; Suspended vs. WAS; W at NYL 90-58
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 at IND; Sat. 7/10 at WAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.1 (4); DefRtg: 90.6 (1); NetRtg: 7.5 (2); eFG%: 47.8 (4); Pace: 100.88 (1)

3. Connecticut Sun (9-5)

    • Previous Rank: 2
    • Last Week: (0-1) L vs. MIN 74-71
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 at ATL; Fri. 7/12 vs. PHX; Sun. 7/14 at IND
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.1 (5); DefRtg: 96.8 (5); NetRtg: 1.3 (4); eFG%: 45.8 (8); Pace: 95.19 (5)

4. Minnesota Lynx (8-6)

    • Previous Rank: 6
    • Last Week: (2-0) W vs. ATL 85-68; W at CON 74-71
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 at CHI; Fri. 7/12 at ATL; Sun. 7/14 vs. PHX
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.2 (3); DefRtg: 95.0 (4); NetRtg: 3.2 (3); eFG%: 49.3 (2); Pace: 95.14 (6)

5. Los Angeles Sparks (7-6)

    • Previous Rank: 5
    • Last Week: (1-0) W vs. WAS 98-81
    • This Week: Tue. 7/9 at DAL; Fri. 7/12 at IND; Sun. 7/14 at ATL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.8 (7); DefRtg: 97.4 (6); NetRtg: -0.6 (6); eFG%: 47.1 (5); Pace: 98.35 (2)

6. Seattle Storm (8-8)

    • Previous Rank: 4
    • Last Week: (0-2) L vs. NYL 84-83; L vs. ATL 77-66
    • This Week: Fri. 7/12 vs. DAL; Sun. 7/14 vs. NYL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.5 (10); DefRtg: 93.5 (2); NetRtg: 1.0 (5); eFG%: 45.5 (10); Pace: 93.56 (9)

7. Phoenix Mercury (6-6)

    • Previous Rank: 7
    • Last Week: (1-1) L vs. NYL 80-76; W vs. ATL 65-63
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 at WAS; Fri. 7/12 at CON; Sun. 7/14 at MIN
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.9 (6); DefRtg: 97.8 (7); NetRtg: -0.9 (7); eFG%: 46.2 (7); Pace: 91.25 (12)

8. Chicago Sky (7-7)

    • Previous Rank: 8
    • Last Week: (1-1) L at LVA 90-82; W vs. DAL 78-66
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 vs. MIN; Fri. 7/12 vs. NYL; Sun. 7/14 at DAL
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.7 (8); DefRtg: 98.8 (9); NetRtg: -2.1 (9); eFG%: 49.1 (3); Pace: 97.63 (4)

9. New York Liberty (7-8)

    • Previous Rank: 9
    • Last Week: (2-1) W at SEA 84-83; W at PHX 80-76; L vs. LVA 90-58
    • This Week: Fri. 7/12 at CHI; Sun. 7/14 at SEA
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.6 (9); DefRtg: 101.1 (11); NetRtg: -5.5 (10); eFG%: 45.6 (9); Pace: 98.20 (3)

10. Indiana Fever (6-9)

    • Previous Rank: 11
    • Last Week: (1-0) W at DAL 76-56
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 vs. LVA; Fri. 7/12 vs. LAS; Sun. 7/14 vs. CON
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.6 (2); DefRtg: 101.5 (12); NetRtg: -0.9 (8); eFG%: 47.0 (6); Pace: 92.15 (10)

11. Dallas Wings (4-9)

    • Previous Rank: 10
    • Last Week: (0-2) L vs. IND 76-56; L at CHI 78-66
    • This Week: Tue. 7/9 vs. LAS; Fri. 7/12 at SEA; Sun. 7/14 vs. CHI
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 90.6 (11); DefRtg: 98.0 (8); NetRtg: -7.4 (11); eFG%: 41.3 (12); Pace: 91.43 (11)

12. Atlanta Dream (3-10)

    • Previous Rank: 12
    • Last Week: (1-2) L at MIN 85-68; W at SEA 77-66; L at PHX 65-63
    • This Week: Wed. 7/10 vs. CON; Fri. 7/12 vs. MIN; Sun. 7/14 vs. LAS
    • Team Stats: OffRtg: 89.5 (12); DefRtg: 100.5 (10); NetRtg: -11.0 (12); eFG%: 41.8 (11); Pace: 93.78 (8)