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2020 WNBA.com Power Rankings: Week 2

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.

I would like to take this moment to Rudy Tomjanovich publicly apologize to the Washington Mystics.

As the great Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich proclaimed: “Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.”

I admit I fell for the narrative that the Mystics had lost too much from last year’s championship team.

Yes, the Mystics are missing four starters from last year’s team – Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud, LaToya Sanders and Kristi Toliver – as well as key offseason acquisition Tina Charles.

But we can’t focus on who isn’t on the court for the Mystics. We have to focus on the players that are in Bradenton to defend the title. Especially, the players that were part of last year’s title run that are assuming bigger roles in 2020.

Players like Myisha Hines-Allen (17.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG), Aerial Powers (18.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG) and Ariel Atkins (18.8 PPG, 3.8 3PG, 59.5 FG%, 57.7 3P%) have each made enormous leaps through the season’s first four games. Finals MVP Emma Meesseman may be scoring less this season (11.3 PPG), but she’s essentially playing point forward as she leads the team – and ranks fifth in the league – in assists at 5.3 per game.

Last season, the Mystics rode a historically efficient offense (112.9 points per 100 possessions) and a middle of the pack defense to their first title in franchise history. So far this season, the Mystics again lead the league in offense (110.1) and rank fifth in defense (97.0). They once again have a net rating (plus-13.1) that soars above the rest of the league. The only difference is the players that are putting up those numbers.

The key question for the Mystics is can they keep this up? Can they continue to have different players step up each night to lead the way? First, it was Hines-Allen, then Powers took a turn, then it was back-to-back nights for Atkins.

Those questions will begin to be answered in the upcoming weeks. But for this week, I’m giving the defending champs their proper due and elevating them to the top of the power rankings.

1. Washington Mystics (3-1)

  • Previous Rank: 6
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. CON 94-89; W vs. SEA 89-71; L vs. CHI 88-86
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. LVA; Fri. 8/7 vs. NYL; Sun. 8/9 vs. IND
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 110.1 (1); DefRtg: 97.0 (5); NetRtg: 13.1 (1); eFG%: 54.0 (3); Pace: 100.50 (8)

2. Seattle Storm (3-1)

  • Previous Rank: 1
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. MIN 90-66; L vs. WAS 89-71; W vs. LAS 81-75
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. CON; Thur. 8/6 vs. ATL; Sat. 8/8 vs. PHX
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.9 (6); DefRtg: 92.6 (1); NetRtg: 9.2 (2); eFG%: 52.2 (4); Pace: 97.20 (11)

3. Chicago Sky (3-1)

  • Previous Rank: 3
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. LAS 96-78; L vs. MIN 83-81; W vs. WAS 88-86
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. DAL; Thur. 8/6 vs. PHX; Sat. 8/8 vs. CON
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 103.8 (5); DefRtg: 98.2 (7); NetRtg: 5.6 (4); eFG%: 55.9 (2); Pace: 101.85 (5)

4. Minnesota Lynx (3-1)

  • Previous Rank: 7
  • Last Week: (2-1) L vs. SEA 90-66; W vs. CHI 83-81; W vs. CON 78-69
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. NYL; Fri. 8/7 vs. IND; Sun. 8/9 vs. LAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.7 (10); DefRtg: 95.4 (2); NetRtg: -0.7 (8); eFG%: 44.9 (10); Pace: 96.75 (12)

5. Phoenix Mercury (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 5
  • Last Week: (2-1) L vs. IND 106-100; W vs. LVA 102-95; W vs. NYL 96-67
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. ATL; Thur. 8/6 vs. CHI; Sat. 8/8 vs. SEA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 109.4 (2); DefRtg: 107.0 (10); NetRtg: 2.4 (5); eFG%: 56.5 (1); Pace: 102.75 (2)

6. Los Angeles Sparks (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 2
  • Last Week: (1-2) L vs. CHI 96-78; W vs. CON 81-76; L vs. SEA 81-75
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. IND; Fri. 8/7 vs. LVA; Sun. 8/9 vs. MIN
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.4 (9); DefRtg: 96.8 (4); NetRtg: 0.6 (6); eFG%: 50.2 (6); Pace: 102.30 (3)

7. Las Vegas Aces (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 4
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. ATL 100-70; L vs. PHX 102-95; W vs. DAL 79-70
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. WAS; Fri. 8/7 vs. LAS; Sun. 8/9 vs. NYL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 104.0 (4); DefRtg: 96.2 (3); NetRtg: 7.8 (3); eFG%: 50.2 (5); Pace: 103.35 (1)

8. Dallas Wings (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 10
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs. NYL 93-80; W vs. IND 76-73; L vs. LVA 79-70
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. CHI; Thur. 8/6 vs. CON; Sat. 8/8 vs. ATL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.2 (7); DefRtg: 101.2 (8); NetRtg: 0.0 (7); eFG%: 46.5 (9); Pace: 99.45 (9)

9. Indiana Fever (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 12
  • Last Week: (2-1) W vs PHX 106-100; L vs. DAL 76-73; W vs ATL 93-77
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. LAS; Fri. 8/7 vs. MIN; Sun. 8/9 vs. WAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 107.1 (3); DefRtg: 108.6 (11); NetRtg: -1.5 (9); eFG%: 49.8 (7); Pace: 97.65 (10)

10. Atlanta Dream (2-2)

  • Previous Rank: 9
  • Last Week: (1-2) L vs. LVA 100-70; W vs. NYL 84-78; L vs. IND 93-77
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. PHX; Thur. 8/6 vs. SEA; Sat. 8/8 vs. DAL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.0 (8); DefRtg: 108.9 (12); NetRtg: -8.9 (11); eFG%: 48.0 (8); Pace: 100.80 (7)

11. Connecticut Sun (0-4)

  • Previous Rank: 8
  • Last Week: (0-3) L vs. WAS 94-89; L vs. LAS 81-76; L vs. MIN 78-69
  • This Week: Tue. 8/4 vs. SEA; Thur. 8/6 vs. DAL; Sat. 8/8 vs. CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 88.9 (11); DefRtg: 97.1 (6); NetRtg: -8.2 (10); eFG%: 41.8 (11); Pace: 102.15 (4)

12. New York Liberty (0-4)

  • Previous Rank: 11
  • Last Week: (0-3) L vs. DAL 93-80; L vs, ATL 84-78; L vs. PHX 96-67
  • This Week: Wed. 8/5 vs. MIN; Fri. 8/7 vs. WAS; Sun. 8/9 vs. LVA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 87.6 (12); DefRtg: 106.8 (9); NetRtg: -19.3 (12); eFG%: 40.0 (12); Pace: 101.25 (6)