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2020 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.

The calendar has flipped to September, which means there are less than two weeks remaining in the 2020 WNBA regular season. With all teams having played between 15 and 17 of their 22 games this season, the race to secure a playoff berth is in full sprint mode.

As Michelle Smith broke down in Monday’s Playoff Picture Preview, three teams have already punched their postseason ticket – the Seattle Storm, Las Vegas Aces and Los Angeles Sparks – and are now vying to finish in the top two, in order to secure a double-bye to the semifinals.

On Monday, the Sparks saw their nine-game win streak come to an end at the hands of their longtime rival – the Minnesota Lynx – who have yet to clinch a playoff berth, but are within striking distance of the top two seeds as well.

The Storm remain at the top of the standings at 13-3 and bounced back from two straight losses with two straight double-digit wins. The Aces sit just a half-game back of the Storm as the two are even in the loss column (3). With L.A.’s loss, the Aces now own the longest active win streak in the league with four wins in a row.

But there are two wins in particular that stand as the key reason why Las Vegas remains at the top of this week’s power rankings:

With the Storm, Aces and Sparks separated by just a game in the standings, the importance of holding the head-to-head tiebreakers cannot be overstated. In the games between these teams, the Aces are 2-0, the Storm are 1-1 and the Sparks are 0-2.

While every game down the stretch is important, the final three meetings between the teams hold extra weight, and we get our first one this week.

  • Friday, Sept. 4: Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks
  • Saturday, Sept. 12: Las Vegas Aces vs. Los Angeles Sparks
  • Sunday, Sept. 13: Las Vegas Aces vs. Seattle Storm

In their wins over Seattle and Los Angeles, Las Vegas was led by MVP candidate A’ja Wilson and her new running mate Angel McCoughtry. Wilson has averaged 24.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting 52.9% from the field against the Sparks and Storm. McCoughtry has also averaged a double-double with 18.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.0 assist and 3.0 steals when facing the other two teams in competition for the top two playoff seeds.

1. Las Vegas Aces (12-3)

Previous Rank: 1
Last Week: (2-0) W vs. DAL 96-92; W vs. NYL 80-63
This Week: 9/1 vs. PHX; 9/3 vs. CON; 9/5 vs. ATL
Team Stats: OffRtg: 105.8 (3); DefRtg: 95.1 (2); NetRtg: 10.7 (2); eFG%: 50.1 (6); Pace: 99.72 (1)

2. Seattle Storm (13-3)

Previous Rank: 3
Last Week: (2-0) W vs. IND 87-74; W vs. CHI 88-74
This Week: 9/2 vs. WAS; 9/4 vs. LAS; 9/6 vs. MIN
Team Stats: OffRtg: 106.9 (1); DefRtg: 91.0 (1); NetRtg: 15.8 (1); eFG%: 53.6 (2); Pace: 97.73 (5)

3. Los Angeles Sparks (12-4)

Previous Rank: 2
Last Week: (2-1) W vs CON 80-76; W vs. ATL 84-79; L vs. MIN 96-78
This Week: 9/2 vs. DAL; 9/4 vs. SEA; 9/6 vs. CHI
Team Stats: OffRtg: 103.9 (6); DefRtg: 97.8 (4); NetRtg: 6.1 (4); eFG%: 53.6 (3); Pace: 97.56 (T-6)

4. Minnesota Lynx (11-5)

Previous Rank: 5
Last Week: (2-1 W vs. ATL 88-79; L vs. PHX 83-79; W vs. LAS 96-78
This Week: 9/2 vs. CHI; 9/4 vs. DAL; 9/6 vs. SEA
Team Stats: OffRtg: 104.8 (5); DefRtg: 97.4 (3); NetRtg: 7.4 (3); eFG%: 50.3 (5); Pace: 94.80 (12)

5. Chicago Sky (11-6)

Previous Rank: 4
Last Week: (1-2) L vs. NYL 101-99; L vs. SEA 88-74; W vs. IND 100-77
This Week: 9/2 vs. MIN; 9/4 vs. WAS; 9/6 vs. LAS
Team Stats: OffRtg: 106.6 (2); DefRtg: 101.1 (6); NetRtg: 5.5 (5); eFG%: 54.9 (1); Pace: 98.79 (4)

6. Phoenix Mercury (9-7)

Previous Rank: 7
Last Week: (2-0) W vs. WAS 94-72; W vs. MIN 83-79
This Week: 9/1 vs. LVA; 9/3 vs. IND; 9/5 vs. NYL; 9/7 vs. CON
Team Stats: OffRtg: 105.2 (4); DefRtg: 102.7 (7); NetRtg: 2.5 (6); eFG%: 53.0 (4); Pace: 98.89 (3)

7. Connecticut Sun (7-9)

Previous Rank: 6
Last Week: (1-1) L vs. LAS 80-76; W vs. WAS 76-63
This Week: 9/1 vs. NYL; 9/3 vs. LVA; 9/5 vs. IND; 9/7 vs. PHX
Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.3 (9); DefRtg: 99.5 (5); NetRtg: -0.2 (7); eFG%: 47.6 (10); Pace: 95.81 (10)

8. Dallas Wings (6-10)

Previous Rank: 9
Last Week: (1-1) L vs. LVA 96-92; W vs. IND 82-78
This Week: 9/2 vs. LAS; 9/4 vs. MIN; 9/6 vs. WAS
Team Stats: OffRtg: 102.3 (7); DefRtg: 106.0 (9); NetRtg: -3.7 (8); eFG%: 47.4 (11); Pace: 95.40 (11)

9. Indiana Fever (5-11)

Previous Rank: 8
Last Week: (0-3) L vs. SEA 87-74; L vs. DAL 82-78; L vs. CHI 100-77
This Week: 9/1 vs. ATL; 9/3 vs. PHX; 9/5 vs. CON
Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.9 (8); DefRtg: 109.7 (11); NetRtg: -8.8 (10); eFG%: 49.0 (8); Pace: 95.96 (8)

10. Washington Mystics (4-11)

Previous Rank: 10
Last Week: (0-2) L vs. PHX 94-72; L vs. CON 76-63
This Week: 9/2 vs. SEA; 9/4 vs. CHI; 9/6 vs. DAL
Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.8 (10); DefRtg: 104.3 (8); NetRtg: -5.5 (9); eFG%: 47.9 (9); Pace: 95.84 (9)

11. Atlanta Dream (3-13)

Previous Rank: 11
Last Week: (0-2) L vs. MIN 88-79; L vs. LAS 84-79
This Week: 9/1 vs. IND; 9/3 vs. NYL; 9/5 vs. LVA
Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.6 (11); DefRtg: 110.2 (12); NetRtg: -12.6 (11); eFG%: 49.1 (7); Pace: 97.56 (T-6)

12. New York Liberty (2-13)

Previous Rank: 12
Last Week: (1-1) W vs. CHI 101-99; L vs. LVA 80-63
This Week: 9/1 vs. CON; 9/3 vs. ATL; 9/5 vs. PHX
Team Stats: OffRtg: 89.7 (12); DefRtg: 107.9 (10); NetRtg: -18.2 (12); eFG%: 44.2 (12); Pace: 99.08 (2)