We have reached the final week of the 2022 WNBA regular season, and the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus. With Monday’s win over New York, Dallas became the sixth team to clinch a playoff berth, leaving two open spots and five teams still in contention to fill them. We have a full breakdown of that tight race between Atlanta, Phoenix, Minnesota, New York, and Los Angeles as the five teams are separated by just one game.
Meanwhile, the defending champion Sky – back at the top of the power rankings this week – is closing in on the No. 1 overall seed entering the postseason. However, the rubber match between Chicago and Las Vegas is coming up on Thursday that will determine the head-to-head tiebreaker if these two teams finish the season with matching records.
There is also an exciting battle in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup as it will most likely feature Seattle and Washington facing one another, but which team will have the home-court advantage? Seattle is up by a half-game – same number of wins, one fewer loss, and one more game to play – and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker, but the Storm has the more demanding schedule in the final week, which could open the door for the Mystics.
We’ll look at more potential seedings and matchups as we delve into each team in this week’s power rankings.
1. Chicago Sky (25-8)
- Previous Ranking: 2
- Last Week’s Results: L vs. DAL 84-78; W vs. WAS 93-83; W vs. CON 94-91
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. SEA; Thursday at LVA; Sunday at PHX
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 105.6 (2); DefRtg: 99.0 (5); NetRtg: 6.7 (3); eFG%: 53.4 (1); Pace/40: 80.58 (5)
The top-seeded Sky open the final week with a two-game cushion on the second-seeded Aces, but with that last regular season meeting looming on Thursday, the Sky can’t rest as they prepare to defend their title. Chicago opens the week against a Seattle team trying to lock up home-court in the opening round, followed by the Vegas matchup, before closing the regular season against a Mercury team looking to secure a playoff berth. Every team they face has plenty to play for.
2. Las Vegas Aces (23-10)
- Previous Ranking: 1
- Last Week’s Results: L at WAS 83-73; L at DAL 82-80; W at SEA 89-81
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. ATL; Thursday vs. CHI; Sunday vs. SEA
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 108.8 (1); DefRtg: 101.4 (6); NetRtg: 7.5 (2); eFG%: 52.3 (2); Pace/40: 82.16 (1)
The Aces had bad timing for a 1-2 week as they fell two games back of the Sky in the race for the No. 1 overall seed entering the playoffs. There still is hope with the season series against the Sky on the line on Thursday (remember, Las Vegas’ win in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game does not count toward the regular season standings or head-to-head tiebreaker). But before they meet Chicago, the Aces host Atlanta on Tuesday and close the season against the Storm – with all three of their final games at home.
3. Connecticut Sun (22-11)
- Previous Ranking: 3
- Last Week’s Results: W vs. PHX 87-63; W vs. PHX 77-64; L at CHI 94-91
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at LAS; Thursday at LAS; Sunday vs. MIN
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 105.1 (3); DefRtg: 96.8 (3); NetRtg: 8.2 (1); eFG%: 50.3 (T-3); Pace/40: 80.18 (7)
Connecticut enters the final week at No. 3 and most likely will enter the postseason with the same seed. The Sun cannot catch the top-seeded Sky; even if Connecticut won its final three games and Chicago lost its last three, the teams would finish tied, and the Sky hold the tiebreaker after sweeping the season series 4-0. Connecticut also does not have a tiebreaker with Las Vegas, so they must finish with a better record than the Aces to take over the No. 2 spot. However, the Sun hold tiebreakers over the two teams directly below them – the Storm and Mystics – should the Sun falter in the final week of the regular season.
4. Seattle Storm (20-13)
- Previous Ranking: 4
- Last Week’s Results: W vs. MIN 89-77; L vs. LVA 89-81
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at CHI; Friday at MIN; Sunday at LVA
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.7 (6); DefRtg: 96.1 (2); NetRtg: 4.6 (4); eFG%: 49.8 (T-5); Pace/40: 79.85 (9)
The Storm lost Sue Bird’s final regular season home game as the Aces spoiled the celebration on Sunday at Climate Pledge Arena. Seattle enters the last week of the regular season looking to guarantee Sue at least two more home games by finishing as the No. 4 seed and fending off the No. 5 Mystics. In the new playoff format, the higher-seeded team hosts the first two games of the best-of-three series, with the lower seed hosting the third and final game if needed. Seattle enters the last week with one fewer loss than the Mystics and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker should it be required. However, the Storm close the season with three road games at Chicago (25-8), at Minnesota (13-20), and at Las Vegas (23-10) for a combined opponent record of 61-38; meanwhile, the Mystics close the season with two games against a 5-29 Fever team that has lost 16 in a row.
5. Washington Mystics (20-14)
- Previous Ranking: 5
- Last Week’s Results: W vs. LVA 83-73; L at CHI 93-83; L vs. LAS 79-76
- This Week’s Schedule: Friday at IND; Sunday vs. IND
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.4 (8); DefRtg: 95.8 (1); NetRtg: 4.5 (5); eFG%: 49.5 (7); Pace/40: 78.41 (12)
The Mystics went 1-2 this past week and did not gain any ground on the Storm heading into the final week of play. As discussed above, the Mystics have the more manageable closing schedule this week as they have a home-and-home set with the Fever, while the Storm go on the road against the top two seeds and a team desperately trying to secure a playoff berth. Can the Mystics leapfrog the Storm in the final week and secure home-court advantage in an opening-round playoff matchup that would be a rematch of the 2018 WNBA Finals? Washington is 11-6 at home this season, compared to 9-8 on the road. Seattle is 13-5 at home and 7-8 on the road entering this week.
6. Dallas Wings (17-16)
- Previous Ranking: 6
- Last Week’s Results: W at CHI 84-78; W vs. LVA 82-80; W vs. IND 95-91; W vs. NYL 86-77
- This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. NYL; Friday at PHX; Sunday at LAS
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 103.6 (4); DefRtg: 103.3 (8); NetRtg: 0.3 (6); eFG%: 48.7 (T-9); Pace/40: 79.35 (11)
The Wings are peaking at the absolute right time as they have the longest active win streak in the league with five straight victories, including an 86-77 win over New York on Monday to secure a berth in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs. Dallas will look to keep the momentum going as they host the Liberty again on Wednesday before closing the season on the road in Phoenix and Los Angeles – two teams still trying to secure a playoff berth. Reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, Teaira McCowan, continues to shine since earning an expanded role in July. In 13 games since July 1, McCowan is averaging 15.8 points (15th in WNBA), 9.8 rebounds (2nd), and 1.1 blocks (8th) while shooting 61.7% (1st among players with at least 40 total shot attempts) in 25.8 minutes per game. In 17 games before July 1, McCowan averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, and shot 60.6% in 12 minutes per game.
7. Phoenix Mercury (14-19)
- Previous Ranking: 7
- Last Week’s Results: L at CON 87-63; L at CON 77-64; W vs. NYL 76-62
- This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. MIN; Friday vs. DAL; Sunday vs. CHI
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.6 (7); DefRtg: 103.8 (10); NetRtg: -3.2 (9); eFG%: 49.2 (8); Pace/40: 80.25 (6)
The Mercury enter the final week of play as the No. 8 seed after securing a much-needed win over New York while playing without Skylar Diggins-Smith (illness) and Diana Taurasi (quad). The win snapped a three-game skid for Phoenix and has them tied with Atlanta at 14-19, one full game ahead of the trio of Minnesota, New York, and Los Angeles, who are trying to overtake them in the playoff field. On Monday, the Mercury announced that Taurasi would miss the remainder of the regular season due to that quad injury, so Phoenix will be missing the WNBA’s all-time scoring leader as they look to secure their 10th straight trip to the playoffs.
8. Atlanta Dream (14-19)
- Previous Ranking: 11
- Last Week’s Results: W vs. IND 91-81; W vs. LAS 88-86; L at MIN 81-71
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at LVA; Friday vs. NYL; Sunday at NYL
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.8 (11); DefRtg: 98.8 (4); NetRtg: -2.9 (8); eFG%: 47.6 (11); Pace/40: 81.17 (3)
The Dream bounced back from a four-game losing streak by going 2-1 this past week to get things back on track. Sunday’s 81-71 loss to Minnesota spoiled a perfect week for the Dream, who enter the final week of play holding the No. 7 spot in the standings thanks to having the head-to-head tiebreaker over Phoenix. Atlanta visits Las Vegas on Tuesday this week before beginning a home-and-home two-game set with New York to close out the season.
9. Minnesota Lynx (13-20)
- Previous Ranking: 9
- Last Week’s Results: L at SEA 89-77; W vs. ATL 81-71
- This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at PHX; Friday vs. SEA; Sunday at CON
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 102.6 (5); DefRtg: 103.6 (9); NetRtg: -1.0 (7); eFG%: 50.3 (T-3); Pace/40: 80.03 (8)
The Lynx got a huge boost this past weekend as Napheesa Collier made her return to the court less than three months after giving birth to her daughter in May. Will Collier’s return provide the necessary lift for the Lynx to overtake either Phoenix or Atlanta and secure a playoff berth for the 12th consecutive year, a run dating back to 2011, which would match the all-time record for the longest streak of playoff appearances currently held by the Indiana Fever from 2005 to 2016?
10. New York Liberty (13-20)
- Previous Ranking: 10
- Last Week’s Results: W vs. LAS 102-73; W vs. LAS 64-61; L at PHX 76-62; L at DAL 86-77
- This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at DAL; Friday at ATL; Sunday vs. ATL
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.0 (10); DefRtg: 102.4 (7); NetRtg: -4.4 (10); eFG%: 49.8 (T-5); Pace/40: 79.76 (10)
The Liberty missed an opportunity to improve their odds of making the playoffs on Monday as they fell to Dallas 86-77. Sabrina Ionescu scored 18 of her game-high 32 points in the third quarter to give New York a one-point lead heading into the final period. But in the last 10 minutes of play, the Liberty were outscored 23-13 to drop to 13-20 on the year and into a three-way tie with Minnesota and Los Angeles outside the playoff field entering the final week. On a positive note, Ionescu made history on Saturday as she became the first WNBA player to ever compile at least 500 points, 200 rebounds, and 200 assists in a single season. And she accomplished the feat in New York’s 32nd game of the season, so this year’s expanded 36-game schedule was not a factor compared to previous seasons with fewer total games played.
11. Los Angeles Sparks (13-20)
- Previous Ranking: 8
- Last Week’s Results: L at NYL 102-73; L at NYL 64-61; L at ATL 88-86; W at WAS 79-76
- This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. CON; Thursday vs. CON; Sunday vs. DAL
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.1 (9); DefRtg: 105.1 (11); NetRtg: -7.0 (11); eFG%: 48.7 (T-9); Pace/40: 80.85 (4)
The Sparks close season with three home games – two against Connecticut and one against Dallas, two teams that have already secured playoff berths – and L.A. will likely need them to win them all if they hope to secure a playoff berth. The Sparks open the week in the No. 11 spot due to their lack of tiebreakers against the other playoff contenders. So far this season, the Sparks are 7-8 at home compared to 6-12 on the road.
12. Indiana Fever (5-29)
- Previous Ranking: 12
- Last Week’s Results: L at ATL 91-81; L at DAL 95-91
- This Week’s Schedule: Friday vs. WAS; Sunday at WAS
- Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.0 (12); DefRtg: 107.8 (12); NetRtg: -12.8 (12); eFG%: 45.3 (12); Pace/40: 81.82 (2)
The Fever’s losing streak has extended to 16 games, and they have two games remaining in the regular season – both against Washington – to try to avoid finishing with the fewest wins in franchise history and sole possession of the second-longest single-season losing streak in league history. While the losses have piled up since their last win on June 19, the fight in this young Fever team has not let up; they just took the Wings to overtime on Saturday before eventually falling by four points – their closest game of this streak.
Longest losing streaks, WNBA history, single season
- 20 games: Tulsa (2011; June 21-Aug 25)
- 17 games: Atlanta (2008; May 17-July 3)
- 16 games: Indiana (2022; June 23-present)
Longtime WNBA reporter Brian Martin writes articles on WNBA.com throughout the season. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the WNBA or its clubs.