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2022 WNBA Power Rankings: Week 4

Another week of action is in the books, and Tuesday will mark the quarter mark of the 2022 WNBA season. Tuesday will also deliver a marquee matchup between the top two teams in the power rankings for the second consecutive week – the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun. It is a first of a two-game set in Las Vegas, with the second game on Thursday night.

When we dig into the numbers, we see how these two teams have separated from the rest of the pack early in the season. The Aces and Sun rank 1-2 in both offensive efficiency (point scored per 100 possessions), net efficiency (point differential per 100 possessions), and true shooting percentage (weighted for the value of 3-pointers and free throws).

While the results have been similar, the methods are a bit different. The Aces play at the league’s fastest pace, leading the WNBA with just under ten 3-pointers made per game. The Sun, however, play at the second-slowest pace and averaged the second-fewest 3s per game. While selective in their rate, the Sun lead the WNBA in fast break pointspoints off turnovers, and second-chance points. Connecticut posts a ridiculous 45.1% offensive rebounding percentage (10.3 points higher than any other team). Still, Las Vegas is the best at clearing the defensive glass, which could take away one of the Sun’s biggest strengths.

We get the last two league MVPs – A’ja Wilson in 2020 and Jonquel Jones in 2021 – meeting for the first time this season. This is a pair of games you don’t want to miss this week. But before the action gets back underway on Tuesday, here are this week’s power rankings for Monday.

1. Las Vegas Aces (8-1)

  • Previous Ranking: 1
  • Last Week’s Results: (2-0) W vs. LAS, 104-76; W at CHI 83-76
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. CON; Thursday vs. CON; Sunday vs. DAL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 110.7 (1); DefRtg: 96.0 (5); NetRtg: 14.7 (2); eFG%: 53.6 (1); Pace/40: 83.11 (1)

This week, the Aces ride a six-game win streak and are unbeaten in five home games. This week’s games will be played at home, as Las Vegas hosts Connecticut twice (as discussed above) and Dallas on Sunday.

2. Connecticut Sun (6-2)

  • Previous Ranking: 2
  • Last Week’s Results: (2-1) L vs. DAL 85-77; W vs. DAL 99-68; W vs. WAS 79-71
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at LVA; Thursday at LVA; Friday at PHX; Sunday vs. IND
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 110.2 (2); DefRtg: 93.3 (2); NetRtg: 16.9 (1); eFG%: 49.9 (5); Pace/40: 78.25 (11)

The Sun had a tough start to the week. On Tuesday, the team announced that captain Jasmine Thomas would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in her right knee. Afterward, a loss to Dallas snapped a four-game win streak. Two days later, the Sun bounced back with a 31-point win over the Wings. The team then announced that head coach Curt Miller and assistant coach Brandi Poole would miss Saturday’s game against Washington due to health and safety protocols. However, the Sun got the win anyway. It doesn’t get any easier with back-to-back road games against 8-1 Las Vegas.

3. Washington Mystics (6-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 4
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) W vs. ATL 70-50; L at CON 79-71
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at IND; Friday vs. NYL; Sunday at CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.7 (5); DefRtg: 94.1 (4); NetRtg: 7.6 (3); eFG%: 50.2 (3); Pace/40: 77.78 (12)

The Mystics opened the week with a 20-point win over the Dream that saw Elena Delle Donne become the second-fastest player to reach 4,000 career points in the WNBA. Delle Donne reached the milestone in her 199th career game, just two more than Diana Taurasi’s 197. Delle Donne is the 40th player in league history to score 4,000 points; only 10 of those players are active in the league today.

4. Atlanta Dream (5-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 5
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) L at WAS 70-50; W vs. PHX 81-54
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. MIN; Friday vs. CHI; Sunday vs. IND
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 93.2 (11); DefRtg: 90.9 (1); NetRtg: 2.3 (6); eFG%: 48.6(7); Pace/40: 81.19 (4)

After falling to the Mystics to open the week, the Dream bounced back in a big way with a 27-point win over Phoenix on Sunday. It was Atlanta’s most lopsided win since defeating the Sparks by 30 points in September 2015. The win over Phoenix was the first game of a four-game homestand for the Dream as they host the Lynx, Sky, and Fever this week.

5. Seattle Storm (5-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 7
  • Last Week’s Results: (2-0) W vs. NYL 79-71; W vs. NYL 92-61
  • This Week’s Schedule: Friday vs. DAL; Sunday vs. CON
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.6 (8); DefRtg: 93.8 (3); NetRtg: 4.8 (5); eFG%: 47.2 (9); Pace/40: 79.82 (9)

Despite dealing with their second wave of health and safety protocols – with Sue Bird, Ezi Magbegor, and Stephanie Talbot all missing games – the Storm extended their win streak to four in a row with a pair of wins over struggling New York this past week. The Storm are off until Friday before hosting Dallas and Connecticut this weekend in an eight-game homestand’s sixth and seventh games. Seattle is unbeaten in its new home – Climate Pledge Arena – so far this season.

6. Chicago Sky (4-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 3
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) W vs. IND 95-90; L vs. LVA 83-76
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. PHX; Friday at ATL; Sunday vs. WAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.2 (6); DefRtg: 96.3 (6); NetRtg: 4.9 (4); eFG%: 50.2 (4); Pace/40: 80.00 (7)

The defending champs have had the lightest schedule of the season so far, with only seven games played entering this week. This past week got off to an excellent start for the Sky. They celebrated their 2021 championship with ring night and raised their first banner to the Wintrust Arena rafters before defeating Indiana 95-90. The Sky could not keep the wins coming as they fell to the league-leading Aces on Saturday.

7. Dallas Wings (5-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 6
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) W at CON 85-77; L at CON 99-68
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at LAS; Friday at SEA; Sunday at LVA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 102.4 (3); DefRtg: 102.7 (7); NetRtg: -0.3 (7); eFG%: 47.5 (8); Pace/40: 78.50 (10)

The Wings split a two-game series with the Sun in Connecticut this past week, earning an eight-point win before suffering a 31-point loss. The loss was Dallas’ most significant loss since a 32-point loss to Las Vegas in July 2019. The good news for the Wings is that they have proven they can win on the road at 4-1 so far this season. This week, they face three straight road games in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Las Vegas.

8. Los Angeles Sparks (4-6)

  • Previous Ranking: 9
  • Last Week’s Results: (2-2) L at LVA 104-76; W vs. PHX 99-94; L at IND 101-96; W at MIN 85-83
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. DAL; Sunday at PHX
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 102.3 (4); DefRtg: 107.0 (10); NetRtg: -4.7 (8); eFG%: 50.7 (2); Pace/40: 80.89 (5)

The Sparks were the busiest team over the past week – with four games in seven days. Their schedule will relax a bit as their next four games span 20 days. This should allow the new-look Sparks to practice and continue building the chemistry and cohesiveness that takes time to develop. The Sparks have also played in more close games than any other team this season; eight of their ten games have featured clutch time – score within five points in the final five minutes – L.A. is 4-4 in those games.

9. Indiana Fever (3-7)

  • Previous Ranking: 10
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) L at CHI 95-90; w vs. LAS 101-96
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. WAS; Wednesday at NYL; Sunday at ATL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.6 (9); DefRtg: 106.3 (9); NetRtg: -7.7 (9); eFG%: 46.7 (10); Pace/40: 82.96 (2)

Friday’s win over Los Angeles snapped a five-game losing streak and gave interim head coach Carlos Knox his first career coaching win in the WNBA. This past week, the Fever made the first coaching change as Marianne Stanley was relieved of her duties nine games into his third season at the helm. Knox and Fever face a tough test with Washington coming to town on Tuesday before hitting the road for three straight games.

10. Minnesota Lynx (2-7)

  • Previous Ranking: 11
  • Last Week’s Results: (1-1) W vs. NYL 84-78; L vs. LAS 85-83
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at ATL; Sunday at NYL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.2 (7); DefRtg: 107.1 (11); NetRtg: -7.9 (10); eFG%: 46.3 (11); Pace/40: 80.06 (6)

After splitting two home games this past week – a six-point win over New York and a two-point loss to Los Angeles – the Lynx are 2-7 on the season. This record is their worst start through nine games since 2010, the season before their dynasty began. Speaking of the Lynx dynasty, Minnesota honored Seimone Augustus on Sunday by retiring her No. 33 to the Target Center rafters. And perhaps looking toward a future dynasty, the Lynx welcomed a new member to the family as Napheesa Collier gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday.

11. Phoenix Mercury (2-6)

  • Previous Ranking: 8
  • Last Week’s Results: (0-2) L at LAS 99-94; L at ATL 81-54
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at CHI; Friday vs. CON; Sunday vs. LAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.6 (10); DefRtg: 108.4 (12); NetRtg: -9.8 (11); eFG%: 48.9 (6); Pace/40: 81.31 (3)

The Mercury extended their losing streak to five games with their road losses at Los Angeles and Atlanta. It is Phoenix’s first five-game losing streak since 2019 and only their third five-game losing streak since 2012. In their loss to the Dream on Sunday, the Mercury were held to 54 points; it marked just the third time since 2005 that Phoenix was held below 55 points.  

12. New York Liberty (1-7)

  • Previous Ranking: 12
  • Last Week’s Results: (0-3) L at MIN 84-78; L at SEA 79-71; L at SEA 92-61
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs IND; Friday at WAS; Sunday vs. MIN
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 85.4 (12); DefRtg: 103.2 (8); NetRtg: -17.7 (12); eFG%: 45.0 (12); Pace/40: 80.00 (8)

New York’s losing streak extended to seven straight games with a loss to the Lynx and a pair of losses to the short-handed Storm. The Liberty have been short-handed as well, with Betnijah Laney (knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (knee), DiDi Richards (hamstring), and Lorela Cubaj (concussion) missing all three games this week. Whichever players can suit up for the Liberty have to find a way to score. New York averages a league-low 70.4 points per game (5.4 fewer than any other team) and has shot the lowest percentages from the field (39%) and 3-point range (30.5%) so far this season.

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.