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2022 WNBA Power Rankings: Week 5

The highly anticipated two-game set between the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun showcased the league’s top two teams through the first quarter of the 2022 season. It ended in a draw, with Connecticut taking the first game 89-81 and Las Vegas rebounding two days later with a 97-90 win.

Now we have to wait until July 17 for the rubber match and the final regular-season meeting between the teams. While a Sun sweep would have shaken up the top of the rankings, a split keeps things as they were as the Aces remain in the top spot for Week 5 of the power rankings.

1. Las Vegas Aces (10-2)

  • Previous Ranking: 1
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. CON 89-81; L vs. CON 97-90; W vs. DAL 84-78
  • This Week’s Schedule: Saturday at LAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 108.9 (2); DefRtg: 97.1 (6); NetRtg: 11.8 (2); eFG%: 52.9 (1); Pace/40: 83.54 (1)

After splitting the two games with Connecticut, the Aces closed the week with a win over Dallas without Jackie Young, who is out with an ankle injury suffered late in the second game against the Sun. Young is in the middle of a career-best season – currently ranked fourth in the league in scoring at 19.2 points per game and fifth in 3-point percentage at 45.7%. The good news for Vegas is they have a light schedule this week with only one game at Los Angeles on Saturday.

2. Connecticut Sun (9-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 2
  • Last Week’s Results: L at LVA 89-81; W at LVA 97-90; W at PHX 92-88; W at SEA 93-86
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. IND; Friday vs. CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 109.0 (1); DefRtg: 97.0 (5); NetRtg: 12.0 (1); eFG%: 51.4 (3); Pace/40: 80.50 (6)

After dropping the first game in Las Vegas, the Sun closed out their West Coast road trip with three straight wins – beating Vegas, Phoenix, and Seattle. In Sunday’s win over the Storm, Alyssa Thomas finished two points shy of a triple-double (8 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 12 assists). Thomas is the only player in the WNBA to rank in the top 20 in points (14.9 ppg, 20th), rebounds (8.8 rpg, 4th), and assists (5.7 apg, 5th). Oh, and she also ranks fourth in steals as well (1.8 spg).

3. Chicago Sky (7-3)

  • Previous Ranking: 6
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. PHX 73-70; W at ATL 73-65; W vs. WAS 91-82
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at WAS; Friday at CON; Sun at NYL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 100.7 (6); DefRtg: 94.8 (2); NetRtg: 6.0 (3); eFG%: 50.5 (4); Pace/40: 79.80 (8)

The defending champs have won three in a row and five of their last six games as they are finally getting their entire squad together after dealing with late arrivals and injuries in the first few weeks. Chicago defeated Washington on Sunday – a game that included this incredible half-court shot from Dana Evans – and they open this week in D.C. for a rematch before closing the week in Connecticut and New York.

4. Atlanta Dream (7-4)

  • Previous Ranking: 4
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. MIN 84-76; L vs. CHI 73-65; W vs. IND 75-66
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at SEA; Friday at PHX
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 91.9 (11); DefRtg: 89.4 (1); NetRtg: 2.5 (5); eFG%: 47.6 (7); Pace/40: 81.95 (3)

Dream have won three of their last four games, with the only blemish being a 73-65 loss to the Sky on Friday. The Dream has a unique resume for a top-four ranked team as they rank 11th in offense (scoring just 91.5 points per 100 possessions) but the top-ranked defense (allowing only 89.4 points per 100 possessions). The other teams in the top three are ranked in the top half of the league on both ends of the court. So far, relying on their stingy defense has led the Dream to a 7-4 record, but will their lack of overall offense reduce their ultimate ceiling?

5. Washington Mystics (7-5)

  • Previous Ranking: 3
  • Last Week’s Results: W at IND 87-75; L vs. NYL 74-70; L at CHI 91-82
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. CHI; Friday at MIN; Sunday vs. PHX
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.3 (5); DefRtg: 95.8 (4); NetRtg: 5.4 (4); eFG%: 49.8 (5); Pace/40: 78.21 (12)

The Mystics have lost three of their last four games – with the only win in that span coming against Indiana last Tuesday. Washington is being cautious with Elena Delle Donne, sitting her out of select games to ensure her health when it matters most. So far, EDD has played in eight of Washington’s 12 games, averaging 17.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The Mystics are 5-3 with Delle Donne in the lineup and 2-2 when she’s out.

6. Dallas Wings (6-5)

  • Previous Ranking: 7
  • Last Week’s Results: L at LAS 93-91; W at SEA 68-51; L at LVA 84-78
  • This Week’s Schedule: Friday vs. SEA; Sunday vs. SEA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.9 (4); DefRtg: 100.9 (7); NetRtg: 0.9 (T-6); eFG%: 47.2 (9); Pace/40: 78.59 (11)

Dallas is another team that has lost three of its last four games entering this week as their only win in the past week came against Seattle on Friday as Allisha Gray and Arike Ogunbowale combined for 34 points, Satou Sabally had a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) and the Wings held the Storm to just 51 points. This week brings two more meetings with the Storm, this time in Dallas.

7. Seattle Storm (5-5)

  • Previous Ranking: 5
  • Last Week’s Results: L vs. DAL 68-51; L vs. CON 93-86
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. ATL; Friday at DAL; Sunday at DAL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.5 (9); DefRtg: 95.6 (3); NetRtg: 0.9 (T-6); eFG%: 47.0 (10); Pace/40: 79.46 (9)

The Storm followed up a four-game win streak with consecutive losses over the past week to Dallas and Connecticut. The good news for the Storm is they are finally getting their full roster back as players have cleared health and safety protocols (Sue Bird, Ezi Magbegor) or returned from injury (Mercedes Russell). The bad news is Tuesday’s game against the Dream is their last home game before starting a five-game road trip.

8. Los Angeles Sparks (5-7)

  • Previous Ranking: 8
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. DAL 93-91; L at PHX 81-74
  • This Week’s Schedule: Saturday vs. LVA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 102.7 (3); DefRtg: 107.2 (12); NetRtg: -4.5 (8); eFG%: 52.1 (2); Pace/40: 80.70 (5)

The Sparks have been in more close games than any team in the league, as five of their first 12 games have been decided by three points or less – no other team has more than two such games. Los Angeles is just 2-3 in those close games, with one of those wins coming against Dallas on Tuesday, thanks in part to Arike Ogunbowale’s free throw miss and free throw pump-fake violation that helped L.A. avoid overtime. The Sparks have just two games over the next two weeks, so they will have plenty of time to rest and practice before their schedule gets busy toward the end of June.

9. Minnesota Lynx (3-8)

  • Previous Ranking: 10
  • Last Week’s Results: L at ATL 84-76; W at NYL 84-77
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at NYL; Friday vs. WAS; Sunday vs. IND
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.0 (7); DefRtg: 105.2 (10); NetRtg: -6.2 (9); eFG%: 47.4 (8); Pace/40: 80.45 (7)

I would like to officially begin the petition to keep Sylvia Fowles from retiring at the end of this season. The 15th-year pro currently ranks ninth in scoring (17.1 ppg), first in rebounding (10.6 rpg), first in field goal percentage (64.5%), and sixth in blocks (1.3 bpg). There’s something to be said for going out while you’re still at the top of your game, but Syl still looks like she has a lot left in the tank if she wanted to extend her career. This week, the Lynx split their two games and face New York on Tuesday, an opponent that accounts for two of Minnesota’s three wins this season.

10. Phoenix Mercury (3-8)

  • Previous Ranking: 11
  • Last Week’s Results: L at CHI 73-70; L vs. CON 92-88; W vs. LAS
  • This Week’s Schedule: Friday vs. ATL; Sunday at WAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 98.4 (8); DefRtg: 105.8 (11); NetRtg: -7.4 (10); eFG%: 49.3 (6); Pace/40: 81.23 (4)

On Sunday, Phoenix’s win over Los Angeles snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Mercury – their longest losing streak in a decade. Skylar Diggins-Smith a game-high and season-high 29 points, while Diana Taurasi added 19 in the Mercury win. Phoenix’s two losses this past week – a three-point loss to the defending champion Sky (with Taurasi ejected after playing just 13 minutes) and a four-point loss to the Sun (with Taurasi scoring a season-high 32 points) were both solid showings for the Mercury but just didn’t result in wins. This week, the Mercury will host the Dream before heading to D.C. to take on the Mystics.

11. New York Liberty (3-8)

  • Previous Ranking: 12
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. IND 87-74; W at WAS 74-70; L vs. MIN 84-77
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. MIN; Friday at IND; Sunday vs. CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 90.0 (12); DefRtg: 102.2 (8); NetRtg: -12.2 (12); eFG%: 46.1 (11); Pace/40: 79.11 (10)

The Liberty picked up consecutive wins to open the week – a 13-point win over Indiana and a four-point win over Washington – as they snapped a seven-game losing streak. The Liberty fell short of sweeping the week as they lost to Minnesota on Sunday in the first of a two-game set in Brooklyn. A bright spot for the Liberty has been the play of Sabrina Ionescu over the past week as she posted games of 23 points vs. Indiana, 24 points vs. Washington, and matched her season-high with 31 points vs. Minnesota. In her previous four games prior to this stretch, Ionescu combined to score just 26 total points.

12. Indiana Fever (3-10)

  • Previous Ranking: 9
  • Last Week’s Results: L vs. WAS 87-75; L at NYL 87-74; L at ATL 75-66
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at CON; Friday vs. NYL; Sunday at MIN
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.3 (10); DefRtg: 105.1 (9); NetRtg: -8.8 (11); eFG%: 45.5 (12); Pace/40: 82.63 (2)

We started these rankings with the first team to reach 10 wins (Las Vegas) and closed them with the first team to reach 10 losses (Indiana). The Fever have lost eight of their last nine games, including three straight this week, after earning the first win under interim coach Carlos Knox against the Sparks on May 27. When a team carries five rookies on its roster, getting off to a slow start is not unexpected. But if Indiana hopes to salvage its season, they have to start to string some wins together soon and climb out of the cellar.

Longtime WNBA reporter Brian Martin writes articles on throughout the season. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the WNBA or its clubs.