2022 WNBA Power Rankings: Week 9

We have reached All-Star week in the 2022 WNBA calendar as only eight games are on the schedule this week before 22 of the league’s brightest stars descend on Chicago for the midseason showcase.

Last week, team captains A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart drafted their respective rosters – including a pair of trades, one of which included their legendary co-captains with Sue Bird joining Team Stewart and Sylvia Fowles joining Team Wilson.

But before we look ahead to this weekend’s celebration of the game, we have to look back at the week that was and break down how the teams stack up against one another with 60% of the schedule already in the books.

While the top five holds steady from last week – with the defending champion Sky maintaining their hold on the top spot as they extended their win streak to five in a row – we do see some movement starting a No. 6 with the resurgent Los Angeles Sparks, who have a three-game win streak entering Week 9.

1. Chicago Sky (15-5)

  • Previous Ranking: 1
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. CON 91-83; W vs. PHX 91-75
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at MIN; Thursday at IND
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 105.0 (2); DefRtg: 98.0 (5); NetRtg: 7.0 (2); eFG%: 53.5 (1); Pace/40: 80.67 (6)

Chicago posted a perfect week with home wins over Connecticut and Phoenix to give the Sky five straight wins and eight wins in their past nine games. During that nine-game stretch, the Sky are averaging league-highs in scoring at 91.1 points per game, shooting at 50.4% from the field and a scorching 44.8% from 3-point range.

2. Las Vegas Aces (15-6)

  • Previous Ranking: 2
  • Last Week’s Results: W at LAS 79-73; L at SEA 88-78; W at MIN 91-85; L at MIN 102-71
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. NYL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 106.4 (1); DefRtg: 100.2 (6); NetRtg: 6.1 (3); eFG%: 51.8 (2); Pace/40: 83.22 (1)

On June 19, Las Vegas rallied from 14 points down to beat Minnesota and improve to a league-leading 13-2 through the first 15 games of the season. The Aces have gone just 2-4 since then, including taking a 31-point loss to Minnesota on Sunday. If any team could use the All-Star break to reset, it would be Las Vegas. However, their early-season success means this will be a busy weekend for the Aces, with four players and their head coach headed to Chicago.

3. Connecticut Sun (14-7)

  • Previous Ranking: 3
  • Last Week’s Results: L at CHI 91-83; W vs. WAS 74-72
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at DAL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 104.6 (3); DefRtg: 96.1 (4); NetRtg: 8.5 (1); eFG%: 50.2 (4); Pace/40: 80.28 (7)

The Sun got a much-needed win over the Mystics on Sunday as they rallied from 17 points down in the second half to force overtime and earn the win in the extra session. The win helped Connecticut avoid a stretch of four losses in five games. The Sun have just one game on the schedule this week before Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, and Brionna Jones head to Chicago. While Jonquel Jones and Thomas will remain teammates (on Team Stewart), they will face Brionna Jones (part of Team Wilson).

4. Seattle Storm (13-8)

  • Previous Ranking: 4
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. LVA 88-78; W vs. IND 73-57; L at ATL 90-76
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday at IND; Thursday at LAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 97.5 (9); DefRtg: 95.0 (1); NetRtg: 2.5 (5); eFG%: 48.8 (9); Pace/40: 80.24 (8)

The Storm went 2-1 over the past week, picking up home wins against Las Vegas and Indiana before falling to Atlanta on the road. The Storm are now just 4-4 on the road this season (compared to 9-4 at home) and have two more road games (in Indiana and Los Angeles) this week before the All-Star break. The Storm now own the league’s top-ranked defense, allowing just 95 points per 100 possessions. However, there is a significant variance in their defense on the road (103.2, 7th in league) and at home (89.9, 1st in league).

5. Washington Mystics (13-10)

  • Previous Ranking: 5
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. ATL 92-74; L at CON 74-72
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at ATL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.5 (8); DefRtg: 95.5 (2); NetRtg: 4.0 (4); eFG%: 49.4 (8); Pace/40: 78.33 (12)

On Sunday, the Mystics appeared to be headed for their fourth win of the season without Elena Delle Donne in the lineup but could not hold off a furious Connecticut comeback and fell in overtime. Washington is now 3-6 without the former two-time MVP in the lineup compared to 10-4 when she plays. On a more positive note, Natasha Cloud heads into All-Star week, leading the WNBA in assists at 7.2 per game. Is this the year that Courtney Vandersloot’s five-year run as assist champion ends?

6. Los Angeles Sparks (10-11)

  • Previous Ranking: 7
  • Last Week’s Results: L vs. LVA 79-73; W at DAL 97-89; W vs. NYL 84-74; W vs. PHX 78-75
  • This Week’s Schedule: Thursday vs. SEA
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 99.9 (7); DefRtg: 104.0 (9); NetRtg: -4.1 (10); eFG%: 49.8 (5); Pace/40: 81.40 (T-3)

With their win over Dallas on Friday, the Sparks became the first franchise in WNBA history to win 500 games. One of the league’s original eight teams, the Sparks have won three titles, have made the playoffs 20 times, and own the highest win percentage of any active franchise (.598) – only Houston (.618, 1997-2008) won at a higher rate. After enduring a slow start and a coaching change in 2022, the Sparks have turned their season around. They enter the week having won three straight and four of their last five games – the lone loss coming to then league-leading Las Vegas – as they head into the All-Star break with significant momentum.

7. Atlanta Dream (10-11)

  • Previous Ranking: 9
  • Last Week’s Results: L at WAS 92-74; W at NYL 92-81; W vs. SEA 90-76
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. WAS
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 94.6 (12); DefRtg: 95.8 (3); NetRtg: -1.1 (6); eFG%: 47.2 (11); Pace/40: 81.72 (2)

In her season debut against New York on Thursday, Tiffany Hayes scored nine of her team-high 21 points in overtime to lead the Dream to a 92-81 win over the Liberty. Three days later, it was Cheyenne Parker’s turn to score 21 and lead the Dream to a victory, this time over Seattle. The back-to-back wins come after the Dream had lost seven of their previous eight games. Atlanta has just one game on the schedule before All-Star, where rookie Rhyne Howard on Team Wilson will represent the Dream.

8. Minnesota Lynx (7-15)

  • Previous Ranking: 11
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. DAL 92-64; L vs. LVA 91-85; W vs. LVA 102-71
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday vs. CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 103.0 (4); DefRtg: 104.4 (T-10); NetRtg: -1.4 (8); eFG%: 49.6 (T-6); Pace/40: 79.66 (10)

To say the first half of the season was rough for the Minnesota Lynx would be an understatement. They began the season with four straight losses, were 2-8 after ten games, and sat at 3-13 following a loss to Las Vegas on June 19. Since that loss to the Aces, the Lynx won four of their past six games to get their season back on track. The two losses in this recent stretch of solid play came against Chicago and Las Vegas – the top two teams in the league – by a total of nine points combined.

9. Phoenix Mercury (9-14)

  • Previous Ranking: 10
  • Last Week’s Results: W vs. IND 83-71; W vs. IND 99-78; L at CHI 91-75; L at LAS 78-75
  • This Week’s Schedule: Thursday vs. NYL
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.4 (6); DefRtg: 104.4 (T-10); NetRtg: -3.0 (9); eFG%: 50.5 (3); Pace/40: 80.71 (5)

After the sudden divorce with Tina Charles, the Mercury won three straight games – with two of those wins coming against an Indiana squad with a league-low five wins – but then dropped consecutive road games to Chicago and Los Angeles to close the week. The Mercury have just one game on the schedule this week before All-Star, where Skylar Diggins-Smith will be Phoenix’s lone representative as she suits up for Team Stewart.

10. New York Liberty (8-12)

  • Previous Ranking: 6
  • Last Week’s Results: L vs. ATL 92-81; L at LAS 84-74
  • This Week’s Schedule: Wednesday at LVA; Thursday at PHX
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 96.0 (10); DefRtg: 100.8 (7); NetRtg: -4.8 (11); eFG%: 49.6 (T-6); Pace/40: 79.12 (11)

New York’s rollercoaster season continued this past week with losses to Atlanta and Los Angeles to drop the Liberty to 8-12 on the season. After a quick burst with the season-opening win over Connecticut, the Liberty ride took a dive with seven straight losses. After winning four of their next five games to start to climb again, the ride has been choppy ever since: loss, win, loss, two wins, two losses. New York will look to climb again this week as they have a road back-to-back with Las Vegas on Wednesday and Phoenix on Thursday before the All-Star break.

11. Dallas Wings (9-12)

  • Previous Ranking: 8
  • Last Week’s Results: L at MIN 92-64; L vs. LAS 97-89
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. CON
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 101.8 (5); DefRtg: 103.0 (8); NetRtg: -1.3 (7); eFG%: 48.2 (10); Pace/40: 79.93 (9)

The Wings enter All-Star week having lost three in a row and four of their past five games – with that lone win coming against the only team ranked lower than them in this week’s power rankings. The schedule doesn’t let up either, as the Wings host the Sun on Tuesday in their final game before the All-Star break. But coming out of the break, the Wings hit the road with stops in Seattle and Minnesota (against a resurgent Lynx team) before returning home to face Chicago (the defending champs and the hottest team in the league at the moment).

12. Indiana Fever (5-17)

  • Previous Ranking: 12
  • Last Week’s Results: L at PHX 83-71; L at PHX 99-78; L at SEA 73-57
  • This Week’s Schedule: Tuesday vs. SEA; Thursday vs. CHI
  • Team Stats: OffRtg: 95.7 (11); DefRtg: 107.4 (12); NetRtg: -11.7 (12); eFG%: 45.5 (12); Pace/40: 81.40 (T-3)

An 0-3 week for the Fever pushes their losing streak to four in a row. Indiana has just one win over a team over .500 this season – the Fever defeated the Sky 89-87 on June 19. The Fever open a four-game homestand that spans the All-Star break on Tuesday against Seattle in the first of three straight games against teams over .500: Chicago on Thursday and Connecticut on Wednesday coming out of the break.

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.