Las Vegas Aces Move Into Top Spot

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In this week’s WNBA Power Rankings, the Las Vegas Aces lastly push the Seattle Storm off their perch, however they’re not the one crew transferring up.

Another week of WNBA motion is behind us and this week’s energy rankings characteristic some motion, particularly on the top of issues.

That’s proper. After the Las Vegas Aces got here away with a 95-92 time beyond regulation win on Sunday over the Seattle Storm, issues have been shaken up. But did Seattle’s two-game dropping streak value them multiple spot?

Check out the rankings under to search out out.

Where does every crew rank on this week’s WNBA Power Rankings?

12. Indiana Fever 1-15

On Sunday, the Fever waived 2020 No. 3 general decide Lauren Cox. If this was a contending crew, you may have the ability to perceive this move, as Cox has performed 8.6 minutes per sport this 12 months, averaging 1.4 factors and a pair of.0 rebounds per sport. But the Fever aren’t contenders: they’re a one-win crew that should do no matter they will by way of determining which — if any — younger gamers have a future with the franchise. Moving on from Cox simply doesn’t make sense for this specific crew. Even should you suppose she’s not going to ever be a beginning WNBA massive, transferring on from her after a season and a half is one other unhealthy move by this entrance workplace.

11. Atlanta Dream 5-9

Good information: the Dream have Chennedy Carter again. Bad information: Tiffany Hayes is damage and so they’ve misplaced three video games in a row. Two of these have been shut losses, however then the crew was blown out 101-78 by the Liberty. The protection has been struggling, and the whereas the offense has its moments, it hasn’t been sufficient. Atlanta has a brilliant future with Carter, Cheyenne Parker, and Aari McDonald, however they’re starting to slide out of the playoff hunt in 2021.

10. Los Angeles Sparks 6-8

The Sparks stay a tricky crew to determine. They’ve misplaced three of their previous 4 video games and are nonetheless with out the Ogwumike sisters. But Te’a Cooper has been offering some sturdy scoring, with two 20-point video games in a row. Add in how Erica Wheeler is taking part in and it’s a must to really feel higher than you probably did earlier than the season in regards to the backcourt scenario in L.A. If Nneka and Chiney can return soon-ish, it is a playoff crew.

9. Washington Mystics 7-8

After a giant win over Seattle, Washington has misplaced two video games in a row. Injuries have them operating outna tremendous small rotation, together with having to play Megan Gustafson because the third massive proper now. Tina Charles is making a case for MVP, however Washington is simply too disjointed proper now to interrupt out of this present rut that they’re in. If we may ever see them at full well being, I nonetheless suppose they will beat anybody, however we’re midway via the season and there’s nonetheless no signal of Elena Delle Donne.

8. New York Liberty 8-8

At this level, eight feels excessive for the Liberty, as they’ve misplaced 4 of their previous six video games. But Saturday’s 101-78 win over Atlanta and an upcoming schedule that appears winnable earlier than the Olympic break have this crew nonetheless within the playoff combine. Sabrina Ionescu lastly had one other double-digit scoring sport and the crew shouldn’t be too removed from getting Natasha Howard again. Though, a plantar fasciitis difficulty for Rebecca Allen saved her out final sport and he or she is a fairly essential piece for this crew’s success.

7. Minnesota Lynx 7-7

The Lynx are coming off an enormous time beyond regulation win over the Aces on Friday, which prolonged their win streak to 2 video games and at last acquired them again to .500 for the primary time this season. Things are trending up in Minnesota and the Lynx — regardless of accidents to Aerial Powers and Natalie Achonwa and a few main regression for final 12 months’s Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield  —look poised to begin difficult for a first-round playoff bye within the second half of the season.

6. Phoenix Mercury 7-7

Diana Taurasi is again and all she did in her return was rating 25 factors in 32 minutes of motion in a win over the Sparks. But Taurasi’s return additionally reminded us of how a lot this crew depends on the starters, as Brianna Turner’s 29 minutes have been the bottom quantity by any of the beginning 5. With Taurasi again, Megan Walker was minimize down to simply six minutes and Sophie Cunningham to 11. Considering within the ultimate sport with out Taurasi each performed 20-plus minutes, this redistribution of minutes is fascinating and reinforces how top-heavy this crew is.

5. Dallas Wings 8-8

Dallas has gained three of their previous 4 video games. Charli Collier is beginning to appear to be a participant who was worthy of the No. 1 decide. Marina Mabrey is working via some mid-season struggles. Arike Ogunbowale stays an offensive machine. Allisha Gray appears over her post-3×3 stoop. The Wings are wanting like an excellent crew proper now and are fairly far forward of schedule. That in itself presents some points with the entire “young players vs. veterans in the rotation” query, however Vickie Johnson’s squad is likely to be ok to not fear about these questions.

4. Chicago Sky 9-8

Chicago’s seven-game successful streak got here to a halt on Sunday towards Connecticut, who weren’t at full energy however nonetheless beat Chicago 74-58. With that in thoughts, I can’t justify placing Chicago over a Sun crew that has three fewer losses, even when the Sky are 2-1 towards Connecticut this season. If we’re taking a look at proper now and projecting ahead some, Chicago is the fourth-best crew if we assume the Sun get Jonquel Jones again within the combine inside a sport or two. But hey, something can occur, and this crew is tough to beat with Candace Parker wholesome.

3. Connecticut Sun 10-5

Things seemed bleak for the Sun with Jonquel Jones out for EuroBasket, because the crew had three unhealthy losses to Seattle and Chicago. But a two-game win streak and the return of Jones this upcoming week has the Sun proper there within the hunt for a top playoff seed, as they’re only one sport again within the loss column of each Seattle and Vegas. If Jones will get again and returns to taking part in MVP degree basketball, we may probably see a brand new crew break the Seattle/Vegas stranglehold on the top two energy rating spots.

2. Seattle Storm 12-4

So, uhh, the Seattle Storm are on a two-game dropping streak. One of these was to the Aces in time beyond regulation, whereas the opposite was a four-point loss to the Mystics. Seattle continues to be the clear No. 2 crew within the league, however a 1-2 document towards Vegas has knocked them out of the top spot within the energy rankings, whilst they nonetheless maintain a 0.5 sport lead for the one seed within the WNBA. [Skip to the Aces section for a longer discussion of these two teams.]

1. Las Vegas Aces 11-4

We have a change on the top! Fresh off an thrilling, time beyond regulation win over the Storm, the Las Vegas Aces have taken the No. 1 spot in FanSided’s WNBA energy rankings. So, how did this crew go 2-1 towards Seattle to date regardless of dropping to them soundly in final 12 months’s Finals? Because it’s a brand new season and Vegas neatly added the precise type of participant they wanted this offseason in Chelsea Gray, whose scoring upside and passing means assist to unlock issues on this crew. The Liz Cambage and A’ja Wilson pairing that had its troubles again in 2019 runs quite a bit smoother when you’ve got Gray operating the present.

While this crew doesn’t have a ton of depth, they do have two Sixth Woman of the Year candidates in Dearica Hamby and Kelsey Plum who give them massive minutes off the bench. You can argue that Seattle’s top two gamers — Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd — are a greater duo than the Vegas top two of Wilson and Cambage, however Vegas simply has such higher items round these two. Head coach Bill Laimbeer is using that expertise higher than he has in his entire time with the franchise and nice issues are occurring.

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