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WNBA Power Rankings: Jonquel Jones and the Connecticut Sun are shaking things up

The Connecticut Sun and MVP front-runner Jonquel Jones are shaking up the top of this week’s WNBA Power Rankings, proving they can beat anyone.

This week’s WNBA power rankings are going to look a little bit different than recent ones because the top of the league is changing.

The Seattle Storm are now down to third in the WNBA standings, for example. Does that shake up where we have them in this week’s power rankings? (Hint: yes, yes it does.)

Meanwhile, Elena Delle Donne returned to the court for the first time since 2019, but the Mystics lost their fourth in a row on Sunday. How do we make sense of them in this week’s rankings?

Where does each team rank in this week’s WNBA Power Rankings?

12

Atlanta Dream 6-17

Last rank: 12

The Dream are still holding onto the 11th spot in the standings, but at this point, the Fever are going to pass them in the standings soon. Atlanta remains the most confusing team in the league. On the bright side, Tiffany Hayes is back and Candice Dupree is doing a decent job at the four. On the other hand, Cheyenne Parker won’t play again this year because of her pregnancy and Chennedy Carter is still suspended and it really doesn’t look like that’s going to be changing.

11

Indiana Fever 5-18

Last rank: 11

Hey, the Fever won another game! For a while, it looked like they might only win one or two games all year, but Kelsey Mitchell and Teaira McCowan have pushed this team to five wins, with a chance for more. We could argue all day about how the Fever should stop winning games because they need the best lottery odds they can get, but the important thing is this: despite the record, you can’t call this the WNBA’s worst team anymore.

10

Dallas Wings 10-14

Last rank: 9

Dallas lost to Indiana this week.

Okay, I’ll say more than that. The Wings had a cool win over the Sky, but before that had lost four games in a row. Satou Sabally is currently sidelined with an Achilles issue, and the team is barely playing No. 1 overall pick Charli Collier. This is where I’m going to go on my annual rant about the WNBA playoff structure: because two-thirds of the league makes the playoffs, a team like Dallas that really needs to give young players time to develop just isn’t able to do that. Cut the number of playoff teams down and let young teams actually devote time to development.

9

Washington Mystics 8-14

Last rank: 7

The Mystics were ranked seventh last week. After losing four games in a row, we had to move them down, but I decided to only move them to ninth instead of 10th. Why? Because the team got former MVP Elena Delle Donne back on Sunday and played the Storm extremely close. Sure, they lost 85-78 and continued to drop back in the playoff race, but Washington finally has their best player back. That alone keeps them ranked ahead of the Wings.

8

New York Liberty 11-14

Last rank: 8

New York is on a two-game losing streak and sits three games under .500. Their last win was against a Storm team that was missing Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. New York has Natasha Howard back and she’s showing why the team brought her in, but Jazmine Jones is hurt and Sami Whitcomb left Sunday’s game with what looked like an ankle injury. New York might wind up back in the lottery at this rate, despite having a ton of talent on this team.

7

Los Angeles Sparks 10-13

Last rank: 10

Here we go. The Sparks have Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike back and have won their past four games. They’ve officially moved into the eighth seed in the playoff hunt, and I have no reason to think they won’t stay in the postseason. This has always been a talented team, but injuries prevented them from showing just how talented they were. It appears we’re past that part of things now.

6

Chicago Sky 11-12

Last rank: 5

The Sky should be better than this, right? But they’ve dropped two games in a row against Dallas and Minnesota and Candace Parker has a sprained ankle, so…yeah, I don’t know what to think of this team. They’ll make the playoffs, even if Parker misses extended time, and Allie Quigley is currently playing the best basketball of her career, but the offense isn’t quite as good as expected and the defense is about as bad as expected, which is why this team is 11-12.

5

Phoenix Mercury 13-10

Last rank: 6

Phoenix has won four in a row.  None of those wins were against teams that are currently among the top eight, so we probably shouldn’t read too much into the winning streak, but we also can’t discount the wins just because they were against Atlanta, Indiana, and Washington. A Skylar Diggins-Smith injury scare appears to have turned out to not be an issue, allowing this team to continue relying heavily on their SDS and Diana Taurasi backcourt. The starters are all playing 30-plus minutes, which means Phoenix is likely the team least equipped to handle any more injuries.

4

Minnesota Lynx 14-9

Last rank: 3

The Lynx saw a long win streak broken by Connecticut, who beat them twice this week. But they haven’t lost to a non-Sun team since June 19th, so despite the 1-2 week, Minnesota remains fourth in the power rankings. Against every other team, the combination of Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier in the frontcourt is impossible to deal with. Tuesday, they’ll face Seattle, and we’ll see if this team really can beat everyone who isn’t Connecticut.

3

Seattle Storm 18-7

Last rank: 1

I know what you might be thinking. “Justin, the Storm went 2-1 this week and you moved them down two spots? That seems extreme.” But Connecticut and Vegas have been better since the Olympic break and well…it just feels like a change had to happen here, as Vegas and Connecticut haven’t lost since the break. Nothing against the Storm, and I’m aware of that they weren’t at full strength after the break, but I just think we need to reward the teams that are winning.

2

Connecticut Sun 17-6

Last rank: 4

I really, really wanted to move a Sun team that’s on a five-game winning streak to the top spot, but since Vegas didn’t lose since the break either, I didn’t go all the way here. But still, the Sun have a good argument for the top spot. They’ve defeated a really good Lynx team twice in a row by double digits. DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones combined for 51 points last game. My one concern here is bench depth, but a healthy Sun team can beat anyone.

1

Las Vegas Aces 17-6

Last rank: 2

The Aces haven’t had the smoothest wins since the break, but it’s hard to fault a team that’s won both of the games they’ve played, even if they only beat the Mystics by one last Sunday. It’s been an odd week for the Aces though, as Tuesday’s game against Washington was their only game and they won’t play again until this Tuesday against the Sun. That’s a must-watch game, by the way. Like, drop everything and make sure you tune in for the A’ja Wilson vs. Jonquel Jones battle.

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