WNBA power rankings: Liberty, Lynx battle for supremacy; Wings in free fall

The league’s top two teams in this week’s WNBA power rankings, the New York Liberty and the Minnesota Lynx, will square off on Tuesday for the Commissioner’s Cup, which has a total purse of $500,000.

The game’s title sponsor, Coinbase, has chipped in another $120,000 in cryptocurrency to the prize pool, which means an extra $5,000 to each player.

The Liberty, the league’s highest-scoring team, have won three games in a row, while the Lynx have won six straight to boost their championship odds. The Lynx boast one of the league’s stingiest defenses, leading the WNBA in opponents’ field-goal and 3-point field-goal percentage.

Here are the WNBA power rankings with records through June 23:

1. New York Liberty (15-3)

New York has continued to stay hot, winning three of its four games last week, before seeking to defend its Commissioner’s Cup title against the Minnesota Lynx. The Liberty hope to get point guard Courtney Vandersloot back in the fold after she missed the last eight games.

Evicted: The Commissioner’s Cup game will be played at UBS Arena in Elmore, New York, on Tuesday because the NBA Draft will be held at Liberty’s regular home, Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

2. Minnesota Lynx (13-3)

In their only other meeting on May 25, the Lynx beat the Liberty by 17. Another victory in the Commissioner’s Cup final, especially on the road, would cement them as title favorites.

Jack of all trades: Napheesa Collier is the only WNBA player ranked in the top five in scoring, rebounding, and steals.

3.  Connecticut Sun (13-3)

The Sun are going through their own mini-slump, losing two in a row, including scoring a season-low 61 points against Seattle on Sunday. Leading scorer DeWanna Bonner (16.3 ppg) has not reached double figures in scoring in three of the last four games.

Three the hard way: The Sun has three players (Brionna Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Bonner) in the top 10 in defensive win shares.

4. Seattle Storm (10-6)

The Storm are obviously improved, having won 10 games already (Seattle won just 11 games in 2023). They have taken care of the teams they are supposed to beat, and their next five games are against three opponents (the Sky and Wings twice and the Fever) with losing records.

Home sweet home: The Storm do not play another road game until they visit the Los Angeles Sparks on July 16.

5. Phoenix Mercury (8-8)

Since Brittney Griner has returned to the lineup, the Mercury have been on a tear, winning four of five. But the team’s Jekyll and Hyde act isn’t going to work the rest of the season; Phoenix has looked like world-beaters one game and a team trying to find itself the next.

Whatever it takes: Phoenix has a .500 record despite being outscored by 3.2 points a game.

6. Las Vegas Aces (8-6)

The return of Chelsea Gray should have the rest of the league on notice, as the Aces aren’t about to fold up their tents after six losses – as many as they had all of last season. A’ja Wilson continues to set the MVP bar, continuing her scoring assault on anyone trying to defend her.

Set her free: Wilson has already attempted 112 free throws this season. She tied the single-season record last year with 287.

7. Chicago Sky (6-9)

Angel Reese extended her WNBA rookie record with her eighth straight double-double in the Sky’s victory against the Indiana Fever Sunday, and she’s inching her way to Rookie of the Year frontrunner consideration. She has 20 more offensive rebounds than any other player.

Inside, not outside: Only 16.3% of the Sky points come from the 3-point line.

8. Indiana Fever (7-11)

The Fever seemed to have figured some things out and put themselves in a position to at least fight for a playoff spot. Blowing 15-point leads like they did against the Sky on Sunday isn’t optimal, but the blueprint is there to beat most teams.

No sophomore slump: Aliyah Boston is averaging 19.2 points and 10.4 rebounds in her last five games.

9. Atlanta Dream (6-9)

The health of two-time All-Star Rhyne Howard is an obvious concern, but even when she was in the lineup, the Dream have struggled to put the ball in the hole, ranking last in the league in offensive rating.

Offensively offensive: Atlanta is the only team shooting under 40% as a team.

10. Washington Mystics (4-13)

The Mystics took advantage of their schedule, beating the Dallas Wings twice, and have ridden the hot hand of Stefanie Dolson, who leads the league in 3-point percentage. This week, however, their schedule presents an upgrade as they face the Sun and Aces to complete a four-game homestand.

Put me in coach: 11 of their 12 players average 10 minutes of playing time a game

11. Los Angeles Sparks (4-13)      

Already one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams, the Sparks received bad news when rookie Cameron Brink went down with an ACL tear. But the play of Dearica Hamby has been a bright spot as Los Angeles winds down a brutal road stretch in order to salvage a season that has suddenly spiraled downhill.

Leader of the pack: Hamby, who will replace Brink on the U.S. 3×3 Olympic team, leads the league in double-doubles with 11.

12. Dallas Wings (3-13)

The story of the Wings’ 2024 season is injuries, as Satou Sabally has not played after offseason surgery, and now third-leading scorer Maddy Siegrist will miss up to two months with a finger injury. Arike Ogunbowale and Natasha Howard might have to carry the load for the rest of the season.

Down and out in Big D: Dallas has lost 11 games in a row by an average of 11.6 points a game.

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