WNBA Power Rankings: Las Vegas Aces take over the top spot

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(Abbie Parr / Getty Images)

It seems crazy, but teams have just about two and a half weeks left to position themselves in the standings before the WNBA breaks for the Olympics.

The power rankings are designed to give you a better understanding of who’s likely to improve and decline in the weeks ahead. So, let’s get to it.

12. Indiana Fever (1-14) —

Wins are going to be hard to come by when you’re surrendering nearly 90 points per game and are not succeeding at your own game of scoring in the paint and winning on the boards. So is life in the WNBA for the Fever this season.

11. Los Angeles Sparks (5-7) —

The Sparks are playing better defense than the Dream, but their offense continues to rank last in the WNBA. It doesn’t help that their leading scorer and rebounder and most efficient shooter, Nneka Ogwumike, hasn’t played since June 1 because of a knee sprain.

10. Atlanta Dream (5-7) -2

Say what you want, but offense wins games in today’s WNBA — three of the four teams with the best offensive ratings sit atop the WNBA standings. The Dream can get it done on offense, currently fifth in offensive rating at 101.7, and you have to think that will translate to more wins especially when Chennedy Carter returns.

9. Minnesota Lynx (5-7) -3

The Lynx play a fast-paced game that often stifles ball movement and leads to more turnovers. Opponents are currently scoring 20.3 points per game off of their turnovers, which is the most in the league. If they can limit those mistakes and get out to earlier leads, they have the offensive talent to close out more games.

8. Phoenix Mercury (6-7) -1

The Mercury run their offense through their post players, with 44.9 percent of their points this season coming in the paint. When you have a 6-foot-9 center in Brittney Griner, that strategy makes sense. The problem is they’ve become too one-dimensional, shooting just 22.3 percent from 3 during their recent four-game losing streak.

7. Washington Mystics (6-6) +2

The Mystics, ravaged by injuries, are still playing .500 basketball thanks to a combination of Tina Charles and unlikely heroes. In Washington’s last two wins, that player was Theresa Plaisance, who’s scored in double figures in four straight games. Leave it to Mike Thibault to find a way through adversity.

6. New York Liberty (7-6) -1

The Liberty are close to being at full strength, with Sabrina Ionescu back in the mix and Natasha Howard eyeing early July for her possible return from an MCL sprain. The team needs them considering the Liberty haven’t proven they can beat top competition. In their four games against the Sun and Aces, they’ve lost by an average of 20.5 points.

5. Chicago Sky (7-7) +5

So, this is the Sky team we had high hopes for in preseason. During their five-game win streak, which has helped them recover from a disastrous start, the Sky are turning the ball over nearly four fewer times than their season average and are shooting more efficiently from all areas on the floor.

4. Dallas Wings (6-7) —

The Wings continue to show more potential than their losing record indicates, as they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the league so far. Interestingly, the free-throw line is their biggest enemy right now. Dallas is committing a league-leading 21.5 personal fouls per game, allowing teams an average of 9.5 trips to the line.

3. Connecticut Sun (8-5) —

The absences of Jonquel Jones and coach Curt Miller have hampered the Sun perhaps more than expected, though their three losses have come against the Storm and the surging Sky. For a team that scores 45 percent of its points in the paint, Jones’ presence down low is particularly key to its success.

2. Seattle Storm (12-2) -1

Comparing the Storm and the Aces, who are both on five-game winning streaks, is a game of inches. They’re 1-1 against each other and the Storm have the better record. They’re both playing great defense, so what’s separating them is offense. And right now, the Aces’ is more potent, with the most 100-point games (four) and the best offensive rating in the league (108.1).

1. Las Vegas Aces (10-3) +1

One other factor the Aces have going for them is their rotation. As players like Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby and Riquna Williams continue to step up, Las Vegas only gets more dangerous.

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