Every Monday during the regular season, Maurice Brooks and Aryeh Schwartz will rank the WNBA teams from 1 to 12. Also, Insidr beat writers will provide interesting tidbits on each team that they cover.


1. Connecticut Sun (Last week: 1 | record: 7-0)

After a red hot 5-0 start, the Sun suffered their first loss of the season this past Tuesday to the Dream. After an uncharacteristically tough shooting night against the Dream, they were able to bounce back with two wins over the Liberty and Lynx this weekend, shooting 45 percent from the field. They are still sitting at the top of the East. — Rachel Galligan

2. Phoenix Mercury (Last week: 3 | record: 7-3)

The trio of Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner combined to score 65 points in Phoenix’s 80-74 road win over New York this past Tuesday. After completing a 3-0 road trip, the Mercury returned home to blow past the Sky, 95-79, with all five starters scoring in double figures. Then, Phoenix extended its win streak to five games with a 72-66 home win over the Aces. It was Phoenix’s defense that carried the Mercury to victory, along with 58 combined points from its elite trio. Is it too soon to call Griner, Taurasi and Bonner a “Big 3”? The Mercury are playing like one of the best teams in the WNBA right now. — Pat Ralph

3. Los Angeles Sparks (Last week: 2 | record: 5-2)

Los Angeles has been hot and cold this year, and this week was a perfect reflection of that, as it featured both a blowout loss and a blowout win. The Sparks are as good as any team in the league when they’re clicking, but clicking has been a sporadic mode for them. Rookie Maria Vadeeva has joined the team, and should debut sometime this week. Once she’s integrated, she could help on the interior, as the Sparks have looked small against many opponents. –– Brady Klopfer

4. Seattle Storm (Last week: 4 | record: 6-3)

The Storm split the week with an impressive double-digit win over the Sparks but loss to the Dream back home. In the win, their friend was the free-throw line where they hit 19 of 22 attempts. Natasha Howard dominated with 16 points and nine rebounds. In the loss, the struggle from the perimeter put them in a hole early that they tried to overcome. After taking the lead with 2:30 left, Seattle went 1 of 5 to end the game, failing to slow down Atlanta. Late-game situations will be a testament as to whether they look for perimeter shooting or to attack, and when the three isn’t falling, the former can be detrimental. — Jameelah Johnson

5. Dallas Wings (Last week: 6 | record: 4-3)

The Wings are riding a two-game win streak, including a Friday night win over the still-winless Fever that saw Skylar Diggings-Smith hit career highs of 35 points and 12 rebounds. The team continues their upward trend as they return Glory Johnson, Theresa Plaisance and Aerial Powers to the lineup and new additions Cayla George and Leticia Romero get the chance to show off their skills. — Dorothy Gentry

6. Atlanta Dream (Last week: 10 | record: 5-3)

The Dream found their flow while winning three straight after their loss to the Mercury. Throughout the season, their saving grace has been their defense, while the offense was up and down. Over their three-game win streak, Atlanta shot 46.8 percent from the field. Tiffany Hayes and Angel McCoughtry remain top scorers, but coach Nicki Collen has seen continued production from Jessica Breland. Breland finished with 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks against the Storm. Her presence in the paint gave reprieve when those threes were once again not falling.  — Jameelah Johnson

7. Washington Mystics (Last week: 5 | record: 5-4)

After a blazing hot start, the Mystics have now dropped their last four games. Due to the severity of their schedule and the space in between games, the Mystics may have lost their identity and need to get back on track. It’s not time to press the panic button. The Mystics are still adjusting without Emma Meesseman, and Elena Delle Donne is recovering from her illness. — Jasmine Brown

8. New York Liberty (Last week: 8 | record: 3-4)

Despite 25 points from Tina Charles and 18 from Bria Hartley, the Liberty fell short this past Tuesday against the Mercury. Then, the Liberty lost a heartbreaker at home this past Thursday to the league-best Sun when Shekinna Stricklen hit a game-winning three at the buzzer. On Sunday, it was the Liberty who hit the game-winning shot when Marissa Coleman nailed a three-pointer with 16.8 seconds to go to push New York to a 78-75 win over the winless Fever. All seven of the Liberty’s games have been decided by single digits this season. — Pat Ralph

See Also

9. Minnesota Lynx (Last week: 9 | record: 3-6)

After a 21-point performance from Sylvia Fowles, the Lynx got a much-needed win over the Mystics this past Thursday to put an end to their four-game losing streak. They were unable to build momentum in terms of a winning streak and are back in the L column with a 89-75 loss to the Sun on Saturday. The good news? The veteran Lynx squad will get a week to recoup and rejuvenate before hosting the Liberty at home on Saturday. — Rachel Galligan

10. Chicago Sky (Last week: 7 | record: 3-5)

After a decent start, the Sky have fallen off as of late. The team looks disjointed, which shouldn’t be too surprising given their young pieces. Still, for a team playing for the future, they’ve kept Alaina Coates riding the pine, and moved Diamond DeShields to the bench. The Sky won’t win this year, so they might as well bring those talented youngsters more into the fold and start developing them further.  — Brady Klopfer

11. Las Vegas Aces (Last week: 11 | record: 1-7)

The Aces still only have one win on the season, but they have never quit. A’ja Wilson has been the leader on this team and she will continue to work hard until they can start to string some wins together. The team performs based on Wilson, but it would be better if people around her stepped up.  — Jasmine Brown

12. Indiana Fever (Last week: 12 | record: 0-8)

The Fever suffered two losses in three days. Individual players are putting up career-high stats on offense and playing hard on defense, but this season is just not coming together for the young team. Kelsey Mitchell is making a strong case for Rookie of the Year, despite the team’s losing record, as she leaves it all on the floor each night.  After Sunday’s loss to the Liberty, Natalie Achonwa said: “We know that we are right there. We know we need one more stop, one more shot, one more rebound. Everybody needs to improve just one percent more.” That improvement and a win could come on Tuesday night when the Fever host the  1-7 Aces.  — Dorothy Gentry

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