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Halfway There: World Exposure Report's WNBA Power Rankings Midway Through The Season

By Brenden Potts, 07/02/24, 9:45AM CDT


As the WNBA season reaches the halfway point, every team around the league has shown their competitive fire. Some have exceeded expectations early on, and others demonstrated they need more time to gel. With the third month of the season getting underway, here are the WNBA rankings based on their legitimacy to compete for a championship. These teams will be split into three tiers based on their chances to win it all at the year's end.


Tier 1 - Sweet Victory


  1. New York Liberty (16-3 record)



Led by Breanna Stewart (19.7 ppg) and Sabrina Ionescu (19.3), the Liberty have been the hottest team in the league thus far. Their star-powered roster has also had contributions like Jonquel Jones (16.8 ppg), and role players like Benijah Laney-Hamilton (12.1 ppg) and Courtney Vandersloot (7.6 ppg) stepping up to help them succeed. New York has many quality wins that help establish their contention status, but they can always improve to perfect their squad. The depth off the bench is a little concerning given their lack of playing time, and the team can sometimes play down to their opponents. They have enough talent to squeak out close wins, but the issues need to be corrected for the Liberty to return to, and possibly win the WNBA Finals.


  1. Minnesota Lynx (13-4 record)


The Lynx have been the most surprising team this season, however, they know they can beat any team on any given day. Head Coach Cheryl Reeve made a point to ask the media “Are you a believer now?” after winning the Commissioner's Cup, implying that she knew their fantastic start would happen. This Minnesota is starting to look like a contender, and that’s thanks to star Napheesa Collier (21.4 ppg) who is another MVP candidate. Kayla McBride (15.8 ppg) has also played an important role in the teams’ success, along with three-point sniper Alanna Smith (12.2 ppg, 49% three-point percentage). Courtney Williams (9.9 ppg) has also been a key addition for the Lynx, with her aggressive playstyle and veteran leadership playing a crucial role in their surprising season. As the reigning Commissioner's Cup champions continue to prove the public wrong, their performance after the All-Star break will further validate their status as a real championship contender.


  1. Las Vegas Aces (10-6 record)

The defending back-to-back champions are not off to the best start, but they look like their old dominating selves ever since Chelsea Gray’s return (8.8 ppg). The Aces star point guard missed the last game of the 2023 Finals and recently returned to action on June 7th. A’ja Wilson (28.0) has starred for Las Vegas again, proving she’s on the right track to win another MVP award. Jackie Young (18.4 ppg) has also been a key to their success and will be an x-factor in a possible three-peat run. Despite the slow start, they have plenty of time to gather wins and show they shouldn’t be counted out. The playing field is more even this year with more competition, but the Aces will look like a dominant team again as the season continues.

  1. Seattle Storm (12-6 record)


Seattle has a group led by Jewell Loyd (19.9 ppg) and Nneka Ogwumike (17.4), two-star veterans who are leading a group full of players alike. They also added point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (14.2) who is clearly showing no rust after a year of not playing in the league. Ezi Magbegor (13.5 ppg, 2.2 BPG) should be the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year thanks to her shot-blocking ability, and the Storm formed a core four that can overpower anyone. However, their “secret sauce” comes from their role players, namely second-year guard Jordan Horston (7.3 ppg). Although her contribution may not show in the stats sheet, Horston is just as impactful as any of her fellow teammates and she’ll do anything to help her team win. Seattle has struggled on the road thus far, going 5-5, while dominating on their home floor (7-1). If they can use their current nine-game homestand to grow even more, they will become that team nobody wants to face in the postseason at any given point.

Tier 2 - We’ll Make It I Swear


  1. Connecticut Sun (14-4 record)

The Sun have played like a team ready to taste victory this season after being prematurely eliminated last season in the semi-finals. However, they could use some improvement before the playoffs start. Leading Connecticut is power couple Alyssa Thomas (12.2 ppg), and Dewanna Bonner (16.7 ppg), who have the pieces surrounding them to make a postseason run. Brionna Jones (12.9 ppg) is their anchor in the middle who missed most of last season after suffering a torn ACL. Her presence has been sorely missed and this season she is proving the Sun can make it farther with her on the floor. DiJonai Carrington (13.0 ppg) has been a defensive menace this season, thanks to her minutes increase from last season. She has taken advantage of the opportunity and is a good choice to be the Most Improved Player this year. Connecticut has won because of their defense, but they lack offensive weapons despite the star power on their roster. They only average 79.8 ppg, which ranks eighth in the league. Their defensive rating is 93.0, however, which is second-best behind Minnesota. When they run into a defensive clash, they need the firepower like the teams in tier one to help them grind out the necessary victories. Whether they can find that extra scoring within their roster or elsewhere, the Sun can take that next step towards their journey to a championship.


  1. Phoenix Mercury (9-9 record)

In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Jedi Master Yoda told Luke Skywalker, “Size matters not”. For the Phoenix Mercury, their size does matter quite a bit. They have many playmakers and shooters on the roster which forms their offense. However, they’re dependent on their inside game. Whether by design or accident, Center Brittney Griner (19.9 ppg) controls the game plan for Phoenix. When she’s healthy, Griner is the tallest player on the floor (6’9”) and a mismatch for any opponent that has smaller defenders. This season she is harder to stop due to the Mercury’s newest additions Natasha Cloud (11.2 ppg), and Kahleah Copper (21.8 ppg). Leading with Griner and these new additions is 42-year-old guard Diana Taurasi (16.5 ppg), who seemingly found the fountain of youth this season. This Mercury offense is near perfect, but their dependence on one player can hurt them. When Griner doesn’t play they are at a disadvantage inside and they scramble to find answers to outscore teams, which won’t work when playing a defensive team like Connecticut or Seattle. If Phoenix wants to assert itself as a contender, it needs to improve its 102.7 defensive rating, which ranks ninth in the league. Unlike the Sun, the Mercury have the offensive weapons to separate themselves in a defensive battle they could be in, especially in the playoffs.


  1. Indiana Fever (8-12 record)

After a struggling start to the season, the Fever has slowly grown into a decent offense. Highlighted by rookie phenom Caitlin Clark (16.2 ppg), this young Indiana roster has the chance to make a little noise in the postseason. Fever coach Christie Sides stated after their recent loss to the Storm that Clark should be averaging around “15 shots per game”, and that is a strategy to improve. Whether Indiana makes the playoffs or not, Sides needs to be on the hot seat or another change needs to be made because their defense has been bad. They rank last in the league with a 108.9 defensive rating, and that’s not something any playoff team wants. Similar to Phoenix, the Fever has many scoring options like Clark, Aliyah Boston (13.1 ppg), and Kelsey Mitchell (16.3 ppg). However, attempting to outscore teams won’t work when they face other teams with elite defenses. Clark has garnered a lot of attention in her first year, and her league playoffs debut will soon be waiting if she is entrusted with running the show, and Indiana improves their defense.


  1. Atlanta Dream (7-10 record)

Atlanta has been off to a disappointing start this season, but that’s mainly because of the injury bug. Star shooting guard Rhyne Howard (15.4 ppg) has been out since June 19th with an injured ankle, and new addition Jordin Canada (8.0 ppg) has recently debuted after missing time with a hand injury. As a result, they’ve had to lean more on their other stars like Allisha Gray (15.6 ppg), and Tina Charles (13.9 ppg). Charles has been the greatest story after making her return to the league following a one-year absence. She has shown her impact is still needed and if the Dream can overcome their injuries, Charles can be an x-factor in the postseason. Atlanta looks like an incomplete project that needs an extension for it to be perfected. Fortunately for Head Coach Tanisha Wright, she has a second half of the season to improve their record and overcome their demons to possibly make a postseason run.


Tier 3 - Livin’ On A Prayer


  1. Chicago Sky (6-11 record)

Many fans would look at Chicago, and like Chicken Little shout “The Sky is Falling!” after their offseason. However, they are content with rebuilding and the process is off to a great start. The Sky have two franchise pieces in rookies Angel Reese (13.3 ppg) and Kamilla Cardoso (8.4 ppg), who resemble the Twin Towers in the paint. Shooting guard Marina Mabrey (14.7 ppg) has shot the lights out of every building she plays in, and that has been beneficial for the Sky this season. Chennedy Carter (14.7 ppg; KEN-Eh-DEE) has also brought her grit and toughness to the team hoping to sneak into the playoffs. Thanks to Reese and Cardoso, Chicago leads the league in rebounding, averaging 36.4 per game, and they rank third in steals averaging 8.9 per game. For the Sky to compete for a championship, they need more star power for their offense. They are under a different microscope since they are rebuilding, but they are within playoff contention, with a good chance to compete in the postseason. The Sky has shown they can take down teams who aren’t ready for them, but if they want to become a winning organization, more star power needs to join this young and upcoming group.


  1. Dallas Wings (4-14 record)

The Wings are another team bitten by the injury bug, but they have the potential that their record doesn’t reflect. Led by all-star guard Arike Ogunbowale (23.9 ppg), the Wings have enough talent with a fully healthy roster to be a playoff team. Defensive forward Natasha Howard (15.2 ppg) returned after a lengthy absence, but Dallas has a lot of work to be done for them to be a playoff team again. Superstar Forward Satou Sabally (18.6 ppg in 2023) has yet to play this season due to a shoulder injury, and according to Head Coach Latricia Trammell, she “probably won’t be back until after the Olympics" which ends in August. Dallas also recently lost their standout second-year guard Maddy Siegrest (14.6 ppg) to a surgically repaired finger, and her timetable to return falls around eight weeks. The Wings can choose to gut their season out until Sabally and Siegrest return to action, but it might be too late for a playoff push. They recently suffered a horrendous 11-game losing streak, which can put a damper on their mindset for the second half of the season. If they can somehow improve their 11th-ranked defensive rating of 107, the Wings have a decent enough offense to fill one of the playoff spots available. However, a first-round exit is the most likely outcome if they were to face a contending team like New York or Las Vegas.


  1. Washington Mystics (4-15 record)

Although the Washington Mystics have the worst record in the league, they have proven they can be somewhat successful. After a rough 0-12 start, they won four of their last seven games, thanks to Ariel Atkins (14.4 ppg) and Stephanie Dolson (10.6 ppg). Even though they’re rebuilding, Washington has been harmed by injuries as well. Their starting point guard Brittney “Slim” Sykes (11.3 ppg) has been out the most with a foot injury that will keep her out through the Olympic break. Their star center, Shakira Austin (11.7 ppg) has also been out with a hip injury, but her return is imminent. Aaliyah Edwards (8.8 ppg) has impressed in her rookie year for the Mystics, and when a team is rebuilding, a piece like her is important to build around. Washington has used a team effort approach to fill Sykes’ minutes at point guard, using Julie Vanloo (7.9 ppg), and Jade Melbourne (6.1 ppg), who have both impressed when given the opportunity. The Mystics are ranked seventh in defense, with a rating of 102.1, so their problem is offense, due to their lack of star power. A rebuilding team like the Mystics is expected to be short on offensive weapons, especially given their key injuries. However, it’s encouraging they aren’t suffering defensively, but playing better than the defending champion Aces. A playoff spot might not be in Washington’s near future, but they have every reason to believe their future is still bright.


  1. Los Angeles Sparks (4-14 record)

Los Angeles is currently on a seven-game losing streak, and like the majority of the teams in their tier, they are rebuilding as well. Their first-round pick forward Cameron Brink suffered a brutal end to her promising rookie season, after recently tearing her ACL. This also takes away her chance to represent Team USA in the Olympic 3v3 basketball tournament. This was a huge loss for the Sparks, as their paint defense relied on Brink. They have yet to play a home game since June 11th, so hopefully they can show they aren’t the worst team by cooking in LA. Brink’s replacement for the 3v3 tournament is fellow Sparks teammate Dearica Hamby (18.4 ppg), who has starred for them. She’s been a huge positive for a team suffering a lot, and that’s also partnered with LA’s second first-round pick, Rickea Jackson (10.1 ppg). Jackson has been a great piece for the Sparks in her first year, and that will continue as she grows her game, and the team becomes better. Like many rebuilding teams, the Sparks lack offensive star power. They only average 77.9 points per game this year, which is second to last behind Atlanta. Lexie Brown (8.1 ppg) has been a rising star in LA, but this year she hasn’t done enough to help them win. The playoffs aren’t in the Sparks' immediate future, but they established a franchise piece to build around, and they already have enough talent to develop for many years to come.