Sport WNBA Power Rankings: Jewell Loyd and the Seattle Storm are cooking
Jewell Loyd hit an unbelievable game-winning shot for the Seattle Storm and you have to see it
Game-winning shots are always awesome — especially when they come at the buzzer. That's the moment that everyone has dreamed of, at least, once in life. The clock is winding down, only a few seconds left to play. You've got the ball in your hand. You shoot a jumper…The clock is winding down, only a few seconds left to play. You’ve got the ball in your hand. You shoot a jumper and it catches nothing but net. The crowd goes absolutely wild — at least, in your vision, anyway.
In this week's WNBA Power Rankings, the Seattle Storm still hold the top spot, thanks in part to the MVP-level play of Jewell Loyd.
Another week of WNBA action is in the books, which means another week of power rankings is here.
For the third week in a row, the No. 1 and No. 12 teams remain the same. Seattle is playing like the league's best team. Indiana is playing like the worst team. None of that should come as a surprise.
What might be a surprise? What teams like Dallas and Los Angeles have done in the past week. One of those teams took a big jump in this week's rankings, while the other saw a huge drop.
The Wings Have Arrived Sooner Than Expected
With a young core led by Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas could be playoff-bound ahead of schedule. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Each Thursday this season, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman is diving deep into the WNBA story lines you need to know. With 4.5 seconds to play in the Wings’ second consecutive road game against the Storm this past Sunday, Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale received an inbounds pass on the left wing with her back toward the basket.
Where does each team rank in this week's WNBA Power Rankings?
No change at the bottom here, as the Fever retain the 12th spot. They lost a pair of games to the Chicago Sky this week, and while those games were competitive, they were still losses. Indiana's got one win. No other team has fewer than four wins. On the bright side, Teaira McCowan had 20 points and 13 boards last game, but the Fever also reverted back to their whole "we don't have to start our most promising big each game" thing, which is really frustrating.
The Sparks had a nice run, winning four of five games at the end of May and beginning of June and rising to fifth in last week's power rankings. That ranking was short-lived. All four of those wins came against the Candace Parker-less Sky and the Indiana Fever. This week, they had double-digit losses to the Mystics and Lynx. Neither Ogwumike sister is healthy right now, leading to Te'a Cooper being the team's top scorer. Erica Wheeler is giving them good minutes, but they're also starting players out of position at forward and keep having these blowout losses. Even worse: their 2022 first-round pick was traded to Dallas. I was wrong to rank the Sparks so high last week based on their winning streak.
Vikings' Mike Zimmer: Players not vaccinated against COVID-19 will have 'harder time' this season
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said those who don't receive shots will only make things more difficult for themselves throughout the summer and fall months. He explained:"The unvaccinated players are going to have a harder time in the season. They’re going to be wearing masks, they’ll have to social distance. They’ll have daily testings. They won’t be able to go home for bye week. They’ll have to come back here and test every day."When we go on the road, they won’t be able to go out to dinner with anybody. They’ll have to travel on buses differently, travel on planes differently.
I remain befuddled by the Mystics. The talent is here — Tina Charles is having a career renaissance and Myisha Hines-Allen is playing at a high level and Ariel Atkins is seemingly making a leap this year. But when your rotation also contains Shavonte Zellous, Theresa Plaisance, and Erica McCall, there are some holes. As I say every week, Washington needs Elena Delle Donne back. Will it happen? Probably? Getting Sydney Wiese back from an ankle injury would bolster this team as well.
Is this high for a 4-7 team? Maybe! But the Sky have won two in a row and more importantly have Candace Parker back, who is incredibly important to what this team wants to do on both ends. Part of power ranking is trying to figure out which teams are good at the moment, and the Sky are playing better than Washington and Los Angeles right now. With Allie Quigley coming alive off the bench too, Chicago is a team that no one should want to play.
The WNBA’s Dominant Top Tier Has Emerged
The Storm, Aces and Sun tower above the rest of the league. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Each Thursday this season, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Pickman is diving deep into the WNBA story lines you need to know. Summer may have just begun, but it’s not hard to wonder what the fall might look like in the WNBA. Thus far, three teams—the Storm, Aces and Sun—have played in a tier among themselves, which, if it holds up, would bode poorly for the remainder of the league.
The Dream continue to be an incredibly average basketball team, which is actually a nice surprise when you consider Chennedy Carter is out. They just had a huge win over Washington in which Courtney Williams and Odyssey Sims combined for 41 points, and Cheyenne Parker has provided a big boost to the frontcourt. I'm still concerned about depth up front, but Atlanta is exceeding everyone's expectations.
So, I thought the Mercury were weathering the Diana Taurasi injury well, but they've dropped three games in a row now. Brittney Griner is averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds per game over that span, so I'm hesitant to place blame on her for this streak. In fact, the Mercury are passing the eye test at times, running the offense through Griner in a way that looks like it should work. But when Kia Nurse and Megan Walker aren't hitting their shots off Griner's exit passes, there's not much this team can do. The bench is also predictably struggling.
A loss to the Mystics spoiled some of the momentum, but the Lynx have won four of the past five games, with two of those wins by double digits. Aerial Powers is back, bolstering a strong bench unit (for now) that also includes Crystal Dangerfield and Rachel Banham. Minnesota arguably has the best frontcourt in the league outside of Vegas with Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier, and Layshia Clarendon is giving the team solid minutes as well. Things are looking for up the Lynx.
High winds, tornadoes and drenching rain reported as Tropical Depression Claudette batters parts of Gulf Coast
Claudette made landfall in southeast Louisiana just before 7 a.m. CT Saturday and is drenching coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. 2/9 SLIDES © Margaret Baker, AP A worker moves water tricycles off the beach in Biloxi, Miss., as a tropical system approaches on Friday, June 18, 2021. 3/9 SLIDES © Justin Mitchell, AP A man takes a photo of waves crashing into what once was a dock for a ferry that transported people from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian, Miss., as a tropical system moves toward the Mississippi Coast on Friday, June 18, 2021.
The Wings are making moves. Standing 3-5 last week, the team recorded a couple of wins over the Mercury before losing a hard-fought one on Sunday against Vegas. While I still have a ton of questions about the rotations and about how little Allisha Gray has been playing, Satou Sabally has really started to emerge as a huge threat. This is, which can be both a positive and a negative, but for now, it looks like more of a positive.
Wild that only four WNBA teams are currently over .500, isn't it? The Liberty had a long layoff this week and then were without Sabrina Ionescu on Sunday, but they still managed to take care of the Mercury, who tried to stage a late comeback but fell short because of a Rebecca Allen defensive stop. Betnijah Laney keeps moving up the MVP shortlist, while New York is surviving this current period where they don't have Natasha Howard or Kiah Stokes to help them upfront. Beating Brittney Griner's Mercury with a Kylee Shook/Reshanda Gray center rotation is incredibly impressive.
And now (maybe) begins the slide down the standings for the Sun, who are without Jonquel Jones because of her EuroBasket commitments. How that manifested in the first post-Jones game? An 89-66 loss to the Storm that saw Connecticut struggle to find offense. DiJonai Carrington started for Jones, but Kaila Charles was the biggest beneficiary of the absence, scoring 14 points in 16 minutes. Still, Connecticut without Jones is going to be relying mainly on DeWanna Bonner, who is a good player but also does her best work when she has other stars around her.
'It's a national tragedy': Young victims of Alabama highway crash were traveling home from beach trip when tragedy struck
A Tennessee man, his infant daughter among dead in wreck that also killed 8 young children and teens from Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch in Alabama.One week after their trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, began and less than two hours from home — a Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch van caught fire, killing eight children inside.
Ahh, all is right in the world, as the two teams from last year's Finals are back atop the power rankings. Vegas has won three in a row and while the games were sometimes a little too close — a 96-93 win over Washington, for example — the team is still winning games, which is what really matters. I sound like a broken record here, but the Liz Cambage and A'ja Wilson pairing appears to be working. The fact they've shortened their rotation so much — the starters plus Dearica Hamby and Kelsey Plum played all but four minutes on Sunday, for example.
The Storm keep winning. They blew out the Jonquel Jones-less Sun on Sunday, doing so withscoring just seven points. When a player like Loyd can have a bad night and you can still win 89-66 then, well…your team is good. The supporting cast of , , and is helping keep the Loyd and -led team right there at the top of the standings despite the team looking worse on paper heading into this season.
Diana Taurasi Becomes First Player in WNBA History With 9,000 Career Points .
Taurasi scored the 9,000th point of her career on Sunday against the Sparks, six weeks after suffering a broken sternum. View the original article to see embedded media.Six weeks to the day since suffering a fractured sternum, Mercury guard Diana Taurasi added another accomplishment to her unmatched career.Against the Sparks on Sunday, Taurasi scored her 9,000th career point, becoming the first player in WNBA history to reach that milestone. She crossed the threshold with an and-one layup midway through the second quarter, making the free throw to tie the game at 29.