WNBA Power Rankings 2023: Griner returns, Stewart stars and Sky make huge dive

After an opening weekend when Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner‘s authorities “welcome back” was the WNBA’s most significant story, the Chicago Sky were the league’s most significant movers in ESPN’s WNBA Power Rankings.

The Sky leapt 6 areas to No. 4 after roadway wins versus the Minnesota Lynx and the Mercury, the latter when the focus was on Griner making her house launching after missing out on last season while sent to prison in Russia.

The Sky, led by 15 points from Kahleah Copper in Phoenix on Sunday, kept the Mercury from an ideal ending on BG’s wedding day and started their season in such a method to make individuals second-guess their bleak preseason forecasts.

The loss of Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker to totally free company sent out the Sky plunging in lots of prognostications, consisting of ESPN’s preseason rankings. And while it’s early, the 2-0 start was simply what Chicago and coach James Wade were wishing to get.

On The Other Hand, Breanna Stewart made her house launching for the New York City Liberty a memorable one with a franchise-record 45 points Sunday in beating the Indiana Fever If you’re a Seattle Storm fan, there’s no factor to toss your Stewie jersey on the flames; she did assist the franchise win the 2018 and 2020 WNBA champions throughout her 6 seasons in the Emerald City.

Nevertheless, you may seem like loading the jersey away far out of sight after her “Seems like I made the ideal choice” remark on what it resembled to take the court in Brooklyn in front of friends and family. Makes total sense for the Syracuse belonging to feel that method, however it stings for Seattle fans to believe Stewart will not invest her profession with the Storm. However to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, you’ll constantly have Sue Bird.

1. Las Vegas Aces
Record: 1-0
Previous ranking: 1
Today: at Los Angeles (Thursday), vs. Los Angeles (Saturday), vs. Minnesota (Sunday)

The safeguarding champ Aces got where they ended in 2015, frustrating the Storm by a record-41 points in Seattle to get the 2023 season began. Coach Becky Hammon was suspended for that video game and today’s very first video game by the WNBA after it examined previous gamer Dearica Hamby’s accusations versus Las Vegas when she was traded to the Stimulates in January. Look who the Aces play back-to-back today: Hamby and the Stimulates. Might be a bit uncomfortable.

2. Connecticut Sun
Record: 2-0
Previous ranking: 4
Today: at Washington (Tuesday), at New York City (Saturday)

Jonquel Jones, Jasmine Thomas and coach Curt Miller have actually all carried on, however the Sun began strong under brand-new leader Stephanie White. After extending the Indiana Fever’s problems into a brand-new season by beating them 70-61 on Friday, Connecticut then edged the Mystics 80-74 Sunday in the very best video game of the weekend. The Sun’s “Big 3”– Alyssa Thomas, Dewanna Bonner and Brionna Jones— blazed a trail, as they are anticipated to all season.

3. Washington Mystics
Record: 1-1
Previous ranking: 3
Today: vs. Connecticut (Tuesday), at Chicago (Thursday)

The Mystics keep the No. 3 area on the strength of their season-opening 80-64 triumph over the Liberty, when Stewart was held to simply 12 points. Washington then was up to Connecticut, however Shakira Austin and Elena Delle Donne both had double-doubles for the Mystics. We will see what brand-new head coach Eric Thibault does in a different way in a rematch with the Sun today.

4. Chicago Sky
Record: 2-0
Previous ranking: 10
Today: vs. Washington (Friday), vs. Dallas (Sunday)

We understood returning star guard Copper would be the Sky’s stalwart gamer; she had a combined 35 points in Chicago’s success over Minnesota and Phoenix. One newbie to Chicago truly stuck out, too: experienced center Elizabeth Williams with a combined 24 points and 14 rebounds. With post gamers Parker, Emma Meesseman and Azura Stevens all gone off in 2015’s Sky group, Williams must be an important consider Chicago’s success.

5. New York City Liberty
Record: 1-1
Previous ranking: 2
Today: vs. Connecticut (Saturday)

The Liberty was up to the Mystics in Friday’s season opener, however prior to anybody might begin dragging among the WNBA’s superteams, New york city got the Stewie Program on Sunday. It came versus still having a hard time Indiana, however it set an ideal tone for Stewart’s house opener in a Liberty uniform. Stewart led New york city in rebounding, and Courtney Vandersloot was tops in helps in both video games.

6. Los Angeles Stimulates
Record: 1-0
Previous ranking: 8
Today: vs. Las Vegas (Thursday), at Las Vegas (Saturday)

There was a lot to like as the Stimulates opened the Curt Miller age with a 94-71 triumph over Phoenix: such as novice Zia Cooke from the South Carolina Gamecocks getting 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and appearing like a professional currently. Likewise the Ogwumike sis, Nneka and Chiney, integrated for 32 points and both were at plus-19. Plus, Hamby had 9 points as she went back to action after the birth of her 2nd kid.

7. Dallas Wings
Record: 1-0
Previous ranking: 5
Today: at Seattle (Friday), at Chicago (Sunday)

The Wings appeared like they had Saturday’s opener in control vs. the Atlanta Dream, however it got a little too close for convenience at the end. Still, a win is a win, and Arike Ogunbowale stays a scoring trip de force, opening with 27 points, while Satou Sabally had 25 and Natasha Howard 20. Center Teaira McCowan needed to leave the video game with an evident knee injury, so that might be an issue.

8. Minnesota Lynx
Record: 0-1
Previous ranking: 7
Today: vs. Atlanta (Tuesday), at Phoenix (Thursday), at Las Vegas (Sunday)

All the pieces to be an excellent group appear to be there for the Lynx, however they require time to come together. You might state that about numerous WNBA groups this early, however that’s absolutely the sensation here after Minnesota’s 77-66 loss to Chicago in the opener. Napheesa Collier, who missed out on the majority of last season on maternity leave, was 5 of 14 from the field versus the Sky. That ineffectiveness is something she promises to repair quickly.

9. Atlanta Dream
Record: 0-1
Previous ranking: 9
Today: at Minnesota (Tuesday), vs. Indiana (Sunday)

Rhyne Howard, the 2022 No. 1 draft choice and WNBA Novice of the Year, led the Dream in their season-opening loss at Dallas with 20 points, while Cheyenne Parker had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Those 2 promise to be pillars for whatever the Dream achieve this season, in addition to Allisha Gray

10. Phoenix Mercury
Record: 0-2
Previous ranking: 6
Today: vs. Minnesota (Thursday)

After a happy however likewise mentally taxing weekend in inviting Griner house, the Mercury and their star center are eagerly anticipating things silencing down a bit. Plus, they wish to get much healthier. Sophie Cunningham was on a minutes constraint Sunday due to injury, and Megan Gustafson and Shey Peddy are still out. Brianna Turner hasn’t conjectured from the field yet, so that’s something Phoenix will want to correct, too.

11. Seattle Storm
Record: 0-1
Previous ranking: 11
Today: vs. Dallas (Friday)

Someone needed to deal with Las Vegas initially this season; sadly for the Storm, it was them. 6 Aces gamers scored in double figures Saturday, and the group shot 54.8% in Las Vegas’ 105-64 triumph. Guard Jewell Loyd was the only Seattle gamer to rating in double figures, and the Storm shot simply 32.1%. Seattle needs to put this video game in the rearview mirror and deal with every element of ending up being a much better group.

12. Indiana Fever
Record: 0-2
Previous ranking: 12
Today: at Atlanta (Sunday)

The Fever ended last season on an 18-game losing streak; it has actually extended to 20 now after Indiana was up to Connecticut and New york city on opening weekend. The bright side was No. 1 draft choice Aliyah Boston had 15 points in each video game. We’ll enjoy her development. The Fever appear to have a long roadway ahead once again.

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