WNBA Power Ranking: Aces on top again; Beginner’s Choice All-Star 2022

We’re less than a month away from the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game, and the vote for the starters ended Monday night. That’s when it’s time for the final polls from fans, media and players. On Wednesday, the starters and captains (two players with the most fan votes) will be announced.

I don’t have an official media poll, but before the start is announced, here’s a look at the players I would have picked to start the All-Star Game:

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  • Skylar Diggins Smith, Phoenix Mercury

  • Kelsey Mitchell, Indiana Fever

  • Kelsey Bloom, Las Vegas Ice

  • Jackie Young, Las Vegas Ice

Plum & Young really needs no explanation. Both are in the top ten in scoring, contribute in every division and have been excellent in leading the Aces to the best record in the league. It would be amazing if they weren’t both beginners.

Diggins-Smith was another obvious choice for me. She made a rather inconsistent start, at least by her standards, but she’s been a dynamite over the past month or so, and along with Bloom is one of only two players in the top 10 in scoring and assisting.

The last place was very suitable and there are a number of deserving candidates. In the end she went with Mitchell, who is having the best season of her career. She is the fourth to score, and she does so efficiently despite almost no help.

Frontcourt

  • Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics

  • Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Links

  • Jonquil Jones, Connecticut Sun

  • Nika Ogomec, Los Angeles Sparks

  • Brianna Stewart, Seattle Storm

  • Aja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Again, we’ll make some pretty obvious choices quickly. Stewart leads the league in goalscoring and best overall player. Wilson is the best player on the best team in the league. Ogwumike is one of two players (along with Wilson) in the top ten in scoring and rebounding, and is second in field goals percentage.

Going forward, Jones’ numbers aren’t as amazing as they were last season, but that has more to do with the different team dynamics than anything else. She’s clearly still a better player in the sun, and she’s a two-way force. Alyssa Thomas has been great, but if the sun only gets one start, it has to be Jones.

Now we come to the Daily Dawn. I understand why some might not pick it up given that a season-long maintenance plan limited it to 11 games and played only 27 minutes a night. However, she’s played in over 60 percent of her team’s games, and the Mystics having to be 8-3 with her compared to 3-4 without her should count for something. Her numbers for all 36 are up there with the best players in the league, and she’s clearly still one of the biggest game-changers.

Finally, why Fowles? The legendary midfielder is sidelined due to a knee injury and may not be able to play in the match. However, her dominance before she got hurt means that she deserves a starting nod in her final season, even if it’s just a celebratory one. She topped the league in rebounds and field goal percentage, and was the only player in the league to average a double.

1. Las Vegas Aces (13-2) – Last Week No. 1

Las Vegas continues to win, but it hasn’t been this easy lately. The Aces had to fight a double-digit deficit on each of the last two flights, but they were able to pull off the wings and fend off the Lynx. However, wins are wins, and the Aces now have four in a row to improve their league record to 13-2. Although few players really care, they also snatched a place in the Commissioner’s Cup match on July 26.

2. Connecticut Sun (12-5) – Last Week No. 2

The Sun’s attack completely disappeared on Sunday with a loss to the Mystics, but this was still a positive week that included double-digit wins over Dream and Storm. While they have not been able to gain any ground on the Aces in the race for the top seed, the Sun is the only team to have beaten the league leaders in the past five weeks and established themselves as “the best in the world. The rest” so far.

3. Chicago Sky (10-5) – Last Week No. 3

Only two games with Sky this week have been without Candice Parker, who has a sore knee. She is not expected to remain on the sidelines for long, which is good news for Sky as her absence was evident; They needed extra time to beat the dream, and they blew a 15-point lead into a modest fever. In Sunday’s defeat, they missed four attempts to throw the bright ball in a 14-second span in the last minute.

4. Washington Mystics (11-7) – Last Week #5

In what has been a very popular topic this season, the Mystics beat Mercury and Sun this week with Elena Delle Donne in the line-up, losing to Liberty while she was resting. For the season, they’re now 8-3 with EDD and 3-4 when you’re not playing. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she’s one of the best offensive players ever, but the team can’t score consistently without her.

5. Seattle Storm (10-6) – Last Week #6

As a storm dropped a match to the sun, they bounced back on Sunday to defeat Liberty in Sue Bird’s farewell to New York and wrap up their long journey on a positive note. The Storm has now won five of its last six games, a 9-3 since a difficult 1-3 start marred by COVID-19-related absences. Despite all the victories, how hard they struggle to score in the middle of the field at times has become something of a concern.

6. Dallas Wings (8-8) – Last Week No. 7

The Wings have had some tough moments in recent weeks, but that was predictable with five straight games against the Storm and Aces that resulted in a 1-4 stretch. The good news is that they got past what was the toughest part of their schedule, winning twice in a row over Mercury and Sparks to go back to 0.500 on the season. Alisha Gray, who scored 20 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists against the Sparks on Sunday, is quietly preparing the best season of her career and could be in line for her first All-Star appearance.

7. Atlanta Dream (7-8) – Last Week No. 4

During the first month of the season, the dream caused nightmares for the other teams in their defense, but they couldn’t buy a bucket either. Over the past few games, this has completely flipped; They score goals as they like but let other teams do the same. As a result, they have now lost four games in a row and fallen under 0.500 for the first time all season. One of Dream’s few positives lately is that AD Durr, who was acquired by the team in a deal with Liberty earlier this month, has been a huge hit. They average 16 points and shoot 45.5 percent from a 3-point ground in their three games with the dream.

8. Phoenix Mercury (6-10) – Last Week No. 8

After winning three games in a row, Mercury’s momentum stalled at the end of their wild ride, as they were defeated by the Mystics and Wings. Mercury has talents, but they have high abilities and do not play defense, which means that a star-studded night usually leads to defeat. We saw a lot this week when Diana Torassi only had nine points in each of the two losses. For the season, Mercury is 0-8 when she scores less than 15 points, and 6-2 when she has an extra 15 points.

9. New York Liberty (6-10) – Last Week No. 11

After their hot streak to start the month, Liberty has reached a plateau. However, the difference between now and the start of the season is day and night. Navy Johannes added an entirely new element to their offensive, with Natasha Howard working at an all-star level once again and they’ve generally solved their historically poor spin problem. If the season ended today, they would be in the playoffs, which is hard to imagine considering how ugly things were for the first few weeks.

10. Indiana Fever (5-13) – Last Week No. 12

The Fever scored their most impressive win of the season on Sunday, having come back from a 15-point delay to stun the skies. Nalissa Smith, who scored 26 points and 11 rebounds in that win, still looks like the star of the future. Her athletic performance stands out even against other elite athletes, and she now averages 13.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game – the latter good for a fifth place in the league.

11. Los Angeles Sparks (5-9) – Last Week No. 9

Only one Sparks game this week, and it didn’t go so well, as they trailed by double digits in nearly the entire second half in a loss to the wing. Sparks has now lost three straight games to drop to 10th, and its next four contests against Mystics, Sky, Storm and Aces. With the way they defend – the worst defensive rating at 106.9 in the league – there is a real chance they won’t win another game this month.

12. Minnesota Linux (3-13) – Last Week No. 10

The Lynx were so close to defeating the Aces, which would have ended their long losing streak and the Aces’ long winning streak. Instead, they lost their second-half lead by 14 points, losing in a heartbreaking fashion when Jessica Shepherd got confused about the score and went to two when they were down by three in the final seconds. Now, they’ve lost five in a row to drop to 3-13 and consolidate their hold on last place.