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A month into this season, the back-to-back champion Las Vegas Aces were .500 and had already lost as many games as they did in 2023. Candace Parker had retired, Chelsea Gray was injured and their once fearsome defense was being picked apart with ease. If not for A'ja Wilson's individual brilliance, they may have been even further down the standings than seventh place. 

It's funny how fast things can change. 

Gray returned from her foot injury Wednesday when they hosted the Seattle Storm, who built what they hoped was a super team in the offseason to compete for a title. The Aces led by double digits for nearly the entire game. A few days later, the red-hot Connecticut Sun, who had lost just once all season and were among the title favorites, came to town. Again, the Aces dominated. 

Despite the fact that Gray came off the bench and looked extremely rusty at times, her presence has transformed the team back into the "Aces." And if they're easily dispatching their main challengers with her playing this poorly, that's bad news for the rest of the league. With just one above .500 team left on the schedule until the Olympic break, everything is set up for them to go on a huge run. 

The Aces are officially back. 

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The Liberty's eight-game winning streak came to an end against the Mercury, but they quickly got back on track with three victories in four days to close the week and have now won 11 of their last 12. Breanna Stewart's historic 33-point, three-rebound, seven-assist, three-steal, six-block performance against the Sparks was one of the best individual efforts this season. A special mention for Courtney Vandersloot, who remains out of the lineup as she mourns the loss of her mother.
The Lynx just keep rolling right along. They've now won six games in a row and nine of their last 10, with eight of those wins coming by double digits and their lone loss being by one on a last-second 3-pointer. After a few dominant defensive displays this week, including holding the Dream to 55 points on 28.8% shooting, they boast the best defensive rating (90.6) and net rating (plus-12.9) in the league.
Connecticut's historic start hit a snag on their West Coast road trip this week, as they lost to the Aces and Storm. In the span of three days, they lost more games than they had all season to that point. As great as their defense is, you have to be able to score to beat the best teams, and that's turning into a concern for the Sun. They have an 89.4 offensive rating in their three losses and are 1-3 against the top-five teams.
Here come the Aces. All-Star point guard Chelsea Gray returned to action on June 19, and despite the fact that she hasn't played well at all yet, her presence has allowed everything to click back into place for the back-to-back champs. They immediately beat the Storm and Sun by double digits in her first games back and have climbed into fifth place in the standings.
Seattle's win over Connecticut on Sunday was easily its most important of the season. It ended a two-game skid and was the first time all season the team had beaten a healthy contender. To that point, the Storm were 2-6 against teams with a .500 or better record, and those two victories were over the shorthanded Mercury and Aces. This was a much-needed result to show they can actually hang with the top teams.
Few teams have been as inconsistent as the Mercury this season, and this week was a perfect example. They shot 55.1% from the field and made 15 3-pointers to end the Liberty's eight-game winning streak, then shot 31.1% and went 7-of-34 from downtown in a loss to the Lynx. For the season they are now 5-2 when they shoot at least 34% from 3 in a game and 3-6 when they are below that mark.
Late in the third quarter Sunday, it seemed the Fever would cruise to their fifth win in a row. Instead, they collapsed against the Sky and blew a 15-point lead. Despite that loss, their recent play has been very encouraging, especially the blossoming chemistry between Caitlin Clark and Aliyah Boston. Seven of Clark's career-high and franchise-record 13 assists vs. the Sky went to Boston.
Less than two weeks ago, the Mystics were still winless and stuck firmly in last place. Now, they've ripped off four wins in their last five games and are suddenly tied for 10th. Making this turnaround even more impressive is that they've done it without Brittney Sykes, Shakira Austin, and, lately, rookie forward Aliyah Edwards. During this five-game hot streak, Ariel Atkins has finally found her groove: 18.6 points and four assists per game on 48.4% shooting.
Angel Reese and Co. got back on track this week in style with a pair of wins to snap their four-game losing streak. The most impressive was a 15-point comeback over the Fever on Sunday in which Reese went off for a career-high 25 points and 16 rebounds to lead the charge. She has now recorded a double-double in eight consecutive games, which is the longest streak ever for a rookie.
The Dream's skid continued with another three losses this week, all of which came by double digits. They've now dropped seven of their last nine and have a Northeast road trip coming up to face the Sun and Liberty. Rhyne Howard's recent absence obviously hasn't helped matters, but the offense is getting dismal. They are now last in the league with a 95.0 offensive rating, which would be the worst for any team since 2021.
The Sparks' week was about as bad of a week as a team can have. They lost three times to extend their losing streak to six games, No. 2 overall pick Cameron Brink tore her ACL and to top it off they had major travel issues trying to leave New York. Brink will miss the Olympics, where she was set to be a part of the 3x3 team, and more than half of her rookie season. Just a terrible blow for her and the Sparks.
The misery continued for the Wings this week, as they lost Maddy Siegrist to a broken finger and dropped all four games of their road trip, including two to the Mystics. Their losing streak is now at 11 games and they've slid into last place, where it appears they may remain for a while. Their next four games are against the Lynx, Storm (twice) and Mercury. Even with Natasha Howard back from injury, it's hard to see a win in that stretch.