There was never any doubt that the Seattle Storm were going to be good this season. With Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird returning, they were the consensus title favorites for writers and analysts across the country, including here at CBS Sports.
The extent to which they're just absolutely destroying teams, however, is astounding. They've won eight games in a row, the last four of which have been by at least 18 points, bringing their number of double-digit wins to seven. So far they have three 20-point wins -- the other 11 teams in the league have nine combined.
The Storm have the best offensive rating (107.7), best defensive rating (90.9) and best net rating (plus-16.8), and if the season ended today, the last stat would be among the best in league history. Only the four-peat Houston Comets, back in 1998 and 2000, posted better marks.
Whether they keep running it up on teams at historic levels remains to be seen, but this much is clear: The Storm are indeed the team to beat. Stewart is back at an MVP level and they have all sorts of depth and versatility around her. They can guard, they can shoot and they have championship experience from 2018.
Assuming everyone stays healthy, it's going to be extremely tough for any team to beat Seattle three times in a series.
1. Seattle Storm (10-1) -- last week No. 1
The Storm just keep cruising along, and are now a league-best 10-1, thanks to an eight-game winning streak. Seven of their wins have come by double digits, and their net rating is now a whopping plus-16.8, by far the best in the league. For comparison, when they won the title back in 2018, their net rating was plus-9.2.
2. Las Vegas Aces (8-2) -- last week No. 4
Seven wins in a row, and all of a sudden the Aces have the second-best record in the league, the second-best net rating and the second-best offense. Their last three wins are by double digits, and they appear to be getting stronger as the season goes along. Jackie Young turning into an offensive force is an encouraging development.
3. Los Angeles Sparks (7-3) -- last week No. 5
Thanks to an easy stretch in their schedule, the Sparks have won four in a row, and all by at least 14 points. Three-point shooting was not expected to be one of their strong points, but they're second in the league at 41.8 percent, thanks in large part to Riquna Williams and Sydney Wiese, who are putting together historic shooting seasons.
4. Chicago Sky (7-4) -- last week No. 2
Chicago went 1 for 11 from 3-point land against the Mercury this week, which was its worst outside shooting performance by percentage since 2016, yet still won by 18 points. Quite an impressive result, and really highlights how dominant the Sky have been in the paint this season. They're shooting a league-best 76.1 percent in the restricted area.
5. Minnesota Lynx (7-3) -- last week No. 3
How about Crystal Dangerfield? From second-round pick to starter and Rookie of the Year candidate. After 22 points in their 30-point win over the Liberty on the weekend, she's up to 13.6 points and 3.2 assists per game on 47.1 percent shooting. That's good for second, third and fifth, respectively, among rookies.
6. Phoenix Mercury (6-5) -- last week No. 6
The good news is Diana Taurasi is healthy again. The bad news is we still don't know which version of the Mercury we're going to get on a nightly basis. On some nights they look like they could challenge for a title, on others it seems they would do well just to make the playoffs. Their defense has been especially disappointing.
7. Connecticut Sun (4-7) -- last week No. 10
After an 0-5 start, the Sun have Briann January in the lineup now, and have won four of their last six. Three of those wins coming against the Wings and the Dream, coupled with their 23-point loss to the Storm on Sunday suggest it might be wise to wait a bit before proclaiming they've figured everything out, but they no longer look like one of the worst teams in the league.
8. Indiana Fever (4-6) -- last week No. 8
It doesn't matter how well you can score, it's simply impossible to win basketball games on a consistent basis when your defense is as bad as the Fever's. Good teams just carve them up, as they found out again this week with double-digit losses to both the Aces and the Sparks.
9. Dallas Wings (4-7) -- last week No. 9
An impressive performance against the Mercury on Sunday got the Wings back in the win column, as they continue to do just enough to hang around the playoff picture. No. 2 overall pick Satou Sabally has missed the last two games with a back injury, but is expected to be back in the lineup soon.
10. Washington Mystics (3-7) -- last week No. 7
The losing streak has reached seven games, injuries are piling up and a season that started so brilliantly for the Mystics is turning into a disaster. Not only would they be out of the playoffs if the season ended today, but they owe Dallas their 2021 first-round pick via the Tina Charles trade, so there wouldn't even be a silver lining to falling apart.
11. Atlanta Dream (2-9) -- last week No. 11
This isn't much of a surprise considering the circumstances, but the Dream are a mess. They can't score since Chennedy Carter went down with a sprained ankle, and their play is even more concerning on the other side of the ball. If the season ended today, their 111.5 defensive rating would be the worst in league history.
12. New York Liberty (1-9) -- last week No. 12
Well, so much for any increase in competitiveness. Four straight losses have dropped the Liberty to a league-worst 1-9 this season, and their offense is on pace to be historically bad. One major reason why? They're turning the ball over like crazy; against the Sparks they committed 27 turnovers, the most in a game for the franchise since 2006.