Lynx reclaim top spot in ESPN's WNBA Basketball Power Index

Lindsay Whalen and the Lynx were 3-6 earlier this month. Now they're 8-6 after five wins in a row. David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Last season, the Minnesota Lynx won 11 of its first 12 games. This season, the Lynx needed a dozen games just to reach .500. But over the past two weeks, Minnesota has looked like a different team on both sides of the court.

After rattling off five consecutive wins, Minnesota has climbed back to its preseason No. 1 ranking in the Basketball Power Index (BPI). It boasts the top-rated defense, which adds nearly four points to the scoring margin against an average opponent. During that span, the defending champions have improved their expected offensive output by 4.5 points as well.

Much of that improvement has come from former MVPs Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles, who have combined for 44.4 points per contest during Minnesota's active win streak, an increase from 34.7 points per contest over the Lynx's first nine games.

With their recent success, the Lynx have climbed back into WNBA Finals conversation. According to BPI, they currently have a 25 percent chance to reach the championship series for the fourth straight season, which trails only three other teams.

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Unlike the past two years, the Lynx could be facing elimination in their first game, as BPI gives Minnesota a 22 percent chance to earn an automatic berth in the semifinals.

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