2022 was a perfect year for the Las Vegas Aces.
They won the regular season, starting with the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, and went on to win the Finals. Aza Wilson was named league MVP, while Chelsea Gray was named Commissioner’s Cup and Finals MVP.
Las Vegas also made the All-Star Game in Chicago their own festival.
Wilson received the most All-Star votes, and Team Wilson defeated Team Stewart 134-112. Kelsey Plum, who played for Team Wilson, tied WNBA legend Maya Moore for MVP honors with 30 points.
Las Vegas swept the WNBA’s championships and MVPs in 2022.
And in 2023. The New York Liberty emerged as a superteam after being in the middle of the pack in recent years, thanks to a number of changes in free agency and the trade market. New York transfused Brianna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Courtney Vandersloot, and Kayla Thornton.
Las Vegas didn’t rest. It added “living legends” Candace Parker and Alicia Clark to its championship roster. Even before the start of the season, 메이저사이트 local media predicted a two-horse race for the title between Las Vegas and New York.
New York was stunned by the Washington Mystics in the opening round, but Stewart’s dominance turned the tide. They swept the Connecticut Sun, who were on a three-game winning streak, and are looking like a super team.
Las Vegas, on the other hand, has looked like the defending champions since opening night. They have won four straight games, including a 106-64 victory over the Seattle Storm in their opening game. They followed that up with a 94-73 win over the last-place Minnesota Lynx at home on Nov. 29.
With all three wins in a four-day, three-game road trip, Las Vegas extended its winning streak to four games and remained the league’s only unbeaten team.
The stat sheet highlights their unrivaled early pace.
Through four games, the team is averaging 96.5 points and has a whopping 24.8 point differential. Las Vegas is the only team in the league with a turnover differential of more than 10 points. New York is at 5.7, Chicago is at 5.3, and everyone else is under two.
Because they score so much, they are unsurprisingly first in field goals made per game (35.0) and three-pointers made per game (11.0), but they are also first in field goal percentage (49.3%) and three-point percentage (39.3%).
He’s also the only player in the league to grab more than 40 rebounds (40.3). He also leads the league in steals (9.8) and blocks (7.3). Only assists (22.5) are second in the key metric behind New York (23.7). They dominate the league on offense and defense.
As the record shows, Las Vegas has played three of its four games this season in one-sided affairs that didn’t even have a high point. With the exception of the road game against the LA Sparks, where the pace faltered early on, Las Vegas has been comfortable with their overwhelming power.
The difference is that while New York has faced powerhouses like Washington and Connecticut, Las Vegas has faced teams that are considered to be relatively weak early on.
Now that they’re in sole possession of first place, Las Vegas will embark on a four-game road trip.
Immediately following are games against the Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever. In terms of objective power, Las Vegas has the clear advantage. Expect the momentum to continue for the Lynx, at least through those two games.
The key is what comes next. Las Vegas plays Connecticut on June 6 and 8. Both games are on the road.
Connecticut, who met Las Vegas in the Finals last season, lost Jonquel Jones to New York and Jasmine Thomas to Los Angeles with head coach Kurt Miller, but they are still a solid team with new recruit Tiffany Hayes leading the way.
With the “Big Three” of Alyssa Thomas-Dwana Bonner-Briona Jones at the center, they’ve won their first three games in a row, taking both games against Washington. They’re a tough opponent.
Additionally, the four-game road trip beginning with Atlanta is all within a day of each other, and the two-game series against Connecticut will be a physical challenge.
Currently, the Lynx are without 11-year veteran guard Recuna Williams due to a back injury. The team is operating with 10 players, but Kiersten Bell, Kayla George and Sydney Coulson have been used to fill in when needed. In effect, the team is operating with a core of seven players.
So, for Las Vegas, how they handle the first two games of their four-game road trip against Connecticut will determine how they start the season. Fortunately, the Commissioner’s Cup won’t be affected as all four opponents are from the Eastern Conference.