Film Breakdown: Reigning WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson


A’ja Wilson has marked her case as one of the best players in the WNBA.

The reigning finals MVP is coming off a career season for the Las Vegas Aces, averaging a career high in rebounds (9.4), steals (1.4) and shooting 50 percent from the field. She also averaged 19.5 points per game.

In just five seasons, Wilson has a stacked resume. She is a two-time champion with two MVPs and two Defensive Player of the Year Awards. She has four All-WNBA first-team selections and an All-NBA second-team selection.

Wilson also has a Rookie of the Year Award and has been named to the All-Star game in every season of her career.

Wilson just carried the Aces to back-to-back titles despite Candace Parker going down early in the season and losing Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes during the Finals.

Let’s check the superstar’s tape.

Isolation scoring

Wilson receives the basketball on the post up to her strong hand. She attempts to pivot and step through but the defender, Jonquel Jones does not leave her feet.

Wilson goes to her second move and shows her soft touch on a turnaround hook shot from ten feet out.

This is a clear out for Wilson to operate on the high post. She uses two power dribbles and gathers the basketball to her strong hand.

No help comes and Wilson finishes over the top of the defender, all-defensive selection Elizabeth Williams.

Great individual defense, tough contested bucket by a great player.

The Aces are in semi-transition. Wilson’s defender Awak Kuier fronts her in the post.

Wilson counters the front by committing to the offensive glass as Alysha Clark launches a three-pointer early in the shot clock.

Wilson boxes out, takes Kuier out of the play and pulls down the rebound. She lands back down and immediately puts it back up.

Rim protection

Wilson has displayed elite rim protection. The 6’4 center led the league in blocks (1.9) this past season.

On this defensive sequence, Wilson communicates to Kelsey Plum to contain the strong side corner.

Wilson keeps her eyes on dribble penetration. Courtney Williams drives and Wilson helps discourage a shot at the rim.

She doesn’t leave her feet on the initial drive and contains the dunker spot. Sika Kones receives the pass and Wilson denies the shot at a tough angle, sitting on the hip of Kones.

Wilson protects the rim and collects the loose ball to complete the defensive possession.

Wilson has eyes on the ball and stays in the lane. Courtney Vandersloot rejects the screen and has a straight line drive.

Vandersloot attempts a finger roll but Wilson is already in position to protect the rim.

Wilson sends the shot packing. And she sends the shot to an area where no New York Liberty are. The Aces finish the defensive possession with the basketball.

The Aces have a special franchise player in their hands.

Wilson is an elite player on both ends of the floor. She’s still just 27 years old and is well on her way to the Hall of Fame.

About Mac Pham

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