WNBA

Guard Play Essential to Aces’ Success

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The Las Vegas Aces have been one of the best teams in the WNBA this season. Reigning MVP A’ja Wilson is looking like an MVP candidate once again. Liz Cambage is still playing at an All Star level. Much of their success, though, is due to their improved guard play. In the off season, the Aces acquired Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams through free agency. These moves were vital for the Aces, as they added depth to the guard position and a true point guard in Gray. Kelsey Plum also returned to the team, fully recovered from the Achilles injury she suffered before the start of last season. Factor in massive improvements from Jackie Young, and the Aces have one of the best guard cores in the league.

Gray Adds Stability

When “Point Gawd” Gray is on the floor, she makes things easier for the team. She sets the table for A’ja and Liz, but can score whenever she needs. Gray is averaging a career high 6.4 assists this season. Her scoring has been a great contribution to the Aces offense as well, as it takes the pressure off of the frontcourt. There have been times this season that Gray would take over down the stretch to solidify the win for the Aces. In their game against Seattle, Gray made some big plays down the stretch, including hitting the dagger against Breanna Stewart.

Her play has earned her a spot on the 2021 USA Olympic team, making her one of five Olympians the Aces have going to Tokyo this year. 

Plum Packs a Punch

Speaking of first time Olympian Kelsey Plum has been playing some of the best basketball in her life this season. Coming off an Achilles injury as previously mentioned, Plum is averaging a career high in points and steals. In her new role as 6th man, Plum has been a valuable contribution to the Aces’ success this season. Her being able to provide instant offense coming off the bench has been great for the Aces, sometimes being the difference maker for this team. In a game against the New York Liberty, Plum exploded for 32 points, her career high. Plum also has made some key plays down the stretch for the Aces on a few occasions this season. She looks to be adjusting to this new role pretty smoothly. Her play will be pivotal for the Aces’ title run.

Young’s Improvement

Jackie Young has been good for the Aces as well, moving back into the starting lineup this season. Young has shown improved consistency, currently averaging 12.6 points and 1.2 steals, both career highs for her. Her mid-range game remains one of the best, and she has been a nice contribution to the offense. Young is also a rugged defender, often matching up with the opponent’s best guard. She is finally looking like the player Aces fans expected when the team drafted her first overall in 2019.

Explosive Offense

The Aces’ guard core is one of the best in the league. When they get going, it it hard for them to be stopped. And when you combine them with Hamby, Cambage and Wilson, you have one of the best offenses in the W, and a true championship contender.

About Bryce Warner

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