The Aces are ruining their opponents’ entire day and dancing on their graves before halftime lmao. Monday night’s game was nothing short of hilarious as the new-look Aces set a franchise record with 18 made 3-pointers (11 in the first half), scoring 44 points in the first 11 minutes of the game to shutter the Sparks, 104-76. It’s early, but this offense may be the best the league has ever seen!?
It’s doubly as incredible considering Becky Hammon was coaching as an assistant for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs just six weeks ago. Now, in her debut, she’s leading her franchise to a 7-1 record to lead the WNBA.
It’s hard not to get too excited at how Las Vegas’s early schedule has gone. Save for the second-half road collapse against the Mystics, and the Aces have blown out the Mercury twice and knocked off the Storm (when their Big 3 were present) by double digits. They look like the real deal and they’re doing it in a different way than they have before.
First off, they’re nearly doubling their 3-point attempts. Bill Laimbeer’s offenses were famously post-heavy, and with Liz Cambage out of town and Hammon in, Vegas has reassessed its roster and chosen a wider-spread scheme. It’s working! Not only are they shooting the third-most attempts per game (25.8), they’re shooting them at the best rate in the W (41.3 percent).
Second, they’ve sped up the pace EVEN MORE than their league-leading mark a year ago, with 99.23 possessions per game. They’re sprinting and nobody can keep up. It’s the reason why they’re getting to the free-throw line 22.3 times per game, second most in the league as well.
What’s been really special, though, is how good the new starting five has been. It’s early, but they all have All-Star cases, which is, I guess, what happens when you add two players who total the last three consecutive Sixth Woman of the Year awards to the starting group.
Chelsea Gray, Jackie Young, Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby and A’ja Wilson are blowing away any other starting five who’s played a comparable amount of time on the court. In 151 minutes, that group is outscoring teams by an unreal 24.7 points per 100 possessions. That’s five points better than last year’s starting Sun and 11 points better than last year’s Aces starters. They’re playing loose, energized and unafraid.
Circle Saturday’s 3 ET matchup against the Chicago Sky, because that’s going to be one of the biggest games this season. Last year’s champs — whose roster is almost fully complete with Kahleah Copper back in America — against this year’s preseason favorite. This is what I like to call a nice barometer test on both sides.