Las vegas aces
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2021 Season Preview: Chelsea Gray

Franchise Sports Media

 

FSM’s Cole Huff continues with our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2021 season with part 8 of his player preview series. This week’s focus is on guard Chelsea Gray.

 

Chelsea Gray Bio:

Las Vegas Aces
Photo Credit: USA Basketball

 

Measurements: 5’11; 170 lbs

Age: 28

Position: Guard

Years Pro:

Season Stats: 2020 → 14.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists on 44.2/ 30.5/ 93.9 shooting splits 

Playoff Stats: 2020 → 4.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists on 22.2/ 0.0/ 0.0 shooting splits (1 game)

 

CONDENSED RECAP:

Chelsea Gray spent her final season as a Los Angeles Spark, helping lead the team to the No. 3 seed before bowing out of the playoffs to the Connecticut Sun. She finished top five in the league in assists per game at 5.3, behind only Courtney Vandersloot, Julie Allemand, Jordin Canada, and Leilani Mitchell. Gray also finished the season tied for 11th in the WNBA with 1.6 steals per game.

 

STRENGTHS:

 

Chelsea Gray
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

What makes Chelsea Gray arguably the best off-season signing by any team is just how multifaceted she is. Quite frankly, she is a matchup nightmare.

At nearly 6’0 tall, she towers over opposing point guards, which allows her to use her frame to be a bully. Try putting a wing or a taller defender on her, and she’ll become more finesse as she unleashes her handle — getting in her bag to create separation and get to cookin’ in the midrange.

She isn’t called the “point gawd” for no reason as Gray has quite the array of flashy passes. From one-handed darts to no-look passes, Gray has been on the delivering end of a ton of highlight-reel plays. But there’s substance to go along with the flash, too. From the time that she became a full-time starter in 2017, only the Chicago Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot has tallied more total assists than Gray.

If there’s one thing you should know about Chelsea Gray, it’s this: she’s not afraid of the moment. Where she separates herself from many others is when the game is on the line, and Gray’s catalog features game-winning shots from regular-season games to games on the biggest stage.

That trait alone will go a long way with this Aces team as she’ll offer another shot creator when it’s winning time.

 

WEAKNESSES:

Chelsea Gray 3
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

In recent years, something that has stuck out is Gray’s turnover rate, which is likely a result of her increased usage. And while she makes up for it with her playmaking throughout the game, fewer turnovers would mean more shots — something that’ll be especially important for this high-powered Aces offense that has so many mouths to feed.

For her career, Gray is a great 3PT shooter (38.5). However, that mark was far lower during her 2020 campaign. Gray shot just 30.5 from three in the wubble, which played a part in what would be her lowest scoring average in five years.

It’s more likely than not that this was an outlier, though, being that the bubble setting may have impacted players in one way or another.

Nevertheless, she’ll need to bring that number back up to unlock the full capabilities of the offense.

 

POTENTIAL ROLE:

 

Let’s paint the picture here. The Aces are fresh off of a WNBA Finals appearance, and they’ll return the league’s MVP, the back-to-back Sixth Woman of the Year, a one-time scoring champ, and the league’s highest-scoring bench. Now throw into the fold Chelsea Gray — a top 3 point guard in the WNBA, and you’ve got yourself a championship favorite.

Gray will assume the role of starting point guard and will immediately change the dynamic of the team. Her passing will make life easier on players, and she’ll also relieve some scoring responsibilities from other teammates. All in all, Gray should be the piece that puts the Aces over the top — she’s that good.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Aces player preview series where we will be featuring center Liz Cambage.

Las Vegas Aces           Las Vegas Aces           Las Vegas Aces           Las Vegas Aces           Las Vegas Aces           Las Vegas Aces            Las Vegas Aces              

-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

Follow The Franchise on social media

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube