Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Storm – Game 2 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (2-0)  |  Seattle Storm (1-1)



The Las Vegas Aces used a balanced offensive attack in Sunday’s home-opener to eke out an 85-74 win over the Seattle Storm. Here are five early takeaways from the Aces to start the 2022 WNBA season.


1. The 3-pointer is for everyone.

When Becky Hammon preached the importance of more 3-point attempts, she didn’t limit the desired increase to a select few Las Vegas players. It appears that the request was for all capable shooters to get involved, including known non-floor-spacers such as A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young, who united to make just six threes a season ago. The duo connected on three 3-pointers against Seattle.

Neither of the makes were “dare shots” — shots allowed and even encouraged by the defense as a schematic approach.

Jackie Young‘s first make came off of a simple pindown read. As she came off of the screen, her defender tried to go under, so Young countered by flaring to the wing and confidently sinking a 24-foot triple over the outstretched arm of Gabby Williams. Her second was a catch-and-shoot three off of an offensive rebound — no hesitation or second-guessing, just a smooth-looking 28-footer from the left wing. A’ja Wilson converted a 3-pointer that she wouldn’t have taken a year ago. It came as the trailer. She lightly jogged into a touch near the top of the arc, measured her sagged-off defender with a slight jab, and launched the lefty three with 16 seconds remaining on the shot clock.

Even in limited attempts per game, getting these reps in ahead of a potential playoff series could free up both Wilson and Young in a postseason setting, a setting that both players have taken steps back in due to their former poor floor-spacing.

2. The Aces have multiple closers.

Las Vegas having multiple players they can give the ball to at the end of games is nothing new — they had an embarrassment of riches last year. Sunday’s win over the Storm confirmed that how the team closed regular-season games last year wasn’t a fluke, and perhaps how they closed Game 5 of last postseason was.

Kelsey Plum scored 14 of her 18 total points in the fourth quarter. Chelsea Gray scored seven in the final frame, including big ones to stem Seattle‘s tide. Next time around, it could be A’ja Wilson closing on offense. Jackie Young may step into a big spot. Or even Riquna Williams. The takeaway here is that the Aces still possess all the tools to be a great team in the clutch.

3. Turnovers are an issue.

The Aces are playing an up-tempo style of offensive basketball. One of the risks that come with implementing such a style is the potential for an uptick in turnovers, and they are finding that out the hard way. The Aces learned as much in their season-opening win over the Phoenix Mercury when they turned it over 16 times, and then again on Sunday, when they tallied another 16 turnovers against the Seattle Storm.

There’s a learning curve with anything new, so the Aces will have to iron out the early-season wrinkles. Scoring 85 points against Seattle should still be considered a good night, but Becky Hammon wants greatness. If Hammon gave her squad a “B” for their performance in Friday’s opener, I wonder how she’d assess Sunday’s sloppy 85-74 win over Seattle.

4. Aces dominate the glass.

A’ja Wilson is a former league MVP, and Dearica Hamby is a two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Award winner. When the two share the court, great things usually happen for the Aces.

Look no further than Sunday’s win as evidence. Hamby, the multi-positional defender who attacks the glass on both ends of the court, and Wilson, the paint-protecting, glass-cleaning big, combined for 30 points, 34 rebounds, and five blocks. Wilson and Hamby both outmuscled and were more physical than almost every member of Seattle‘s frontcourt, and the duo’s 34 combined rebounds were four more than the entire Storm squad’s total (30).

This type of effort on the boards can compensate for Las Vegas‘ “lack of size.”

5. Starters shine, bench fades.

In a high-profile game against a championship-contending team, the Las Vegas Aces got everything from their starters and not much from their bench.

The stats:

Unit               FG     FGA     3P     3PA     FT     FTA     REB     AST     STL     BLK     PTS

Starters        29      62        6       13        15      18       43        18         5         7          79

Bench            1        5          1         5         3        4         2          0          0         3           6

There are a couple of problems with these stats. First, this sort of unbalanced attack is a poor process that would leave the starters needing to consistently empty the gas tank every night in order to win games, thus leaving the door open for fatigued players come playoff time. Second, fatigue aside, having to rely on only five players for 40 minutes isn’t going to be sustainable in the long run. Whether it’s a month from now in a matchup against another high-powered team like the Chicago Sky, who are in midseason form, or three months from now in the playoffs, that formula isn’t working over the course of a five-game series.

However, the bench will surely get a boost once Riquna Williams returns from injury and Kiah Stokes joins the Aces following the conclusion of her basketball commitments in Turkey.


Las Vegas will look to build on its home-opening win as they hit the road for a Tuesday, May 10th matchup against the Washington Mystics. You can catch the game live at 4 p.m. PST on Facebook. Check back with us after the game to learn if the Aces kept their undefeated record.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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