The Las Vegas Aces just won one of the very best playoff series in WNBA history. Not only was the quality of play at an all-time high with MVP candidates on both teams and mutliple Olympians flanking them, but the Aces and Seattle Storm also played an aesthetically pleasing brand of basketball that featured offensive fireworks galore.
There’s a big change from that series to the WNBA Finals, where the Connecticut Sun still bring an incredibly high level of play, but have no interest in aesthetically pleasing basketball. This is a team that has been saying all postseason that it wants to make the game messy, and boy did the Sun accomplish that in Game 1.
The Sun kept the pace of the game slow, they limited Las Vegas’ ball movement and 3-point shooting, they dominated the glass, and they didn’t turn the ball over. It was almost the perfect recipe for a Connecticut win, expect the Sun didn’t. The Aces let their opponent completely dictate the style of play in the series opener and still won. They proved they could be as physical and messy as Connecticut and execute better.
It was a convincing performance that left me believing this series is essentially over. If the Sun couldn’t win that game, with that performance from Alysssa Thomas, what chance could they possibly have moving forward? The Las Vegas offense is due to pop off for at least one game — just wait till Kelsey Plum starts hitting threes — and Connecticut has lost its margin of error.
On this week’s episode of The Whiparound, I welcomed Andy Yamashita of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to break down everything the Aces did well in the first game and all the ways they still have to improve in this series.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Swish Appeal podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.