WNBA

Hammon Has Aces Off To Sizzling Start On Offense

May 24, 2022, 1:00 PM

Becky-Hammon-Las-Vegas-Aces...

Head coach Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces talks with Jackie Young #0 during their game against the Seattle Storm at Michelob ULTRA Arena on May 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Storm 85-74. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

AP – Becky Hammon vowed before the season tipped off that the Las Vegas Aces would be shooting more 3-pointers this year.

It was a safe declaration to make when she was hired considering the team has been last in the league in attempts since moving to Las Vegas from San Antonio in 2018. The Aces averaged just 13.5 attempts last season.

But Hammon’s squad hasn’t just surpassed low expectations, they’re second in the league averaging nearly 26 3-pointers a game. They tied the WNBA record with 18 made 3s in Monday night’s rout of Los Angeles.

“Basketball is a game of confidence,” Hammon said after the win. “You see one or two go in the basket, people get rolling … it becomes real fun as an offensive player, especially when you know your teammates are going to find you when you’re open.”

The Aces made 162 3s all of last season. This year they’ve already made 85.

Las Vegas is leading the league in scoring at 93.3 points a game and has topped 100 points in three of the team’s first eight games.

“It just seems like it’s a breath of fresh air for all of us,” said Las Vegas star A’ja Wilson, who hit two 3-pointers in Monday’s win. “I would definitely say we’re having fun.”

The Aces sit atop the league standings and The Associated Press WNBA power poll with a 7-1 record.

POWER POLL

This week’s WNBA poll:

1. Las Vegas (7-1): All five starters are averaging in double figures in scoring which makes the Aces even more difficult to guard.

2. Connecticut (4-1): After a season-opening loss the Sun have won four straight games. Connecticut did lose guard Jasmine Thomas to a knee injury in the team’s victory over Indiana. The team announced she’s out for the season with a torn ACL. Connecticut has a busy week ahead with two games against Dallas and one against Washington.

3. Washington (5-2): No. 3 overall draft pick Shakira Austin has been a strong addition to the Mystics. She’s averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting nearly 64% from the field this season.

4. Chicago (3-2): The Sky welcomed back WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper after she completed a stellar overseas season. Now that the team is “whole” again according to coach James Wade, the Sky will look to string some wins together.

5. Dallas (4-2): The Wings have gotten a solid start to the season from guard Marina Mabrey. She’s averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists and is been a nice compliment to Arike Ogunbowale.

6.. Seattle (3-3): Former league MVP Breanna Stewart returned from a positive COVID-19 test and the Storm won both their games. Seattle will look to keep it rolling with two games against New York this week.

7. Atlanta (4-2): The Dream have gotten off to a strong start behind No. 1 pick Rhyne Howard. The schedule gets a little more challenging with a road game in Washington before the team hosts Phoenix. Atlanta could get a boost from Tiffany Hayes, who has been resting since returning from her overseas commitment.

8. Phoenix (2-4): The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Mercury with three of their first six games against the Las Vegas Aces. Phoenix has missed guard Skylar Diggins-Smith the last two games with a non-COVID-19 illness. In the last game she played, the veteran guard had words on the bench with Diana Taurasi and the two had to be separated.

9. Los Angeles (2-5): The Sparks have a busy stretch with three games in the next six days. After losing at Las Vegas Monday night, Los Angeles travels to Indiana and Minnesota after a home game against Phoenix on Wednesday.

10. Minnesota (1-6): The Lynx will get forward Natalie Achonwa back after she was cleared to return from a right hamstring injury she suffered on May 8. Minnesota has two home games this week and will honor former Lynx great Seimone Augustus on Sunday when L.A. comes to town. Augustus is an assistant coach for the Sparks.

11. Indiana (2-6): The Fever have dropped four straight games and have missed No. 2 pick NaLyssa Smith, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury for the past three contests. She’s averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds a game.

12. New York (1-4): A week of practice could help the Liberty as they begin a three-game road trip in Minnesota on Tuesday. New York has been plagued by injuries and signed 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield to a hardship deal. Her first game is against her former team the Lynx. New York will be without Betnijay Laney (right knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (left quadricep tendon), DiDi Richards (right hamstring), Lorela Cubaj (concussion).

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jackie Young of Las Vegas was voted the AP Player of the Week after averaging 20.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4 assists to help the Aces go 4-0. Alyssa Thomas of Connecticut and Arike Ogunbowale of Dallas also received votes.

ELITE COMPANY

Candace Parker of Chicago became the third player in WNBA history with two triple-doubles in her career. Parker had 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists — the last to Courtney Vandersloot who also has accomplished the feat — in a win over Washington on Sunday. The triple-double by Parker was the 12th in league history and at 36 years of age she is the oldest player to do it. Sheryl Swoopes, who also has two triple-doubles, got her second at 34.

“To be in the company with Sloot, who does it on a regular basis and will probably end her career leading the league in assists, and Sheryl Swoopes, who I grew up watching and idolizing, I’m humbled by it,” Parker said. “I realize that there are more that are coming behind me. I hope that coaches are watching, that the point forward is where it’s at.”

GAME OF THE WEEK:

Aces at Sky, Saturday. Two of the top teams in the league will meet on national television in Chicago. The Sky will look to slow down the league’s top offense.

WNBA

Las Vegas Aces...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

WNBA Champion Aces Built For Three-Peat With Finals MVP A’ja Wilson, Core Group Returning

A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces are poised for a possible three-peat and continue one of the greatest runs in league history.

4 months ago

Las Vegas Aces WNBA Champs 2023...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

Las Vegas Aces Become First Repeat WNBA Champions In 21 Years

The Las Vegas Aces became the first team to repeat as champions in 21 years as they beat the New York Liberty in the 2023 WNBA Finals.

4 months ago

Las-Vegas-Aces-New-York-Liberty-WNBA-Finals-Game-3...

Doug Feinberg, AP

Jones, Stewart Help Liberty Avoid Sweep, Take Game 3 Of WNBA Finals

Jonquel Jones helped the New York Liberty beat the Las Vegas Aces 87-73 on Sunday in the WNBA Finals and force a Game 4.

4 months ago

Las-Vegas-Aces-WNBA-Finals...

W.G. Ramirez, AP

Las Vegas Aces Rout New York Liberty, Take 2-0 Series Lead In WNBA Finals

A’ja Wilson scored 26 points and the Aces routed the New York Liberty to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five series.

5 months ago

Las-Vegas-Aces-WNBA-Finals...

Mark Anderson, AP

Las Vegas Aces Dominate New York Liberty In WNBA Finals Opener

The Las Vegas Aces pulled away from the New York Liberty in the second half to win 99-82 on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

5 months ago

Las-Vegas-Aces-New-York-Liberty-WNBA...

Mark Anderson, AP

Highly Anticipated WNBA Finals Matchup Between Aces, Liberty Begins Sunday

The Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty are poised to tip off their highly anticipated WNBA Finals showdown.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Hammon Has Aces Off To Sizzling Start On Offense