The Las Vegas Aces had a pretty eventful 2022 season. They were penalized for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies. However, the Aces were able to still win the WNBA championship. Here we will look at three reasons the Aces will repeat as WNBA champions despite their current controversy.
The Aces are the favored team to win the WNBA championship in 2023 despite being embroiled in a controversy surrounding former player Dearica Hamby. Hamby, who was pregnant at that time, complained that the Aces mistreated her after she was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks, alleging that the team misled her about her contract and made her feel excluded. The Aces deny these allegations, stating they treated Hamby respectfully and that her pregnancy was not a factor in the trade.
Nevertheless, the Aces remain strong contenders for the title. Led by MVP A’ja Wilson, they boast a formidable roster consisting of Wilson, Candace Parker, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and Chelsea Gray, who excel both offensively and defensively. The team’s deep bench adds further strength and versatility to their game. Under the leadership of coach Becky Hammon, a former WNBA player known for her tactical skills, the Aces have the necessary elements for success.
The Aces’ path to victory hinges on addressing the controversy and maintaining their team’s health. While facing scrutiny, they possess the talent and resources required to defend their championship title in 2023. Of course, this is provided they avoid further controversies and remain in good physical condition.
Here are three reasons the Aces will repeat as WNBA champions.
1. Dominant Starting Five
A’ja Wilson is the Aces’ best player and one of the best players in the WNBA. She is a versatile forward who can score inside and out. She averaged 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game in 2022.
CAN'T GET PAST A'JA WILSON 😤 @LVAces
📺 ABC pic.twitter.com/ERK05XPyum
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 20, 2023
Meanwhile, Kelsey Plum is a dynamic guard who can shoot the three-ball and create her own shot. She averaged 20.2 points and 5.1 assists per game in 2022. For her part, Jackie Young is a rising star who is a good all-around player. She averaged 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in 2022.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Gray is a veteran point guard who is a good passer and defender. She averaged 13.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in 2022. And then there’s Candace Parker, who really doesn’t need any introduction. I mean, Las Vegas is already a very good team, but Parker’s addition will make them even better. She will give them another scoring option, and she will help them to improve their defense. Parker is a proven winner, and she will be a big reason why the Aces are successful in 2023.
This group of players is capable of scoring in a variety of ways, and they are also very good defensively. They are the best starting five in the WNBA, and they will be a tough team to beat in 2023.
2. Deep Bench
The Aces have a lot of depth on their roster, which will be important in the playoffs. They have a number of players who can come off the bench and contribute, including Alysha Clark, Cayla George, and Kiah Stokes.
In their opening win this season over the Seattle Storm, those three led the Aces bench in a big way. Clark had 10 points, while Stokes had 9 rebounds off the pine. Meanwhile, George added five points in five minutes. This depth will allow the Aces to stay fresh throughout the season and the playoffs. They will be able to go deep into their bench and find players who can contribute.
3. Great Coach
Becky Hammon is in her second season as the Aces’ head coach, and she has already proven to be a great leader. Hammon is a former WNBA player and knows what it takes to win. She is also a great tactician and can put her players in the best position to succeed.
Hammon has a great relationship with her players, and she has helped them to develop into a cohesive unit. She is also a great motivator and has helped the Aces to play with a lot of passion and energy.
The Aces are lucky to have Hammon as their head coach. She will be a big reason why the Aces are successful in 2023.
In addition to these three reasons, the Aces also have a great home-court advantage. They play their home games at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, which is a loud and raucous environment. The Aces have won 21 of their last 22 home games, and they will be a tough team to beat at home in 2023.
The Aces are the clear favorites to win the WNBA championship in 2023. They have a dominant starting five, a deep bench, a great coach, and a great home-court advantage. If they can stay healthy, they should be able to repeat as champions.