Defending a championship in any professional sport is never easy. Not every athlete copes well with being “hunted” by the rest of the league. But the Las Vegas Aces seem to be doing just fine. Continuing on their road to a second consecutive WNBA championship, A'ja Wilson and the Aces handily took care of business against the Dallas Wings with a 97-83 victory on Sunday night.
Wilson, in particular, played like the MVP-caliber player everyone has to come to know her as. The Aces star forward put the Wings' defense to the sword, scoring 34 points and hauling in eight rebounds on a stellar 15-21 shooting night. But she didn't stop there. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year also showed out on the less glamorous end of the court, tallying four blocks and two steals while altering plenty of shot attempts in the paint.
“She loves the moment. That's just something she's born with. You can't teach people to love the moment. She's especially been on a roll the last month and a half; her stats are ridiculous,” Hammon said, per Michael Voepel, ESPN.com.
Over the past month and a half (45 days, from August 11, 2023 to today), the Aces star has put up 27.5 ppg, 9.6 rebounds on 59 percent shooting from the field; Becky Hammon is right in saying that those stats are ridiculous, especially her shooting efficiency from the floor.
A'ja Wilson is also coming off a 38-point night in a 22-point demolition of the Chicago Sky to close out their first-round matchup, lending further evidence that the Aces star elevates her game for when the team needs it the most.
The Wings simply don't have an answer for Wilson, so it's very difficult to see how they can cope with such a well-balanced attack from the Aces. What makes the Aces so tough to deal with is that Wilson isn't a one-woman show; she has Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and Chelsea Gray to shoulder the load with her. They really may be on a one-way trip to winning yet another WNBA championship.