The Las Vegas Aces have picked up right where they left off from last season. The defending champs are now on a seven-game winning streak and have yet to lose a single game this year. Clearly, the Aces are out to prove that their 2022 title was no fluke as they look to defend their crown this season.
Aces head coach Becky Hammon has now spoken out about the mindset she has instilled in her team amid their back-t0-back title bid. The reigning WNBA Coach of the Year revealed that she has focused on improving the team's defensive proficiency:
“My challenge, when I went back and reevaluated everything from last year going into this year, is being an average defensive team wasn't good enough,” Hammon said, via Alexa Philippou of ESPN. “And so I've challenged them. These women are not average at anything that they put their hand to. So why would we settle for anything less than great defense every night?”
The likes A'ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and Chelsea Gray, to name a few, played pivotal roles in the Aces' 2022 championship run. This season, however, it has been 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jackie Young who has embraced the superstar role. According to Hammn, she's also issued a massive challenge for the 25-year-old:
“My challenge to her was just to be great, because I think great is in there,” Hammon said of Young.
In spite of the Aces' dominance thus far, the scary part is that Coach Becky Hammon doesn't even think they've peaked just yet. She believes that her team has much more to offer, and this should put the rest of the league on notice:
“I don't think we're playing our best basketball. I'm kind of happy we're not playing our best basketball yet,” Hammon said. “But we always want to be improving and learning and building good habits.”