The Las Vegas Aces advanced in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs in dominant fashion, defeating the Phoenix Mercury in both games of the best-of-three series. The Aces will now face the Seattle Storm in the semifinals, and it’s time to make some bold predictions.

The Storm are a talented squad led by Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Jewell Lloyd and Tina Charles, but the Aces have an MVP candidate in A’ja Wilson as the team’s leader and Coach of the Year Becky Hammon. Las Vegas has a loaded roster that also features Kelsey Plum and a number of other talented players. It’s why they earned the top seed in the playoffs this season.

The Aces are in prime position to win their first WNBA title in franchise history. With that being said, here are some bold predictions for the Las Vegas Aces in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs against the Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas Aces 2022 WNBA Semifinals Predictions

3. The 3-point shooting will make a big difference

In Game 2 of the first round against Phoenix, Las Vegas broke a record, regular season and playoffs, of most 3-pointers in a single game in WNBA history. The 23 3-pointers helped the team in a blowout 117-80 win to close out the series. Additionally, eight players made at least one shot beyond the arc for the Aces.

The elite perimeter offense could play a crucial role since the Storm boast strong rim protection with Tina Charles, Ezi Magbegor and Breanna Stewart.

Although it is unlikely they will hit 20 or more 3-pointers, it would not be surprising to see the Aces making 10-15 of them each night. Las Vegas has five players who shot 36% or better from 3-point land in the regular season. Additionally, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young made more than 40% of their attempts.

On the other hand, no player on the Storm current roster hit more than 40%. Because of that, expect a big number of 3-point attempts from the Aces, especially early in the games. If those early shots find the net, Seattle will have a big challenge in stopping Las Vegas’ shooting strength.

2. Becky Hammon will show why she is the Coach of the Year

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On Friday, the WNBA announced that Aces head coach Becky Hammon earned 2022 Coach of the Year honors. She led the team to a league-best 26-10 record and a No. 1 seed. Not only that, but Hammon became the first former WNBA player to win the award in her season debut. All of that in just her first official tenure as a head coach.

But that does not mean Hammon does not have experience. She spent eight years as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs. She learned a lot from the five-time NBA champion and one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time. Also, Hammon revealed that she is constantly talking with Popovich, always receiving advice and asking questions about her performance.

Although with just one year on the WNBA sidelines, she probably has more experience than most head coaches in the league. In a series that will likely require a lot of in-game adjustments, Hammon should be very effective and quick to identify them. Her time as a player will probably also help the Aces, especially because she has plenty of playoff games under her belt, both on and off the court.

The Storm will likely see why Hammon is the Coach of the Year. With her commanding the team, Las Vegas should have a considerable edge in this series.

1. This will be a five-game series

At the end of the day, fans cannot deny there is a ton of talent in this series. Combining both teams, there are seven former No. 1 picks from past WNBA Drafts. To name a few, the Aces have Wilson and Plum, while the Storm have Bird, Charles and Stewart.

Because of that, it is difficult to imagine one team or the other dominating both ends of the floor. Las Vegas and Storm have high-quality playmaking, as well as rim protection. It should be interesting to see how teams will respond to each other’s hustle.

In the regular season, the Aces won the series 3-1, but the biggest margin in any of those games was just 11 points. With those final scores, the postseason should be even more competitive, and both teams should keep the trend of close games.

All things considered, the Aces could have the advantage as a potential Game 5 would be in Las Vegas. The team’s record at Michelob Ultra Arena was 13-5, tied for second-best in the league. With the fans on their side, the Aces could be one step closer to the franchise’s first WNBA title.