Who will be the spark plug to get the Aces back on track?
A’ja Wilson is the MVP for a reason. Despite getting blown out by the Connecticut Sun in Game 1 of the semifinals, Wilson did most everything you could ask for; scoring 19 points, grabbing 9 boards and protecting the paint on defense, including this vicious block on Alyssa Thomas.
What Las Vegas needs is one of their other stars to step up, and not just in garbage time. Jackie Young scored 17, but 13 came in the 4th when the game was all but over already. Kayla McBride, Angel McCoughtry, and Dearica Hamby had 14 points combined on 5-21 shooting, an unacceptable amount for what is one of the best supporting casts in the league. Expect one of these three players to put in work on Tuesday or Vegas could be in a 2-0 hole.
Luckily for the Aces, their stars are bound to regress to their mean shooting percentages in Game 2, especially if the problem was not necessarily the Sun defense but a lack of effort from Las Vegas as coach Bill Laimbeer suggested.
For Connecticut, Jasmine Thomas is still not getting the #respeCT she has earned, despite a 31-point performance in which she was single-handedly keeping pace with the Aces at many points in the game. The veteran guard has always been viewed as more of a game-manager and defensive stud than an offensive threat, and kudos to head coach Curt Miller for entrusting the game plan in Thomas, she certainly came through.
The Sun had a surprise performance off the bench in rookie Beatrice Mompremier. The Miami product was impressive on the glass and in post defense, a testament to her hard work and Connecticut’s coaching staff as her minutes early in the season were far from WNBA quality.
While everything is going right for the Sun at the moment, they may have let one slip away earlier in the season. After signing Jacki Gemelos before the bubble began, she played scarcely and was eventually let go to add experienced player Essence Carson.
Washington immediately picked her up, and she quickly found her footing as a valuable role player. After all that she has been through in her basketball career, the resiliency Gemelos has shown to get to this point is more than admirable.
At this point in time, the WNBA has not released the results of the re-tests for the Seattle Storm players ahead of their matchup with the Minnesota Lynx. The top priority is that every player and coaching staff member is healthy, and hopefully the playoffs can continue if everything comes back negative.
Any update on this situation can be found on the 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage site network, The Next.