The Rewind: Las Vegas Aces, May 28

A weekly recap of Las Vegas Aces games, week ending Sunday, May 28, 2018.

This is a weekly recap of the Las Vegas Aces games. Please note that the WNBA doesn’t schedule games on Mondays.

DISCLAIMER: Synopses include the official WNBA game stats. Any opinions are solely those of this writer. Don’t @ me.

Sunburned

The Las Vegas Aces played their first regular-season game on the road, as they visited the Connecticut Sun. It did not go well. The Sun trounced the fledgling Aces, 101-65. It wasn’t so much a lack of talent, as it was a young team against a more veteran team. Rookie Ji-Su Park made her stateside regular-season debut and finished with 6 points, 3 rebounds, and one assist.

The return of the Sun’s Chiney Ogwumike from injury already made this game an uphill battle for Las Vegas; the contribution from Connecticut’s bench made it even harder. Kelsey Plum and Kayla McBride were absent from the Aces’ rotation, as they were still playing overseas in a league championship game.

Capitalizing

The Aces went back on the road to play the Washington Mystics in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Though the winner of this game was not really in doubt, the Aces made it very competitive and managed to keep the final score from being a blowout. The Mystics were without Elena Delle Donne for most of the game, as she left early with a stomach malady. Had it not been for the Mystics rookies getting hot (looking at you, Ariel Atkins), the outcome may have been very different. Plus, McBride and Plum were still overseas. The Mystics won, 75-70.

Honey, I'm Home

The Aces played their home opener in the swanky Mandalay Bay Events Center. The ‘90s R&B group Boyz II Men sang the national anthem, and the hip-hop dance group The Jabbawockeez and members of Cirque du Soleil provided entertainment. The Aces also introduced their team mascot, Bucket$ (yes, with a dollar sign) the Rabbit. It was very extra and very Vegas.

In a positive turn of events, McBride and Plum were back in the States and suited up  (McBride started while Plum came off the bench). While most expected Seattle to win, no one (including Seattle) expected it to be that close. The Aces started out a bit slow and allowed Seattle to build a 15-point lead. Las Vegas clawed their way back to within three points behind strong defensive performances in the latter half of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.

However, costly fouls and poor shot selections (jacking up threes versus taking a solid two) allowed the Storm to win, 105-98.  Not to mention, there was no true answer for Natasha Howard and Jewell Lloyd, both of whom were very hot (although Howard ended up playing with five fouls before the game ended). It was another moral victory, but this young team needed that. A'Ja Wilson had a team-high 27 points, followed by Nia Coffey with 23; McBride with 21; and savvy veteran Tamera "Ty" Young with 12.

Moriah Jefferson is the missing piece of the jigsaw; hopefully, she comes back soon from her knee surgery. I can see this team making the playoffs if they are fully healthy.

Up Next

Thursday, May 31: Aces at Seattle Storm, 10:00 pm ET (League Pass)

Friday, June 1: Washington Mystics at Aces, 10:30 pm ET (League Pass)

Sunday, June 3: Aces at Chicago Sky, 6:00 pm ET (League Pass)

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