Becky Hamon’s Vegas dream is coming true

Aja Wilson’s transition to the WNBA was as uninterrupted as setting foot on the basketball court. His rookie season is gone in such a way that every fan imagines that the first-overall pick should be a rookie season – so impressive that fans don’t have to imagine too much in the end. Premature, polished footwork told you Wilson would be a WNBA star for a long time. The numbers tell you that he was already one: he finished third in league scoring that season, tied with Diana Tourasi. A’ja was his.

In terms of relationships, the players Aces picked with No. 1 before and after Wilson যোগ add them to the level of Cavs / Oilers in the draft lottery — sometimes seemed frustrating. Who wouldn’t? Jackie Young, a guard who drafted for Upside in 2019, showed off his rookie season: he could drive through people with his perfect strength and defend himself. The offensive numbers, however, were somewhat less than imaginary. Kelsey Plum’s first year at WNBA played in a similarly forgettable fashion. In 2017, the front office thought so little about their No. 1 pick that they enjoyed the idea of ​​trading him on Draft Day. After suffering an ankle injury in the preseason, he played irregular minutes as a Rocky. Bill took over as head coach of Limbia the year after the franchise moved from San Antonio to Las Vegas, and the plume he saw on the 2017 tape described him as “a lost person.” Years. ” Last year, in Plum’s fourth season, she ended up on a bench role, where she would win the sixth-woman award of the year ৷ her first season averaging over 10 points in a game.

Coaching is a matter of imagination, which is why a coaching change can be so fresh. A brand new person here! Bringing a new set of their eyes! On a roster that might use some new perspectives. When Becky Hammon took over from Aces this summer, the first thing she told reporters was that the team would take three more. The 8-1, red-hot Las Vegas Aces have made that promise: Under Hamon, they are taking 25.1 per game, the second-highest in the WNBA, and their league-wide game-leading low of 13.5 last year. At Sparks’ 104-76 closing last week, the team set a WNBA record for making three in a game, including 18. Where they’ve always been a great three-point shooting team, they’ve now added three. Volume To calculate it. “If you have a guard, remove it. If you’re open, shoot it. It’s not a genius, “said Hammon after the Sparks game.

Whether genius or not, the system has helped unlock Young, who made a big leap defensively last season but plays with a new confidence in the offense. Now averaging 18 points in a game, he is one of the best players in the league Kevin Pelton’s War Metric. “For me, it’s a mental thing,” Young told reporters. “If I’ve been feeling good, confident and aggressive, it shows up in court.” Everyone seems to be having more fun with the green light Hamon has given to the team. Even point guard Chelsea Gray, whose stubborn midrange game I have come to accept and appreciate, is shooting from the deep; Some infectious effects may play. “Basketball is a game of confidence. When you see one or two people go to the basket, people roll around, “said Hamon Sparks after the game. “When you see the ball go through the hoop, it becomes real fun as an offensive player. Especially when you know your teammates will find you when you are open. “

For all the shot profile differences, not everything that made them so good under Lambier left the aces. They still reach the line more than most teams and use Wilson to anchor strong defenses. Young, Wilson, Gray, Diarica Humbi and Plum’s starting lineup offensive rating of 112.5 and a defensive rating of 88.2, it has been the best in the league by a good margin.

And yes, that’s right you can now become known as a Lord of the Rings. “Fuck on the bench,” Plum said Athletic Before the start of the season. “I am very sick on the bench. I’m a starter in this league and I know it; And I think everyone else does. “Hammon agrees, and removes both Aces’ Sixth Women, Plum and Humby for forming this super-charged starting lineup. As a starter, Plum averages 18 points per game, up from the previous one. Shooting more than, and flying around there, looking like the assassin that everyone expected could happen.

The downside of the super-charged starting group is the super-drained bench. With Plum and Humby, the Aces bench was a team strength. When the Aces play Sky on Saturday, their bench really did nothing but cut off the Sky led by Vegas. Seriously: All of Aces’ 83 points came from starters. In actual playoffs, with small rotations, it may not be very important. But on the way there, as a matter of fatigue and injury risk management, it will help Aces some bench contributors that they can trust. (One, Ricuna Williams, is battling a foot injury but should be back soon.) The only defeat of the Vegas season, to the Mystics, as Washington’s swarms of maintenance fell under the Aces starters. Could the same thing happen tonight and Thursday when Connecticut faces another elite defense of the sun? Hmmm. Let’s ask Kelsey Plum how she thinks about all this.

As the season progresses there will be plenty of time to pick a net about fatigue and bench depth, but in the end there is nothing more to do but applaud a team with an 8-1 record and a plus-14.7 net rating. Hammon brings his vision, the players are making it a reality, and there’s not much to complain about.

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