Ace-Sun duel may determine the final ranking
The first two teams of the WNBA will meet at Jinshen Stadium on Tuesday, and this game may determine the final ranking of the playoffs.
The Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Suns tied for the league lead 17-6 when preparing for the third game of the season.
On paper, the sun maintains its advantage in many ways. First of all, they are the best home team in the league, with a record of 10-1, and their fans will stand in the stands. Second, they defeated Aces 72-65 and 74-67 in the two games at the beginning of the season. Third, Connecticut is 9-1 in the past 10 games (excluding the Commissioners’ Cup), while Las Vegas is 7-3.
However, as evidenced by those close scores, the gap between these teams is not that big. Since she unexpectedly withdrew from the Olympics and returned to the WNBA, Liz Cambage of the Aces team has met her high standards. Aja Wilson provides an all-star performance in the paint district every night.
In fact, Las Vegas is a ball with the Suns’ inside power trio Joker Jones (a player who looks for the league’s MVP with Wilson), Briona Jones and Dwana Bonner. The teams are very matched.
The playing styles of the two teams are very different, and the game is likely to depend on which club controls the rhythm. Aces played very fast, averaging 90.5 points per game, leading the league. The Connecticut team played at a deliberate pace, averaging only 79.2 points per game, but gave up only 71.9 points. Las Vegas has surpassed the team in scoring, and the Suns may be the best defender in the league. After all, they have controlled Aces below 70 points twice this year.
Looking back at the last nine (or eight) games of the season, no one will ignore the defending champion Seattle Storm. But in the current one-on-one game, Connecticut has maintained a weak season advantage regardless of the result. Even if they lost on Tuesday, they already had a tiebreaker in Las Vegas (though not Seattle). If they win, they will be in a very favorable position to enter the top two, which allows them to have a double bye in the playoffs and avoid two rounds.
The Suns’ remaining schedule includes only one team with more than 0.500 people (Phoenix), and the Aces team will face two games, plus three games against the talented but sometimes underperforming Chicago Sky team. Las Vegas has also played six of the past nine games away, while Connecticut has played five of the nine games. [The Storm have five of nine at home, two against winning teams.]
Tuesday’s game will definitely feel like a playoff, and it should be very close. If Aces scores 80, they may win. If the Suns keep them under 70 again, Connecticut will be at the top of the standings, perhaps until the playoffs.
This post is written by Jim Clark