The Las Vegas Aces were able to put together their best performance of the season so far in a dominate 92-69 win over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night.
In an impressive offensive and defensive effort by the Aces, we got a first glimpse of the team appearing to gel together far more than they have the last couple of games. A large part of that is the continued progression of Liz Cambage, who was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season. Cambage is still under a minutes restriction but played 19 minutes in the win.
There was a lot this young and talented team did well on Thursday night, but here are three big keys to their dominance.
Not only did the Aces do a great job on the glass outrebounding the Dream 47-33, but they really did a great job of securing the rebound and converting that to quick outlets. It felt like the pace of the game was controlled by Las Vegas and their ability to outlet the ball quick, advance the ball on the pass quickly and get out into transition worked very well in their favor.
They Played Well from the Inside Out
Liz to Jackie, Jackie to Liz ???? pic.twitter.com/wHtAhPVjYI
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) June 6, 2019
The ability to play from the inside out is a crucial aspect of this young and talented Aces squad. When they can get a paint touch from one of their bigs in A'ja Wilson or Liz Cambage, it creates so many more opportunities for the rest of the team and opens up the floor for higher percentage shots. Cambage and Wilson handle pressure well and are able to pass effectively out of traps. Or … they will just go dunk on you.
The Aces shared the basketball extremely well. Their assist numbers were tremendous this game finishing with a season-high 27. There are so many offensive weapons on this team, and when they share the ball this way, good things are going to happen. They finished with six players in double figures with Cambage and Dearica Hamby both leading the way with 15 points.
They Forced Contested Jumpers
If you compare the shot charts, you can see the significant difference in where the Aces were able to score in the paint versus the Dream's shots from 15-17 feet and beyond. This plays a large number in shooting percentages as the Dream shot 33.3-percent on the game versus the Aces 51.3 percent. Now, Atlanta had some good looks that did not fall, especially early on in the game. But you have to credit the interior defense and game plan to force the Dream to shoot it from those areas. The Ace were active, aggressive, and caused severe issues for the Dream from the jump.
The Dream were held to just nine offensive rebounds on the game, so the Aces also did an excellent job of keeping them to "one-and-done" and limiting second and third shot opportunities.
The Dream fall to 1-3 so far this season. Up next, they host the Connecticut Sun in a quick turnaround this Saturday, June 9, at 3:00 pm EST.
The Aces now sit at 2-2 on the season so far. They will continue on their east coast swing as they head to New York to take on the Liberty this Saturday at 3:00 pm EST as well.