LAS VEGAS (August 2 & 3, 2018)—The Aces begin their last extended road trip of the year on Friday, August 3 with a 4 pm PT tip against the Mystics in Washington DC … if they ever get out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas that is. The team was supposed to leave at 1:13 pm on Thursday, August 2, but the flight was cancelled late in the afternoon, after being delayed several times. At press time, the team was trying to book red-eyes to the nation’s capital.
(UPDATE I: The Aces are on four different planes that leave Las Vegas between 12:30 and 1:30 am, Friday morning. They will arrive at their hotel at about 2 pm for their 7 pm tip. That’s 24 hours worth of “travel” to get from Las Vegas to Washington, DC)
(UPDATE II: The Aces landed in Dallas, Texas, just before 4 am PT. They were greeted with the news that their connecting flight was delayed 35 minutes. They are now scheduled to land in Washington, DC at 1:30 pm ET, and will not get to their hotel until 2:30 to 3 pm ET, four hours before they are supposed to tip against the Mystics.)
(Update III: The Aces are on their way to Washington D.C.!!! …. Well …. Most of them. Due to a lack of seats, two members of the traveling party—Assistant Coach Vickie Johnson, and Director of Media Relations John Maxwell—had to stay behind and wait for a later flight. The rest of the team and players should arrive in Washington by 3 pm ET.)
Back on the hardwood, Las Vegas is coming off of a disappointing home loss to the Phoenix Mercury Wednesday evening. That defeat dropped the Aces two games back of idle Dallas. The Wings did drop a six point decision to the Indiana Fever Thursday evening, however, and Las Vegas now trails the Wings by one-and-a-half games heading into the weekend.
Friday’s game is the first of three away from the friendly confines of the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the Aces. Las Vegas travels to Connecticut, Sunday, for a 12 pm PT tip against the Sun, and to Atlanta, Tuesday, for a 4 pm PT game against the Dream.
|August 3||at Washington||15||11|
|August 5||at Connecticut||15||12|
|August 7||at Atlanta||16||10|
|August 9||vs. Minnesota||15||10|
|August 11||vs. Indiana||4||23|
|August 15||vs. New York||7||19|
|August 17||at Dallas||14||13|
|August 19||vs. Atlanta||16||10|
After starting the year by losing seven of their first eight games, the Aces have since gone 11-7, including wins in six of their last eight contests. The team has improved on both sides of the ball, but particularly on the offensive end during its most recent 18-game stretch.
Las Vegas’ All-Stars—Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player candidate A’ja Wilson and Kayla McBride—have led the Aces back into the playoff race. Wilson is fifth in the league in scoring (20.3), third in rebounding (8.5) and fifth in blocked shots (1.73); while McBride is eighth in scoring (19.3), third in free throw percentage (.917), and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.402).
Over the last 18 games, Wilson and McBride have been one of the most productive scoring duos in the WNBA.
Kelsey Plum has also been key to the team’s recent success, making 48.3 percent of her three-pointers over the last 18 games, and she now ranks second in the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage (.451). Tamera Young has her scoring average back in double figures as she is averaging a career-high 10.0 points per game.
The Mystics and Aces have played against one another on two previous occasions this season with each team winning on their home court, but both games took place in the first two weeks of the season.
The Aces’ 85-73 victory over Washington on June 1 was the team’s first since moving to Las Vegas, and snapped an 0-4 start to the season. A’ja Wilson recorded a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double in the win, while four other members of the team scored in double-figures.