THE RINGER (Shea Serrano): The Las Vegas Aces Are Going to Win the Championship This Year

LAS VEGAS (May 22, 2019)—There’s a certain amount of poetry to it: Last season, the Las Vegas Aces and the Dallas Wings played each other in the second-to-last game of the season. The two teams were headed in opposite directions: The Aces were on a two-game winning streak and suddenly, despite being four games under .500, looking at a potential playoff spot if they could win their final two games. The Wings were on a nine-game losing streak (that included a player being traded and a head coach being fired) and suddenly, despite having gone into the season as one of the favorites, looking at the potential of missing the playoffs entirely. It was as high stakes of a matchup as a regular-season game can get, because it had, in effect, the same ramifications of a postseason game.

And as good as eventual rookie of the year A’ja Wilson was (34 points, seven rebounds, four blocks) for the Aces, Liz Cambage, the all-world center for the Wings, was better. She was everywhere, doing all of the things, tearing the arms and legs off of anyone who happened to be standing anywhere near her. She led the game in points (43 points ON ONLY 20 SHOT ATTEMPTS), she led the game in rebounds (13), and she led the game in free throw attempts (16, which was as many as the entire Aces team shot). It was a masterful performance.

By the time the night was over, the Wings were in the playoffs, the Aces were out of the playoffs, and Liz had recorded the league’s second 40-plus-point double-double game of the year. Liz ended the Aces’ season that night. Which is why it’s so perfect that it’s Liz who, after strong-arming her way out of Dallas this offseason and ending up in Las Vegas via trade, has turned the Aces into a proper title contender this season.

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