The Las Vegas Aces celebrated last season’s championship over the weekend and are looking once again like the team to beat n the league.
The Aces unveiled the championship banner on Saturday before dismantling a short-handed Los Angeles team. An easy win over Minnesota the next day has Las Vegas at 4-0, winning by an average of 24.75 points.
“This team has not given me any reasons to think they will not show up on any given night,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “No matter the circumstances, they come to compete, they come to play and they play hard.”
The Aces, who now begin a four-game road trip, once again were the top team in the AP WNBA power poll. They were followed by Connecticut, New York, Chicago and Washington. Dallas was sixth with Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta next. Indiana, Seattle and Minnesota round out the rankings.
Jackie Young has been a big reason why Las Vegas has gotten off to a hot start. Young, who was the AP Player of the Week, is averaging 23 points this season. She’s shooting 58.5% from behind the 3-point line going 13 for 23.
Brittney Griner has been impressive in her first three games, averaging 21.7 points, 8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks while shooting an incredible 74.2% from the field.
The Sparks have one game this week, hosting Los Angeles on Friday before embarking on a three-game road trip to Dallas and Indiana. The trip to Dallas will serve as a homecoming for Griner, who hails from the Houston area.
The WNBA’s opening week attendance surged up 24% compared to last season’s opening week.
The jump in attendance coincided with strong TV ratings that saw the opening night game which featured the return of Griner generate 683,000 average viewers on ESPN. It was the most viewed WNBA regular season game on cable in 24 years.
The WNBA’s opening weekend also drew a record 30 million video views for the league’s social media accounts.
The Indiana Fever ended their record-tying 20-game losing streak with a victory over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. The Fever had lost 20 in a row dating back to last season to tie the Tulsa Shock for the most consecutive losses all-time. Indiana lost its final 18 games last season before dropping its first two this year. No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston is a big reason for optimism in Indiana. She became the first player in league history to have three consecutive games with 10 or more points while shooting 60% or better from the field.
She is is averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 66.7% shooting from the field so far.
Game of the week
New York at Seattle, Tuesday. Breanna Stewart returns to the Pacific Northwest for the first time since coming to the Liberty as a free agent this offseason. The former MVP helped Seattle win two titles since getting drafted No. 1 in 2016.