Post All-Star break-action opens with a matchup featuring the Las Vegas Aces vs. New York Liberty. While players A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby, and Sabrina Ionescu were teammates for the All-Star game, they’re back to being foes for their second meeting of the season.
- Game: Las Vegas Aces (15-7) at New York Liberty (9-13)
- Location: Barclays Center
The Aces went into the All-Star break on a downward skid, losing five of their last seven games. However, the break allows teams a chance to regroup and refocus, which is exactly what we think will happen for this team. Las Vegas has the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and come out for the second half of the season the same way they started the first half. That being said, their first game back is against a New York Liberty team that beat them 116-107 just before the All-Star break. Aces vs Liberty is going to be fun.
The last meeting between these two teams was a back-and-forth high-scoring affair with both teams shooting lights out. The Aces’ 49% shooting from the field and 48% from three looked pretty impressive until you saw the way the Liberty shot the ball. New York shot 57% from the field and an astonishing 58% from deep, hitting 18 threes in the process. While both teams have great outside scorers, it’s more than likely that we see some regression in those categories.
A defensive key for the Aces tonight will be containing Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu. In their last meeting, Ionescu went off for a 31-point triple-double, marking the highest-scoring triple-double in WNBA history. Ionescu shot 7-8 from beyond the arc and was dominant in nearly every aspect of the game with 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Las Vegas’ defense is league average, with a defensive rating of 102, but they lead the league in opponents’ second-chance points and defensive rebounding. Their ability to keep the Liberty off the offensive glass tonight will be important, especially with New York’s bigs of Stefanie Dolson and Han Xu.
Offensively, the Aces lead the league in pace and like to get out and run. They also lead the league in fast-break points, averaging 12.1 per game, while the Liberty rank 10th in fast-break points allowed. New York’s ability to slow Vegas down will remain crucial if they want to keep this game close. If the Liberty can control the pace of this game, the Aces could find themselves in hot water.
Nonetheless, the Aces are the better team and if they can get back to the playing style we saw early in the season, they should have no problem winning this game. Yet, when it comes to bet on WNBA odds, laying -310 on the moneyline doesn’t provide any value. So, while we like Vegas to win, we’d still take the Liberty to cover as seven-point underdogs. New York has covered the spread in seven of their last 10 games, while the Aces have only covered in two of their last 10 games.Follow us on Twitter