Aces vs Sky

Directed by Trisha LaCoste

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sparks – Game 16 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (13-3)  |  Chicago Sky (11-5)

 

 

For just the third time this season, the Las Vegas Aces tasted defeat. A once-dominant performance turned upside down quickly as the defending champion Chicago Sky hung 104 points on the Aces on Tuesday night. Keep scrolling for a breakdown of the game.

 

Acs vs Sky
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Making history is fun, except when you’re on the wrong side of it. On Tuesday, the Las Vegas Aces gave up a 28-point lead in their 104-95 loss to the Chicago Sky in what would be, in the Sky’s case, the biggest comeback win in the history of the WNBA.

But such a historical meltdown isn’t possible with a wildly different dominant stretch. That stretch was the first quarter in which the Aces looked as flawless as they have all season long. In the frame, the team made seven threes, scored a season-best 41 points, and shot 14/22 from the field en route to a 23-point cushion after one. From that point on, the Aces and Sky traded places. The Aces shot only 19/53 the rest of the way and found the bottom of the net just five more times from beyond the arc. Conversely, Chicago went 35/58 from the floor in quarters two through four and put forth consecutive 30-point after just 18 in the first.

Here are a couple of observations I made as the game and momentum shifted:

1. Championship DNA is real

A 28-point hole is essentially impossible for any WNBA team to dig out of — there’s a reason why no team had ever come back from that kind of deficit. We’ve seen the Aces get multiple teams up against the ropes this season and keep swinging. But the Chicago Sky are no pushovers. They are a veteran squad whose core has primarily all won championships in the not-so-distant past. From coach Wade to Candace Parker and Emma Meesseman, the Sky showed they fear nothing.

Acs vs Sky
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

On the other hand, Vegas doesn’t have that. Chelsea Gray does, but she arguably had the least impact on the floor Tuesday night of all the players who saw meaningful minutes. And so does Becky Hammon, but she can only do so much from the sideline. As the Sky fought back and grabbed control of the game, the difference in experience e grew clearer. This should serve as a learning experience for the Aces.

2. Panic makes it worse

An inexperienced team resorts to uncharacteristic behaviors and tendencies when things go south. And that’s not to say that the Aces are frontrunners — they’re a championship-contending team that has bullied most of its opponents thus far. However, the response they had in an attempt to stop the bleeding was to start playing hero ball. The basketball stopped zipping around the court the way it had in the opening quarter, and players took it upon themselves to generate their offense. The desperation played into the hands of the Sky.

 

Las Vegas will get three days off to rest and regroup for a potential bounceback performance on Saturday, June 25th, against the Washington Mystics. The game will be held in Las Vegas at Michelob ULTRA Arena at 7:00 pm PST on NBA TV. Check back with us after the game for a recap and analysis.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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