Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Storm – Game 1

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (0-1) | Seattle Storm (1-0)



The Aces opened the season looking to get revenge on a Seattle Storm team who’d ended their championship hopes last season in the Bradenton Wubble. Las Vegas threw some early punches, but Seattle weathered the early storm before taking control and cruising to a double-digit victory.




The much-discussed inside presence of the Aces took center stage early in this one as the dynamic A’ja WilsonLiz Cambage duo led Vegas to a quick 7-0 leading, scoring all seven points — including Wilson connecting on her first-ever WNBA three-pointer — before Storm forward Candice Dupree would get Seattle on the board. The scoring would teeter back and forth with the Aces building a lead as big as nine points (15-6), only for Seattle to climb back into the game behind a scoring-run led by guard Jewell Loyd. Seattle reserve, Jordin Canada, would end the quarter with a buzzer-beating 13-footer to give the Storm a 27-26 lead heading into the second quarter.

Recap: Aces vs Storm Game 1
Photo Credit: ESPN

Vegas needed to have a second-quarter start that mirrored the first, but the Storm had other plans. Canada threw the first few punches of the quarter before tagging in the reigning MVP, Breanna Stewart, to carry the momentum. A top-of-the-arc three-pointer followed a Stewart stepback mid-range jumper to give Seattle a 39-30 lead as the Aces’ offense had only managed four points through the first 4:25 of the quarter. Las Vegas’ defense was equally as out of sync, though, with Seattle’s Sue Bird drilling back-to-back three-pointers to extend their lead to 14 before a frustrated Bill Laimbeer called for time. The Aces answered with a pair of Cambage baskets, followed by a Wilson 7-footer, and Jackie Young transition layup to cut the deficit back down to six and cap an 8-0 run — Vegas’ last meaningful spurt of the game. But a Katie Lou Samuelson three-pointer in the closing moments of the quarter would put Seattle up 49-40 at the half.

Quarter number three opened with a stagnant offensive display from Las Vegas, whose combination of turnovers and missed jumpers would leave them scoreless for the first three minutes of the quarter. Seattle, however, had no such problems. Loyd opened with a deep three, and Stewart reeled off a couple of buckets of her own, including another stepback jumper to wrap up a 13-0 run dating back to the end of the second quarter, giving the Storm a 59-40 lead — their largest lead of the game. Jackie Young, A’ja Wilson, and guard Kelsey Plum would all chip in some baskets to keep the game from becoming ugly, but the game was never in doubt from that point on. 

The Aces did their best to stick around for most of the fourth quarter, narrowing the deficit to as little as nine — with Liz Cambage, Kelsey Plum, and forward Dearica Hamby all contributing on the offensive end. However, Seattle would never let things get uncomfortable, and Jewell Loyd made sure of it. She downed some important baskets while her teammate, Sue Bird, left the game with an injury scare. Bird would return, though, to knock down a corner three and put the nail in the coffin. Seattle would defeat the Aces by the score of 97-83.



In a one-sided affair for much of the afternoon, there were still a couple of positives that came of this double-digit loss.

Plum’s Return — In her first game since rupturing her Achilles before the 2020 season, Kelsey Plum flashed some of what she’d shown during the 2019 playoffs. She took a while to find her footing in coming off the bench, but she appeared to be one of the only Aces players quick enough to create off the dribble and equipped enough to knock down threes. She’d finish with 11 points and 4 assists in 26 minutes while, most importantly, looking healthy.

Wilson’s Comfort — There’s been some talk about how A’ja’s production may be reduced with having Cambage back on the court (myself included), but her performance in the opening game may have shut those talks down for now. She looked very comfortable from the jump, shooting the ball with extreme confidence and without hesitation. Wilson even knocked down a three but shied away from any further attempts. This type of production seems sustainable and should probably be fairly regular.




Many of the same issues that have existed in prior years reappeared again in game one of the season.


Recap: Aces vs Storm Game 1
Photo Credit: Seattle Storm

Perimeter Scoring — A big priority of the Aces this offseason was to address the three-point shooting issues — an area they’ve ranked at the bottom of the league in recent years. Vegas shot just 3-12 from distance compared to Seattle’s 12-27 — a 27-point differential that was a key reason for the loss.

Spacing — The poor spacing goes hand-in-hand with the perimeter scoring issues. The Aces play a slowly-paced inside-out game in which they run their flex offense and constantly dump the ball into the post. Doing this so often takes the ball out of guard Chelsea Gray’s hands and takes away from her creativity and effectiveness in doing things such as running the pick-and-roll. She looked uncomfortable all game and struggled her way to 7 points and 3 assists with 3 turnovers. Riquna Williams wasn’t able to find many openings either, as she went 1-6 for just 2 points.



The Aces will look to rebound on Tuesday, May 18th as they face the Seattle Storm, once again. Tune into ESPN2 at 7 p.m. to follow the action live, and remember to check back for the next recap.



Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm         Aces vs Storm        

-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

Follow The Franchise on social media