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FSM Presents: Las Vegas Aces 2021 Season Preview: Liz Cambage

Franchise Sports Media

 

FSM’s Cole Huff continues with our Las Vegas Aces coverage for the 2021 season with part 9 of his player preview series. This week’s focus is on center Liz Cambage.

 

Liz Cambage Bio:

 

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Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Measurements: 6’8; 216 lbs

Age: 29

Position: Center

Years Pro: 5th season suiting up for a WNBA team. She began her WNBA career in 2011 but has been in and out of the league as she has played for other teams internationally. 

Season Stats: 2019 → 15.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists on 50.4/ 16.7/ 74.8 shooting splits 

Playoff Stats: 2019 → 23.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists on 54.9/ 50.0/ 87.1 shooting splits

 

 

 

CONDENSED RECAP:

Liz Cambage opted out of the 2020 WNBA season due to health concerns revolving around COVID-19 and being ruled a medically high-risk player by the Aces’ team doctor. 

We last saw her on the court in 2019 during her debut season with the Aces after being traded from the Dallas Wings. After missing the first two games of the season as she got better acquainted with the team, Cambage took over the starting center position, where she teamed up with frontcourt running mate, A’ja Wilson, to help the team to their first-ever playoff appearance.

 

STRENGTHS:

 

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Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Go hop on the latest version of any professional basketball video game and create yourself the perfect player. You won’t be limited to a certain amount of attribute points, and you won’t be capped out while trying to choose heights. If you’re making a big, your player may sound a little something like this: extremely tall, great inside-finisher, good shot-blocking, skilled passer, and a solid outside-shooter. You combine those traits, and you’ll have a dominant player to play with. You’ll also have Liz Cambage, who fits the billing of the aforementioned created player.

Standing at 6’8 inches tall, Cambage is currently one of the tallest players in the WNBA. With that size, she presents a world of chaos for opposing defenders on a nightly basis — her 125 made baskets within five feet of the rim validate that sentiment. The success near the rim comes in variety, too; she seals deep in the paint and punishes one-on-one matchups with quick right-handed and left-handed finishes. And if it weren’t already hard enough to stop her the first time, Cambage is a relentless offensive-rebounder who has a knack for brushing off contact and converting and ones.

One might see Cambage’s stature and conclude that she’s strictly a threat around the basket, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. What her height also unlocks in her offensive package is player is her uniqueness as a passer. When operating out of the high-post, Cambage can easily reach above the outstretch defenders’ arms and convert passes to the low-posting big (usually A’ja Wilson — hence the term high-low. As the low-post big, she uses her height and length in a similar fashion to hit cutters around the rim.

 

WEAKNESSES:

I mentioned previously how capable Liz Cambage is at becoming a threat with her jump shot, but that’s largely due to the volume at which she’s comfortable putting up those shots. They’ll go in — leaving defenses wondering how to guard her — but she hasn’t been efficient in this area of her game yet.  During the 2019 regular season, Cambage made just 28 of 83 shots (34%) from outside of the paint and a slightly better 43 of 107 (40%) during 2018. Again, while certainly capable, there’s undoubtedly room for improvement in that area of her game. 

 

POTENTIAL ROLE:

 

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Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Liz returns to the Aces after a year away, and she’ll make her way back to the starting lineup as the team’s center. Much like her debut season, she’ll share the frontcourt with A’ja Wilson after an award-winning season. So the stats might not jump off the page on a nightly basis, but the success will still be there — if that makes sense. However, when push comes to shove, as it did in the 2019 playoffs, expect Liz Cambage to display a potential level of dominance that can’t be matched by any other player on the team. 

Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer told reporters at Aces media day, “We have a significant change from last year’s roster, probably up to half the basketball team. So it’s going to take a little bit of time to learn how to play with each other. … But I think our team is positioned well. We still have to learn to play with each other, how we mesh with each other.

“A’ja really stepped into her pure dominant role, I think last year. Being that key go-to player and carrying the team to the Finals. She really grew and stepped into her role as the one. I think she’s the best player in the WNBA right now. I think people need to put respect on her name. That’s just how I feel about A’ja right now.” Cambage said at Aces media day.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Aces player preview series where we will be featuring center and WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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