Becky Hyman swore before the start of the season that the Las Vegas Aces would shoot more 3-pointers this year.
When he was hired, it was a safe announcement considering the team that finished last in the league since moving from San Antonio to Las Vegas in 2018. The Aces made just 13.5 attempts last season.
But Hyman’s squad hasn’t lived up to the low expectations, they are second in the league with nearly 26 3-pointers average games. He tied the WNBA record with 18 made three in Monday night’s loss to Los Angeles.
“Basketball is a game of confidence,” Hammon said after the win. “You see one or two go to the basket, the guys roll… It becomes real fun as an offensive player, especially when you know your teammates are going to find you when you are open. “
The Aces made 162 3s last season. This year they have already made 85.
Las Vegas leads the league in scoring 93.3 points per game and top 100 points in three of the team’s first eight matches.
“Looks like it’s a breath of fresh air for all of us,” said Las Vegas star Eja Wilson, who hit two 3-pointers in Monday’s win. “I would definitely say we’re having fun.”
The Aces top the league standings and the Associated Press WNBA power poll with a 7-1 record.
This week’s WNBA poll:
1. Las Vegas (7-1): All five starters average double digits in scoring, which makes the Aces even more difficult to guard.
2. Connecticut (4-1): The Suns have won four games in a row after losing at the start of the season. Connecticut lost guard Jasmine Thomas to a knee injury in the team’s win over Indiana. The team announced that he was out for the season with a torn ACL. Connecticut has had a busy week with two games against Dallas and one against Washington.
3. Washington (5-2): No. 3 overall draft pick Shakira Austin has been a strong addition to the Mystics. He has averaged 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds this season, shooting about 64% off the field.
4. Chicago (3-2): The Sky welcomed WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper after she completed a stellar overseas season. Now that the team is “perfect” again, according to coach James Wade, Sky will be looking to piece together some victories.
5. Dallas (4-2): The Wings have a solid start to the season from guard Marina Mabre. He averages 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists and has been a good compliment to Eric Ogunbowale.
6. Seattle (3-3): Former league MVP Brenna Stewart returned from a positive COVID-19 test and the Storm won both their games. Seattle will look to continue that with two matches against New York this week.
7. Atlanta (4-2): Dream got off to a strong start behind No. 1 pick Rhine Howard. The schedule gets a little more challenging with a road game in Washington prior to hosting Team Phoenix. Atlanta may get a boost from Tiffany Hayes, who has been resting since returning from her overseas commitments.
8. Phoenix (2-4): The schedule hasn’t been good for the Mercury, with three of their first six games against the Las Vegas Aces. Phoenix has missed guard Skylar Diggins-Smith in the last two games with a non-COVID-19 illness. In the last game she played, the veteran guard had words on the bench with Diana Taurasi and the two parted ways.
9. Los Angeles (2-5): The Sparks are busy with three games over the next six days. After losing in Las Vegas on Monday night, Los Angeles travels to Indiana and Minnesota after Wednesday’s home game against Phoenix.
10. Minnesota (1-6): The Lynx will take Natalie Achonawa back to the front after recovering from a right hamstring injury on May 8. Minnesota has two home games this week and will honor former Lynx great Simon Augustus. Sunday is when LA comes to town. Augustus is Sparks’ assistant coach.
11. Indiana (2-6): The Fever has lost four games in a row and missed out on No. 2 pick Nalissa Smith, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury from her last three matches. She averages 13 points and 10 rebounds in a game.
12. New York (1-4): A week of practice could help the Liberty as they begin a three-game road trip in Minnesota on Tuesday. New York have been plagued by injuries and have signed 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield to a tough deal. His first game is against his former team Lynx. In New York, there will be no Betnijay Laney (right knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (left quadricep tendon), Didi Richards (right hamstring), Lorela Cubaz (concussion).
player of the week
Jackie Young of Las Vegas was voted Associated Press Player of the Week after averaging 20.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4 assists for helping the Aces lead 4-0. Alyssa Thomas of Connecticut and Eric Ogunbowale of Dallas also got votes.
Chicago’s Candace Parker became the third player in her career to hit two triple-doubles in WNBA history. Parker had 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists – the last of Courtney Vanderslut, who also achieved the feat in Sunday’s win over Washington. The triple-double by Parker was the 12th in league history and, at 36, she is the oldest player to do so. Sherrill Swoops, who also has two triple-doubles, placed her second at 34.
“To be in company with Slut, who does it on a regular basis and will probably end his career leading the league in assists, and Sherrill Swoops, whom I grew up watching and idolizing, I was more than a part of it. I am humble,” Parker said. “I realize there is more coming behind me. I hope the coaches are watching, that the point ahead is where it is.”
Game of the week:
Aces at Sky, Saturday. The top two teams in the league will clash on national television in Chicago. Sky will try to slow the league’s top offense.
More Associated Press Women’s Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports