Liberty hoping to again torch Aces
The visiting Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty have a two-game encore after combining for 223 points in a Liberty road win less than a week ago. After Tuesday night’s encounter, the teams renew acquaintances at a late Thursday morning affair as former Liberty icon-and current Aces’ coach-Becky Hammon returns to the area,
New York’s Sabrina Ionescu stole the show in Sin City with 31 points (10-of-13 shooting), 13 rebounds and 10 assists in New York’s 116-107 victory. Teammate Han Xu came off the bench to add 24 points on 11-of-12 from the field.
A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young combined for 53 points for the Aces. The teams combined for 31 3-pointers and just 13 turnovers.
The total of 174 for the Las Vegas-New York game is nearly 10 points higher than any of the other Tuesday games. Las Vegas can move into a tie for first place in the WNBA standings with a win, and a loss by Chicago against Atlanta.
According to the WNBA betting lines, three of the top four candidates in the current WNBA Most Valuable Player odds are in this game. A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas is the current leader at -135, while teammate Kelsey Plum-the MVP of Sunday’s All-Star-Game-is third at +550. Meanwhile, New York guard Sabrina Ionescu has risen to fourth, priced at +800.
Las Vegas (+150) remains favored to win the WNBA championship, according to the WNBA playoff odds.
Aces’ indefensible defense
There’s no questioning the offensive talent on the Aces, with former No. 1 overall picks A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young leading the way. Dearica Hamby and Chelsea Gray round out quite the starting five here.
It’s no surprise that the Aces lead the WNBA with an average of 89.8 points per game. However, Las Vegas has allowed 93.8 points over the last eight. The Aces are 3-5 during that time, with the three victories by one, six and six points.
Las Vegas has allowed opponents to score more than 100 points in each of the last two games. They are playing a team that, over the last 10 games, leads the WNBA by averaging 11.6 3-pointers made and 29.4 3’s attempted per game.
Las Vegas is 1-8 against the Las Vegas odds (go figure) in its last nine.
Howard under the Liberty radar
Playing on a team with MVP candidate Sabrina Ionescu, recent addition Marine Johannes and the 6-foot-10 Han Xu, it’s not difficult to overlook veteran post player Natasha Howard.
A mistake, as Howard’s scored in double figures in her last eight. She’s averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, while shooting 45.3% from the field. Sure, the Liberty have plenty of players who can hit from the perimeter. However, without a low-post presence, it’s difficult to get those open 3-point looks.
Over those eight games, Ionescu has 38 3-pointers and Johannes has hit 24. Xu is 3-for-5 on 3-pointers over the last three contests.
Something to consider for those who wager online is New York has covered in eight of its last 11.
Aces vs Liberty Game Information
- Game: Aces 15-7 (6-4 on the road) vs Liberty 9-13 (4-7 at home)
- Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
- Day/Time: Tuesday, July 12th, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Aces vs Liberty Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Aces vs Liberty Betting Lines
|Las Vegas Aces||-7 -110||-300||161½-110o||76½-115o
|New York Liberty||+7 -110||-350||161½-110u||85-115o
Aces vs Liberty Prediction
Las Vegas recently had reserve guard Riquna Williams return after she missed more than a month. Williams is still looking to get her offensive mojo back, as she’s 8-for-28 from the field in the five games since her return. She is just 1-for-5 inside the 3-point line.
New York’s recent win over Las Vegas snapped the Liberty’s seven-game losing skid .against the Aces. Each of the last four games in the series went over the total.
While the Aces should have all of their top players available, New York continues to be without Betnijah Laney and Jocelyn Willoughby. Forward Rebecca Allen is questionable after missing the last game.
Despite the break, Joce Willoughby will *NOT* be returning to the Liberty on Tuesday. Bec Allen is questionable. Sandy Brondello mentioned both would need some reps.
Rebecca Allen (Rest) – QUESTIONABLE⁰Betnijah Laney (R. Knee) – OUT⁰Jocelyn Willoughby (L. Knee) – OUT@Winsidr
— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) July 11, 2022
Las Vegas and New York rank first and second, respectively, in 3-pointers made per game. However, the Aces make five more foul shots per game than the Liberty.
New York as a seven-point ‘dog at home seems to be a little on the high side, so we’re going that way.