October 19, 2023
Locked On Women’s Basketball: 2023 WNBA Finals: How A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces captured title on sheer will
Howard and Jackie talk all things WNBA Finals —Game 4 and how the Aces won with a limited roster
It’s time for another Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast episode. Hosts Howard Megdal and Jackie Powell join you live from the WNBA postgame podium to talk about an A’ja Wilson performance for the Las Vegas Aces in a 70-69 Game 4 win that gave Las Vegas back-to-back titles, the first repeat champions since 2001-02. The New York Liberty, however, fell short of their championship aspirations and then failed to show up for postgame media access as well beyond Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot and Sandy Brondello.
Jackie talks about A’ja Wilson’s WNBA Finals Game 4 performance:
“I mean, she’s the Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Defensive Player of the Year. It is notable that if you look at the box score, which I’m currently looking at right now, Jonquel Jones had eight shots, eight shots out of all the starters was the least amount of shots. And that’s a function of a couple of things. It’s a function of A’ja Wilson, making it very hard for Jonquel to get touches. It’s also a function of the Liberty were so flustered that they couldn’t move the ball to get it to her, or when they tried to, the Aces were ready for it. Sandy Brondello said that the Liberty did not play at their best and we’ll talk a little bit more about exactly what that means later, but A’ja Wilson noticed and she took advantage.”
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Jackie talks about Jackie Young‘s growth as a guard and Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot’s reflection on Game 4 of the WNBA Finals:
“So Jackie Young. If you all remember the first year of her rookie year, 2019. When she was drafted to the Aces, Bill Laimbeer had her playing the one. And it was a little tricky. She was uncomfortable. I mean, anyone would be like a rookie who isn’t an actual point guard playing the one. And she struggled. And so is really striking to me in the year 2023 that Jackie Young is able to tally the most guard assists for the Aces with Chelsea Gray out.”
“It reminded me a little bit of how stunned Breanna Stewart was after Game 2. The difference was she was able to look at us. There were moments when she had to put her hand maybe in front of her face like this a little bit. But the answers from Breanna Stewart were short. She was stunned. I’m looking at my notes. They both were sniffling. Both Courtney Vandersloot and Breanna Stewart were clearly very impacted by the emotional weight of what just happened. Courtney Vandersloot was feeling it, especially because she was the one who missed the final shot that would have brought this series to a Game 5. Breanna Stewart, obviously, she was 3-17 from the field. So, probably, she was very angry at those results as well.”
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