Becky Hammon’s experience is off to a great start

Las vigas – Becky Hammon He fell to the ground in front of a massive crowd of 6,200 people before the opening game of the aces tournament Sunday night against Seattle.

And while it wasn’t the prettiest match – the Aces managed an 85-74 win over the Storm – so far with two games, Becky Hammon’s experience was exactly what the ace was looking for when they brought in Hall of Fame player as a coach.

Although it was a small sample size, this year’s Aces team looks very different from the team that lost in the WNBA semifinals last year. Through two games, Aces average 96 points per game. They shoot 51.5% from the field, 45.6% from three and 87.5% from the free throw line. They also share the ball in an amazing clip, with 45 assists in 69 baskets made so far this year. The attack looks different, and the players have fun moving the ball.

“Yes, it was fun to play freestyle and run in transition,” said Jacky Young on the new crime. “At the start of the season, Becky said we were going to play really selfless and I think you guys can see that. If someone is open to us, we’ll have it and it was really exciting for us and the fans as well.”

Last year under Bill Laimbere, the Aces were a Triangle offense that focused heavily on its bombing inside Wilson and Liz Campage. Under Hamon, they’ve switched to a fast, moving attack, cutting, speed and space, that mimics the way the NBA went. Players constantly cut the ball, share the ball and push it to move at every opportunity. They also play with a great deal of confidence and freedom. Hamon is only allowed to read and play basketball. As Hammon says, it’s a team full of hoops. It is difficult to protect the offense even for one of the best defensive teams in the league in Seattle.

“Last year’s team was trying to overload it, slow pace, slower pace. Deliberate about post-ups. Becky’s orb is flowing more freely, and it’s like an NBA-like twist,” said the Seattle Storm coach, Seattle Storm coach. Mimic our game with men a bit when we talk about distancing.” Noel Quinn. “You know, all the things that come with that. I think the cadence is different. They obviously shoot three. And I… I would say speed more than anything.”

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One of the biggest changes is who starts. Derica Hampi And Kelsey Plum, the sixth different player in this year’s WNBA, is now starting in Las Vegas. Hamby had a stunning goal on Friday night in Phoenix, netting 24 points on an 11-for-14 shootout, and he followed that up with a rally-high of 19 rebounds on Sunday against Seattle. They are aggressive in taking advantage of mismatches and making big cuts in the basket.

In the meantime, Plame is averaging 17 points through two games and shooting 50% behind the 3-point arc. She looks like her college days, the ball in her hands and an attack for herself and her teammates. Having both Plum and Hamby’s starters completely change Las Vegas’ perspective on the offensive end.

Another player who has managed to thrive in her short time in Hammon’s offensive is Jackie Young. Young is averaging 19.5 points after his opening weekend and looked like a completely different player. She has always been a versatile player but the team never expected to contribute so much on the offensive end. However, during the first two matches, she seemed to be more aggressive, creating her own offense and at times, Hamon would call her number because other teams couldn’t stop her. Hammon and Aja Wilson have both seen massive growth and an increase in confidence from Young to start this season.

“It’s the key to the puzzle,” Hamon said of Young Sunday. “She is the defender of our prison perimeter. She can legitimately guard from one to four. However, I thought she was really good at attacking today.”

Wilson added, “Jackie, you know I said when we were in Phoenix, I think Jackie is starting to develop herself as a goalkeeper in this league and understands that the people in front of her don’t need to see her, she just needs to attack the basket. I love the confidence you shine through.” .

Perhaps the most impactful change Hammon made was to move Wilson to fifth on a permanent basis. Wilson is by no means a junior player, but he could be smaller compared to some of the other five players in the WNBA. However, although small at times, Hammon’s fresh attack left plenty of room for Wilson to drive to the basket.

Last year the paint was clogged with other big paint but now it’s open to Wilson to post or drive depending on the match. Hamon also asked her to be a defensive anchor and Wilson has so far shown how effective she can be in the role. She did a tremendous job on guard Tina Charles In the first match, she showed her ability to protect the frame with five blocked shots on Sunday evening. Hammon believes that Wilson should be recognized as one of the best defenders in the WNBA.

“Aja in our two games… Her defensive effort was off the charts. As time goes on during the season, there should be talks about being one of the best defensive players in the league,” Hamon said. “She had a couple of big blocks, just playing effort, And move her feet. She’s bloated most nights out there and continues to outsmart people, outsmart technique with her feet and obviously after that, she has great hands too.”

Hammon brought a different defensive mindset to this team as well. They flounder and play hard and smart on the defensive side. They switched a lot of ball screens, threw double teams at certain players and even showed an area against Phoenix, all to keep their opponents on their toes. Hammon knows the players absorb the energy of their head coach and has described herself and her team as go-tos.

“You know we are small but we are scrapers. I think at a certain point you are rooted in your coach personality and I am an intense player,” Hamon said. “I love that energy. I love that focus, it’s a game of ball possession… we have to be there for now. per second and fortunately this team is cerebral enough that it picks up things really fast.”

Despite the Aces’ success in these first two games, there are few concerns for the team. They play too fast and lose in attack and that has led to some spin issues. In the first two games, the Aces averaged 16 spins. Last year, the Aces ranked second in the WNBA with a turnover of just 11.6 per game. It might just be learning a new offense but it’s something the Aces should clean up.

Another problem that an ace faces is big fouls, with an average of 22 personal fouls per match after the first two matches. It hasn’t cost them a game yet, but it could be costly in tight matches later in the season. Hamon says Sunday’s issues of Doran were just overly elusive.

“Well, though we were passing excessively sometimes. Get off the ball, pass it — if someone is open, give them the ball,” Hamon said. “There is a tendency a lot as a player, especially when you have a lot of players Good players and good players, it can get like it’s not going well. Someone has to do that. So maybe I am.”

Even with these areas of concern, the Aces saw plenty of positives through the first two games of Becky Hammon’s era. The opening of the house had a lot of energy with over 6000 fans and even a few celebrities in the crowd. Hammon was very grateful to the crowd and felt that they brought energy at the right moments.

“I think I mean, if you feel the energy, I know the guys can definitely feel the energy when you get into the ring,” Hammon said. “I love the energy. I thought they raised their voices at the right moments and our players, you know as a player, you can feel that.”

The Aces have taken the opportunity to appoint a first head coach to replace the winning WNBA coach for the past three years. There’s still plenty of basketball to be played and a couple of games with an incredibly small sample size…but for now, the Aces should be ecstatic with what Hammon has brought to the table and he probably thinks it could be the start of something special.