Game 1 of the WNBA Finals is set to tip off between the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty. The Aces have homecourt advantage in this series, which could play a huge role.
Las Vegas will have the opportunity to become the first team to repeat since the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Sparks. New York, on the other hand, is back in the Finals for the first time since 2002.
Both teams were projected to reach the Finals as they finished neck and neck in almost every statistical category. The Liberty won the season series 3-2 and hope to experience that same outcome in the finals.
New York faced some challenging matchups despite defeating the Washington Mystics (2-0) in the opening round and the Connecticut Sun in the semifinals (3-1).
On the other hand, Las Vegas defeated some scrappy teams in the Chicago Sky (2-0) and the Dallas Wings (3-0). This series can go either way, and experts have leaned more toward the Liberty.
Regardless of what happened prior to the finals, here are three key reasons to consider that could decide the 2023 WNBA Finals.
3. Battle of the frontcourts
The first major key to this series is going to be the battle of the frontcourts. Both teams can score in bunches in the post but this series may be a little different. Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones will have their hands full as they try to stop A'ja Wilson while scoring at a high rate.
Wilson is currently averaging 25.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 1 assist and she has been finding the slightest things to motivate her. Jones and Stewart are playing well and have had their flashes of greatness but have not been consistent.
Right now, Jones is averaging 16.5 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Coupled with Jones, Stewart is putting up 19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks. The two will have their hands full with Wilson and Kiah Stokes on the glass.
Both frontcourts must establish their dominance quickly to grab hold of this series (no pun). Las Vegas will be able to generate second-chance points if they crash the glass like they have all season which will take away second-chance attempts from New York.
New York will need to get physical and box out, otherwise, Las Vegas will get out and transition.