The city that never sleeps is buzzing with excitement as the New York Liberty takes center stage in the WNBA Finals. It’s a moment fans have been yearning for, a shot at glory that’s been a long time coming. The Liberty stand just three wins away from making history, but standing in their way is the formidable Las Vegas Aces, the reigning champions.
Here’s the story:
For Liberty fans, this journey to the Finals feels like a sweet dream they never thought would come true. It’s been more than two decades since they last reached this stage back in 2002. But this season, something magical has been brewing at the Barclays Center, and it’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement.
The Commissioner’s Cup victory earlier this year was a significant milestone, their first-ever piece of silverware. It’s like a taste of what’s possible, and it’s left fans hungry for more.
Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Sabrina Ionescu, Betnijah Laney, and Courtney Vandersloot lead the charge, and they’ve been nothing short of sensational. Head coach Sandy Brondello is the guiding force behind this incredible team.
But here’s the twist – this isn’t just any Finals matchup. It’s a grudge match, a rematch of their Commissioner’s Cup showdown. In that game, the Liberty didn’t just win; they dominated with an 82-63 victory. It was a statement win, a glimpse of what they’re capable of when the stakes are high.
The regular season saw the Liberty and the Aces square off four times, with each team winning two games. That level of familiarity adds an extra layer of drama to this Finals showdown.
Now, let’s talk about the MVPs. A’ja Wilson, the 2022 MVP, leads the Aces, while Breanna Stewart, the 2023 MVP, is the face of the Liberty. These two superstars are the beating hearts of their teams, and their duel promises to be one for the ages.
Stewart, a native of Syracuse, has been a game-changer since joining the Liberty. She’s been putting up massive numbers, averaging 23.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in the regular season. And in the playoffs, she’s continued to shine, averaging 19.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Wilson may not have repeated as MVP, but her season has been nothing short of spectacular. She averaged 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in the regular season, and in the playoffs, she’s been even more exceptional, posting 25.8 points and 11.2 boards per game.
But it’s not just about the MVPs; it’s about the entire squad. Jonquel Jones, a former MVP herself, displayed her brilliance in a pivotal Game 4 of the semifinals. Betnijah Laney brings her trademark tenacity and defensive prowess. Sabrina Ionescu’s three-point shooting is deadly, and Courtney Vandersloot’s playmaking is top-notch.
Now, on the other side of the court, you have the Aces, led by former No. 1 overall picks A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and Jackie Young, along with last season’s Finals MVP, Chelsea Gray. Their coach, Becky Hammon, a former WNBA star, brings a wealth of experience to the Aces.
And here’s a bit of history for you: both head coaches, Sandy Brondello and Becky Hammon, are former players themselves. This Finals marks a historic moment in WNBA history as two former players meet as head coaches.
This series is a rollercoaster of emotions waiting to happen! The Liberty and Aces facing off in the WNBA Finals for the first time is a chapter yet to be written. It could be the beginning of a new era in women’s basketball, and Liberty fans, well, they’re dreaming of that first-ever championship!