After two thrilling semifinal series, the WNBA Finals are set as the Las Vegas Aces will face the Connecticut Sun.
Las Vegas’ 26-10 record was good for first in the WNBA this season, and it clinched its spot in the Finals with a four-game series victory over the Seattle Storm. Connecticut, which earned the third seed in the playoffs with a 25-11 record, had to fight to get to the Finals, defeating the Dallas Wings in a decisive Game 3 on the road in the first round and eliminating the defending champion Chicago Sky in a decisive Game 5 on the road in the semifinals.
The Aces and Sun met three times during the 2022 regular season, with the Aces taking two of the three games.
- May 31, 2022: 24 points and 14 rebounds from A’ja Wilson lead Las Vegas to an eight-point home win over Connecticut
- June 2, 2022: Led by 20 points from Jonquel Jones, five Sun players finish in double figures to earn a seven-point road win over the Aces.
- July 17, 2022: Wilson (20), Chelsea Gray (21) and Kelsey Plum (22) combine for 63 points in a 91-83 Las Vegas road win over Connecticut.
During the regular season, the Sun boasted the WNBA’s second-rated defense (98.3) while the Aces owned the league’s top-rated offense (111.9). Throughout the postseason, Connecticut has been able to earn gritty wins by muddying things up with its defense, but it now faces its toughest task to date.
This series will have it all: clashing styles, the league’s last two MVPs in Jones and Wilson, and a little bit of history — neither the Aces nor Sun have won a WNBA title in their respective franchises’ history.
Here is all you need to know about the 2022 WNBA Finals.
Las Vegas Aces
Head coach: Becky Hammon
2022 record: 26-10
Top 3 players
Gray has been one of the most electrifying players during the 2022 NBA Playoffs with her playmaking and all-world shotmaking ability.
It’s one thing to note that Gray is averaging team highs of 24.0 points and 7.7 assists through Las Vegas’ first six playoff games, but it’s another to add that she’s shooting 62.6 percent from the field and 59.5 percent from deep.
Familiar with the phrase “good defense, better offense?” That essentially sums up the run that Gray is on.
Here’s two minutes of ridiculous shotmaking by Chelsea Gray in the semifinals. Just unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/JCWMj7FV4g
— Sean Hurd (@seanahurd) September 7, 2022
Fresh off the best season of her professional career, Plum has kept the momentum going in the postseason, averaging 18.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
Effective as Plum has been, she’s been in a bit of a slump, shooting 28.2 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs after knocking down over three triples per game at a 42.0 percent clip during the regular season.
Las Vegas has only lost once this postseason and Plum hasn’t warmed up yet. If she does in the Finals, things could get scary for their opponent.
It’s hard to debate that Wilson, who was named Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of the 2022 WNBA season, isn’t the best player in the league.
The journey of becoming a 2x MVP 🙌
@_ajawilson22‘s game and leadership has continued to flourish throughout the years
✅ 2018 #1 overall pick
✅ 2018 Rookie of the Year
✅ 2020 WNBA MVP
✅ 2022 DPOY
✅ 2022 MVP
That’s what you call an ELITE resume ✨ pic.twitter.com/3YwnszkMa4
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 7, 2022
The honors only begin to describe Wilson’s impact on the game as her presence as a leader, bucket-getter and calming force for this Aces team has been invaluable. As Wilson’s trophy case quickly fills up, she looks to complete the trifecta of her season with her first-ever WNBA title.
Expect the MVP to tap into another level now that she’s three wins away from a championship.
Head coach: Curt Miller
2022 record: 25-11
Top 3 players
Bonner is, in many ways, the heart and soul of this Sun team, and her fire sparked Connecticut’s late rally in the decisive Game 5 win over Chicago to clinch a spot in the Finals.
— ESPN (@espn) September 9, 2022
A two-time champion, Bonner is a 13-year veteran that knows a thing or two about competing — and winning — at the highest level, which will be invaluable against the top-seeded Aces.
Bonner’s averaging 13.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the 2022 playoffs.
One year removed from an impressive MVP campaign, Jones maintains her standing as one of the league’s top talents.
As Connecticut spreads the wealth on the offensive end, Jones is averaging a team-high 14.4 points in the postseason while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range.
The 6-foot-6 forward’s matchup with Las Vegas’ Wilson will be one to keep an eye on as the league’s last two MVPs go head-to-head with a title on the line.
Is there anything Thomas can’t do on the basketball court?
In her first full season since returning from an Achilles injury, Thomas was right back at peak form, which was good for a fourth-place finish in 2022 MVP voting.
This postseason, Thomas continues to do it all with averages of 11.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Thomas is the biggest threat to impact all facets of the game in the Finals.
What a performance from Playoff @athomas_25 🐢🙌
— Maryland Women’s Basketball (@TerpsWBB) September 9, 2022
2022 WNBA Finals schedule, TV channels
The 2022 WNBA Finals begin on Sunday, Sept. 11 in Las Vegas, with the higher-seeded Aces hosting Games 1 and 2.
Since 2005, the WNBA Finals have had a best-of-five format. If necessary, Game 4 will be played in Connecticut while a decisive Game 5 would be played in Vegas.
|Date||Game||Time (ET)||Location||TV channel|
|Sunday, Sept. 11||Game 1||3 p.m.||Las Vegas, NV||ABC|
|Tuesday, Sept. 13||Game 2||9 p.m.||Las Vegas, NV||ESPN|
|Thursday, Sept. 15||Game 3||9 p.m.||Uncasville, CT||ESPN|
|Sunday, Sept. 18||Game 4*||4 p.m.||Uncasville, CT||ESPN|
|Tuesday, Sept. 20||Game 5*||9 p.m.||Las Vegas, NV||ESPN|