Thursday, March 23, 2023

Kelsey Plum plays Hammon’s ‘un-guardable’ guard

LAS VEGAS ( Associated Press) – Las Vegas Aces first-year coach Becky Hyman told Kelsey Plum before the season started that she would be the toughest guard in the league to defend.

Plum’s offensive prowess is no secret. But his versatility of being able to thread the passing seam into the Aces’ new system led Hammon to believe that Plum’s ability to drive Las Vegas’ high-powered offense could make him the WNBA’s most dangerous guard.

“He has such a high standard, one skill clearly is to score the ball,” Hammon said after Friday’s 96-73 win in Atlanta. “Now that teams are just focused on taking away his scoring, his desire to pass like this makes him vulnerable.”

A year after joining the bench as a reserve under former Aces coach Bill Laimbeer, Plum averages 17.5 points per game and is second in the league with 6.8 assists per game which leads the WNBA to 90.8 points for an offense. proceeds with. ,

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Plum said. “We’ve only been together a few weeks. I feel like I’m in a different place and I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and how to deal with the different things that come my way.”

As such she missed the 2020 season due to overcoming an Achilles tendon injury. Or coming off the bench in 2021. But leading the inaugural Olympic 3×3 event in points per game (6.2) while helping the United States take the gold medal.

While Limbeer had some of the harshest criticisms of Plume over the years, she was quick to credit the foundation she had laid for becoming the player she is today. Whether it’s learning to run the floor defensively, or learning how to get to the ball some people by enhancing their decision-making abilities, or varying sizes to become the best-positioned athlete in the league. have to come in.

And although it was the first time in her playing career that she came off the bench, the fan-favourite knew she had no choice but to play hand-in-hand.

“It was either a decision that I could have made the most of, or I could have been a brat. I figured if I wanted to win like I said I wanted to win, and that’s what the coach thinks about the team.” For the best, I’ll buy into it. And I’m better than anyone for doing it and I did. I learned a lot, I learned a lot about myself, and I think I’m better for it,” Plum Said, who won the sixth woman award last season. “And I’m never coming off the bench again.”

It is not only his teammates who have taken notice and lauded the player, who praise him for the growth and maturity to go with his talent.

“One thing you know about Plum is that she wants to be great,” said Seattle star Sue Bird, WNBA’s all-time assistant leader. “He’s hungry for it. He’s driven for it.”

Eja Wilson stated that the Plum League is capable of challenging for MVP.

“I think KP really worked for him this year for the moment,” Wilson said. “I think it was tough for her to get into it, but now she’s getting into it, and I think that’s the beauty of it. When you see it behind the scenes it’s amazing because you know that What she is capable of doing. She is starting to regain her confidence.”

Believe that in her fifth year, Plum is brazen about having a target on her back.

“I think it’s been a long time coming,” she said. “I feel very comfortable in my own skin – on the court, off the court. I feel like I am ready for it. I will continue to play at the level I am playing at, and continue to learn And I get better and grow, be the best player I can be for this team, both offensively and defensively. And it will all sort itself out in the end.

“I want it. I want it to be (outrageous) bad… and that’s what you’re gonna see from me.”


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