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A’Ja Wilson and Napheesa Collier: The WNBA’s Future Has Arrived


On Tuesday night, A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces and Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx each put up historic performances in their respective playoff games.

In the first semifinal game of the night, it appeared as thought the Las Vegas Aces were about to fall behind 2-0 in their series with the Connecticut Sun. But with just minutes left in the game, league MVP Wilson quite literally put the team on her back, hitting a pair of tough layups to seal the victory.

Wilson finished with 29 points, 7 rebounds and 7 blocked shots in the 83-75 victory over the Sun. Wilson’s seven blocked shots were tied for third most in a WNBA playoff game.

In a game the Aces couldn’t afford to lose, Wilson stepped up, allowing Las Vegas to level the series. Just 24 years old, Wilson has officially made the jump from potential to present superstar.

During the second game of the night between the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm, Napheesa Collier put on a show with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 blocked shots and 3 assists.

While the Lynx lost in a buzzer beater finish, Collier looked like the best player on the floor for much of the game. In a single stretch, she blocked former UConn teammate Breanna Stewart three times.

Collier, last year’s Rookie of the Year, just turned 24 on Wednesday. Earlier in the year, she told Just Women’s Sports that her next big individual goal was to win league MVP. That might not be too far down the road.

Before Tuesday night, there had only been two performances in WNBA playoff history in which a player logged at least 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks. In a matter of hours, Wilson and Collier added their names to that list Tuesday night.

As the playoffs continue, expect this duo to continue filling up the stat sheet. Along with former league MVP Breanna Stewart, herself just 26, they’ve already made it clear that no matter who walks away from the Wubble with a trophy, the future of the league is in excellent hands.