The 28th WNBA season starts tonight, and one of the week's most anticipated games will be played without two of its biggest stars. 

Phoenix center Brittney Griner and Las Vegas guard Chelsea Gray are currently both sidelined with injuries, unfortunately missing out on the head-to-head clash that officially kicks off the 2024 season.

Griner is out with a left foot toe fracture, the Mercury announced on Monday. She’ll be out for an unspecified amount of time, and will be re-evaluated in the coming weeks. 

The 6-foot-9 starter is a major loss for Phoenix, as she added some much needed size to the guard-heavy roster. The team is scheduled to play eight games throughout the month of May, including two against defending champs Las Vegas along with a road game against the stacked New York Liberty. 

Gray, meanwhile, has been ruled out for the Aces’ season opener. She injured her foot during the WNBA Finals last season and spent much of training camp rehabbing the lingering knock. The former Finals MVP recently signed a contract extension with Las Vegas.

"We'll be reevaluating her daily, but also probably in a couple of weeks," head coach Becky Hammon said. "She's a little dinged up right now, so we'll take that one step at a time."

The Aces square off against the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday at 10 PM ET.

The Las Vegas Aces had a lot to say during their 2023 WNBA championship parade, with much of it directed at the New York Liberty.

There was a lot of talking about going for a three-peat, with WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson noting that the Aces are “going to do this s–t again.” The Aces were the first team in 21 years to win back-to-back titles, beating the Liberty in four games.

“We’re going to keep coming back, and everybody hates it,” Kelsey Plum told the crowd at Monday’s parade.

Yet the Aces’ Game 3 loss to the Liberty — their only loss throughout the 2023 playoffs — still sticks out as a source of frustration. In particular, Sabrina Ionescu’s “night night” celebration after hitting a key 3-pointer remains a point of contention. Sydney Colson mimicked the gesture after the Aces’ series-clinching win over the Liberty, and it came up again during the parade.

“They messed up when they went ‘night night,’” Chelsea Gray said. “And Sydney said I’m sitting on that Sabrina!”

Meanwhile, head coach Becky Hammon called out Liberty star Breanna Stewart’s Game 4 stat line, which included her going 3-for-17 from the field while being guarded by Alysha Clark.

“Alysha Clark was my rookie in San Antonio,” Hammon said, to which Clark replied: “Talk about it.”

“3-for-17 is you need to talk about it,” Hammon responded.

Wilson, meanwhile, was focused on her MVP snub, opting to wear a shirt that had the voting numbers on the back. She finished third for the regular-season award behind Stewart and Connecticut Sun star Alyssa Thomas. Wilson also called out the person that voted for her in fourth place, noting that she was going to use it as fuel for next season.

And at the end of the night, the Aces couldn’t resist getting in one more “night night.”

The Las Vegas Aces claimed their second consecutive WNBA title Wednesday night, with the 70-69 win sealing a 3-1 series victory over the New York Liberty.

A’ja Wilson led the way for the back-to-back champions, earning the Finals MVP award. The 27-year-old forward averaged 23.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game in the postseason heading into Game 4 of the championship series.

Las Vegas becomes the first team to win back-to-back titles since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002. In 2022, the Aces won their first title in franchise history, besting the Connecticut Sun in four games. In 2023, they repeated the feat, overcoming New York’s superteam lineup despite being hobbled by injuries.

The Aces formed a superteam of their own with the signing of two-time MVP Candace Parker ahead of the 2023 season. But Parker missed the second half of the season after undergoing foot surgery in July.

Still, the Aces finished with a 34-6 record in the regular season to surpass the 2014 Phoenix Mercury (29-5) for the most wins in WNBA history. And Parker offered her support from the sidelines throughout the postseason run.

The No. 1 seed entering the playoffs, Las Vegas lost just one game during its championship run. The Aces swept the Chicago Sky, 2-0, in the first round, and then the Dallas Wings, 3-0, in the semifinals.

In Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, an 87-73 loss to the Liberty, two Aces starters — 2022 Finals MVP Chelsea Gray and defensive specialist Kiah Stokes — sustained foot injuries, which kept them out of Game 4. But Las Vegas still managed to close out the series at New York’s Barclays Center.

Kelsey Plum thinks the Las Vegas Aces will be just fine in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, even without two of their key pieces.

Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes both will be absent from the Aces’ starting lineup Wednesday night against the New York Liberty after sustaining foot injuries in Game 3. Gray attended practice on a scooter Tuesday, while Stokes was on crutches, and both are questionable to return in the series.

For defending champions, who dominated Games 1 and 2 before losing Game 3, the losses of Gray and Stokes represent major blows.

“It’s brutal,” Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum said. “You watch them work so hard and get to this point, and you want it for them. So when they go down, it hurts. And there’s no replacing either of them. There’s no magic wand you can wave. There’s just not, and I would be ignorant to tell you that there is. It hurts, absolutely.”

Still, the Aces aren’t letting it get them down. Head coach Becky Hammon joked about having Sydney Colson climb on the back of Liberty center Jonquel Jones as part of the team’s defensive strategy. She also made a remark about bringing back injured star Candace Parker, though she has since been ruled out for Game 4.

And Gray noted that Las Vegas’ system sets them up to be able to replace any given player at any given moment.

“What actually is a positive thing about that is that our system is so fluid that any given person at any given time can be at the top and a different person can be in the corner. So you’re going to see a lot more times where Jackie and KP are at the top since I’m not out there. So our system being fluid actually really helps in that way.”

Plum made a comment about the Aces’ season, which has been marked by dominance on the court but controversies off it. Aces guard Riquna Williams was arrested on domestic violence charges in July; though the charges were dropped in September, she has not rejoined the team. And former Aces forward Dearica Hamby has filed a discrimination complaint against the team for trading her away because of her pregnancy.

“This team has responded all year,” Plum said. “We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been hurt, sued, arrested; you name it, we’ve done it. I’m confident in our group, and we’ve gone through a lot of adversity. We’ll be ready.”

A’ja Wilson echoed Plum’s sentiments about the Aces’ ability to rebound, but she called replacing Gray “a challenge.”

“That’s the head of our snake. That’s our leader. So that’s a challenge, obviously,” she said. “This is something that we’re just going to grind out like we’ve always been. And we’re used to being in the trenches, so at this point, we’ve just got to climb our way out.”

Chelsea Gray is unavailable for Game 4 of the WNBA Finals with a foot injury, Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon told reporters Tuesday.

Kiah Stokes also will miss Game 4 against the New York Liberty with a foot injury. Both players are questionable to return to the best-of-five championship series, in which the Aces hold a 2-1 lead.

Gray went down with a left foot injury during Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. The 31-year-old point guard had to be helped into the locker room. Following the game, Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon said she did not have an update.

“I’ll let you know when we know,” she told reporters, noting that “no one person will replace” Gray if she were to miss more time in the best-of-five series. Instead, the Aces will fill the gap left by Gray by committee.

The reigning WNBA Finals MVP, Gray had 11 points before her departure in the fourth quarter Sunday. Upon reaching the bench, she appeared to say that her “foot popped,” and she entered Tuesday’s practice on a scooter.

She is averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds for Las Vegas this postseason. In the Aces’ two victories to start the series, she scored a combined 34 points to go along with 20 assists and 12 rebounds.

Stokes, who starts for the Aces as a defensive specialist, entered Tuesday’s practice on crutches. She “woke up in pain,” she told reporters, and is waiting “to see what the doctor says” about the injury.

The Las Vegas Aces lost Game 3 of the WNBA Finals to the New York Liberty, and the team could be without one of its biggest weapons moving forward.

Aces point guard Chelsea Gray suffered an apparent left foot injury during the game and then hopped off the court into the bowels of the arena. Gray then was seen being helped into the training room by two members of the team staff.

After the game, Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon said she did not have an update on Gray’s condition. “I’ll let you know when we know,” Hammon told reporters.

Gray, the reigning WNBA Finals MVP after leading the Aces to a 3-1 series victory over the Connecticut Sun last season, went down in the fourth quarter Sunday in what turned into an 87-73 rout for the Liberty.

She scored 11 points before her departure. Upon reaching the bench after the injury, she seemed to say that her “foot popped.”

Gray is averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 assists and 5.0 rebounds for Las Vegas this postseason. In the Aces’ two victories to start the series she scored a combined 34 points to go along with 20 assists and 12 rebounds.

If Gray misses more time during the best-of-five series, “no one person will replace her,” Hammon said.

The Liberty will host the Aces for Game 4 at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday at the Barclays Center in New York. If necessary, Game 5 will be held at 9 p.m. ET Friday in Las Vegas.

The New York Liberty are still alive.

Facing elimination in the 2023 WNBA Finals, the Liberty defeated the Las Vegas Aces, avoiding a series sweep with an 87-73 in Game 3.

The Liberty lost the first two games of the best-of-five championship series but rebounded with a victory in front of a sold-out crowd at Barclays Center. So far, the Finals have mirrored the regular-season series between the two superteams, as Las Vegas and New York each won the two games on their home courts.

The teams will play Game 4 at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday in New York. If necessary, Game 5 will be held at 9 p.m. ET Friday in Las Vegas.

Star center Jonquel Jones led the way for New York, scoring 27 points and bringing down 8 rebounds. Sabrina Ionescu dictated the tone of the Liberty’s offense, recording 11 assists along with 9 points.

Kelsey Plum scored 29 points in a losing effort for the Aces. Another significant loss for Las Vegas came in the fourth quarter, as guard Chelsea Gray exited the game with an apparent leg injury.

Playing in its first WNBA Finals since 2002, New York came out firing in Game 3 after losing the first two games of the series in Las Vegas. Head coach Sandy Brondello’s team led by three points at halftime before breaking the game open over the final two quarters.

The win came in front of an announced 17,143 fans at Barclays Center, the highest gate receipt ever for a WNBA Finals game. Dawn Staley, Joan Jett, Tony Parker and Jason Sudeikis were among those in attendance.

With another impressive performance in the 2023 WNBA Finals, Las Vegas Aces guard Chelsea Gray is feeling the love.

In the Aces’ dominant Game 2 victory over the New York Liberty, Gray posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists. During the 104-76 win, she stayed loose by sharing a special handshake with Candace Parker.

Parker joined the defending champions ahead of the 2023 season, but she has been sidelined since July after undergoing surgery to repair a foot fracture. Still, she has made her presence felt for the team, from her handshake with Gray to her words of wisdom for A’ja Wilson during Game 1 of the Finals.

Praise for Gray came from onlookers as well as teammates. The 2023 WNBA Finals MVP, she contributed 20 points and 9 assists in the Aces’ Game 1 win, and she averaged a career high 15.3 points and 7.3 assists during the regular season.

NBA star Draymond Green, who has won four titles with the Golden State Warriors, shouted out Gray on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, writing: “Chill out C Gray!”

Another post praised Gray as perhaps the best passer in WNBA history, even surpassing Ticha Penicheiro — and Penicheiro responded, writing: “She’s better!!! No doubt….she can have that crown!!”

Penicheiro, who won the 2005 WNBA title with the Sacramento Monarchs, led the league in assists in seven of her 15 seasons.

No bench? No problem, at least for the Las Vegas Aces.

In Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, the Las Vegas Aces took a 99-82 win against the New York Liberty. Of those 99 points, 91 came from four Aces starters.

Kelsey Plum (26), Jackie Young (26), Chelsea Gray (20) and A’ja Wilson (19) dominated for Las Vegas, which outscored New York by 20 points in the second half to take the 1-0 series lead. No four players have combined for more points in a WNBA Finals game, per ESPN’s Alexa Philippou.

The Aces’ other eight points came from Alysha Clark, the first player off the bench for the defending champions. Clark played 28 minutes; the rest of the Aces’ bench played just five minutes combined.

Kiah Stokes, the fifth starter for Las Vegas, is a defensive specialist, often trading places with Clark depending on possession. In Game 1, Stokes finished with zero points, but she had five rebounds and three assists.

Before Candace Parker’s injury, she held Stokes’ role as the second post player in the starting lineup alongside Wilson, averaging 9.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. Yet even with Parker on the sidelines, the Aces’ starting lineup is fearsome for opponents, as they proved again Sunday.

With the victory, Las Vegas has won its first six games of the 2023 postseason. The No. 1 seed Aces swept the No. 8 seed Chicago Sky and the No. 4 seed Dallas Wings to reach the championship series. Five other teams in WNBA history have won their first six postseason games, and all went on to win the title, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Las Vegas Aces are betting favorites to win the 2023 WNBA Finals over the New York Liberty. Yet recent history between the two teams suggests that maybe it should be the other way around.

The best-of-five series could go down in history as one of the best ever. A battle between two superteams, the Liberty are making their first Finals appearance since 2002, while the Aces are looking to repeat as champions.

Still, even after Las Vegas’ historic 34-6 season, New York has had them on the ropes.

The teams split their regular season meetings, 2-2, with each team winning the games on its home court. But in a fifth meeting, in the 2023 Commissioner’s Cup final on Aug. 15, the New York Liberty emerged victorious, 82-63.

The Aces’ first win against the Liberty came back in June. The next four games in their 2023 series came in August, and the Liberty held a 3-1 record in those contests, including the Commissioner’s Cup final. And it’s those four games that New York head coach Sandy Brondello thinks will make the Finals interesting.

“It helped us a lot, playing [those four times] in August,” she said. “The chess match begins now. … I’m excited, I know Becky will be excited. It’ll be a hard-fought battle, and we’re battle tested, so I look forward to that.”

It’s also, as she pointed out, the superteam “narrative” that WNBA fans have been eying from the start of the season. Regardless of which team wins the series, one could argue that as a whole, the league has won this season.

“I think it’s good. That’s the narrative everyone wanted for the start,” Brondello said. “I didn’t like the superteam thing, but these players, they’ve played great. I think it’ll be a great series, and it’s good promotion for the WNBA.”

New York will start the series with two games on the road after the Aces locked down the No. 1 overall seed. And it’ll be a testy atmosphere at Las Vegas’ Michelob Ultra Arena, with both games having already sold out. The Aces haven’t lost much at home this season, and the Liberty have electrified their city too.

Like Brondello said, it’s going to be a battle.

“This is a special group,” Aces guard Chelsea Gray said. “Our composure in our huddles and how tight and how locked in we were with each and every person, whether you’re in the game or out the game, anybody that came in knew what we were doing, especially on the defensive end. So I wouldn’t want to go to war with anybody else.”