The WNBA’s post stars of the present and future will battle when the re-energized Las Vegas Aces travel to the Chicago Sky Thursday.

Minutes Into A'ja Wilson's Aces Lifting Second Title Home, Angel Reese  Plans to Disrupt Their Three-Peat - EssentiallySports

Chicago rookie Angel Reese is making her case as the league’s most promising frontcourt rookie, but she has never faced the defending two-time champion Aces and their super-star center A’ja Wilson.

Reese has improved her scoring (13.2 ppg) and is second in the league in rebounding (11.1 rpg). She has double-doubles in her last eight games and is coming off a career-best 25-point outing in an 88-87 win over the Indiana Fever Sunday.

“It was amazing,” Sky center Kamille Cardoso said of Reese’s performance. “She brings a lot of energy for all of us. It rubs off, so when she’s playing really well, we tend to play really hard for her.”

Reese noted her excitement to play against the WNBA’s premiere front-court talent.

“I love A’ja Wilson,” she said. “She’s been somebody that I’ve always tried to model my game after, on and off the court. I love who she is and just being able to be named with her is amazing.”

Chicago (6-9) has won its last two games and has also gotten a lift from guard Chennedy Carter, who has averaged 20 points over the past three games, shooting 67 percent.

Las Vegas (8-6) may have turned its season around with the return of point guard Chelsea Gray from a leg injury. The Aces started 6-6 without Gray, but have won both games since her return. In Gray’s WNBA career, her teams have been 207-93 when she has played and just 21-27 without her.

“It’s a huge difference for us,” Wilson said of Gray’s presence. “I know a lot of people love her fancy passing… but Chelsea gets us organized. She gets us in a flow.”

Two-time MVP Wilson will offer a stiff test for Reese. The 6-foot-4 center leads the league in scoring (27.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg). She is the reigning two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year as well.

“I knew this season was going to be hard for us,” said Wilson. “Not only are we going for a third (championship) but everyone’s gotten better. This league is getting better.”

It will be the first of four meetings this season between the teams.