2005 WNBA All-Star balloting
Experts Cast Their All-Star Ballots

Nancy Lieberman
Eastern Conference
-Guards-

Alana Beard, Mystics

Though she has played in just six of the Mystics’ 10 games, you can’t overlook Beard. She offers so much versatility in the backcourt, continues to expand her shooting beyond the arc and is a prolific slasher. And if you need a stop, Beard’s one of the best defenders in the league.
Deanna Nolan, Shock
In an MVP-caliber season, Nolan continues to be one of the league’s most gifted one-on-one players. She’s electrifying, yet also very much a team player.

-Forwards-

Tamika Catchings, Fever

The ultimate matchup nightmare, Catchings can play multiple positions and is a great rebounder and scorer. She’s relentless on both sides of the ball and is an amazing physical presence.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Sun
She has exceptional fundamental skills and understanding of the game. A wonderful team player, McWilliams-Franklin also is very versatile both inside and out, has a great face-up game from the top of the key and in, and can take a defender either way off the dribble.

-Center-

Margo Dydek, Sun

Ruth Riley is having a solid season and led the early returns, but no center is having a better season in the East than Dydek. If Connecticut’s eight-game win streak isn’t evidence enough, Dydek’s All-Star numbers are.

Western Conference
-Guards-

Sue Bird, Storm

The consummate leader, Bird is just a great passer who makes people on the floor around her better. If she doesn’t get hurt, I don’t see Seattle saddled with four losses already. And she just might have the best pull-up foul-line jumper in the game.
Katie Smith, Lynx
A wonderful pro who has worked so hard to come back, Smith is so mentally and physically tough. Her incredible strength and shot make her one of the hardest people in the league to defend.

-Forwards-

Lauren Jackson, Storm

Despite coming off an ankle injury and playing outside more, Jackson just seems to get better each possession. She’s a hard matchup, and very physical now.
Sheryl Swoopes, Comets
She has tremendous pride and plays hard all the time. Swoopes also remains a great defender and is as reliable as ever – when you need a bucket, she can get it.

-Center-

Yolanda Griffith, Monarchs

She still anchors the Monarchs both offensively and defensively, but doesn’t have to have big numbers to have an impact on a game. Griffith is also the best rebounder the league has ever seen.
Rebecca Lobo
Eastern Conference
-Guards-

Nykesha Sales, Sun

Nykesha is playing for the best team in the WNBA right now.
Deanna Nolan, Shock
Nolan is the most explosive and athletic player in the league. And Becky Hammon. And Lindsay Whalen. And...

-Forwards-

Cheryl Ford, Shock

Katie Douglas, Sun

Tamika Catchings belongs out there but I never roomed with her on the road so Katie Douglas gets the nod.


-Center-

Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Sun

Taj is also playing for the best team in the WNBA right now.

Western Conference
-Guards-

Sue Bird, Storm

Diana Taurasi, Mercury
Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are the best guards in the west (and Uconn grads). Katie Smith should be out there too...

-Forwards-

Chamique Holdsclaw, Sparks

Sheryl Swoopes, Comets
Holdsclaw and Swoopes are putting up great numbers.

-Center-

Lauren Jackson, Storm

I know the ballot lists Lauren Jackson and Taj as forwards -- and I chose them as centers -- but I picked the starting teams that I would like to have on the floor if I was the poor schlub coaching.
Doris Burke
Eastern Conference
-Guards-

Lindsay Whalen , Sun

Deanna Nolan, Shock

-Forwards-

Tamika Catchings, Fever

Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Sun

So hard to leave Katie Douglas out of this, she was my last cut.

-Center-

Ann Wauters, Liberty

Western Conference
-Guards-

Katie Smith, Lynx

Diana Taurasi, Mercury

-Forwards-

Chamique Holdsclaw, Sparks

Lauren Jackson, Storm
I can't vote for Swoopes, playing for a team that has lost four games in a row.

-Center-

Yolanda Griffith, Monarchs