Comparing potential starters for 2005 All-Star Game in Connecticut

Ballot Breakdown 05: East Guards

June 8 -- Balloting for WNBA All-Star 2005 is under way. To give you a better idea of the top voting options, will break down all six positions -- West guards, forwards and centers, and East guards, forwards and centers -- over the coming weeks.

Today's Ballot Breakdown covers the Eastern Conference guards, listed in alphabetical order. Read about Hammon, Nolan, Whalen, Staley and company, then cast your vote and help select the starters for the 2005 All-Star Game in Connecticut on July 9. (Note: All stats are through games played on June 6.)

Alana Beard, Mystics
Averages: 13.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG
Breakdown: Alana started off the season sidelined with an injury, however if how she finished out 2004 was any indication, then the second-year guard out of Duke will be an All-Star in this league for many years to come.

Allison Feaster, Sting
Averages: 8.6 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.6 APG
Breakdown: Feaster was an All-Star last year on the select WNBA team that played the U.S. Olympic team at Radio City Music Hall. In her seven-plus WNBA seasons, Feaster has been one of the most reliable, yet underrated players in the league.

Becky Hammon, Liberty
Averages: 14.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.6 APG
Breakdown: In just her second season as a starter, Hammon has emerged as New York's superstar. She scores from the inside and from beyond the arc and plays as hard and as many minutes as anyone. Hammon was chosed to represent the WNBA on the All-Star team as well last year, and she could be a popular choice again in 2005.

Vickie Johnson, Liberty
Averages: 12.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.0 APG
Breakdown: Ever the reliable contributor into her ninth WNBA season, V.J. is averaging in double figures once again, knocking down big shots and pacing the Liberty with leadership and intensity. She was an All-Star in 1999 and 2001 and warrants serious consideration yet again.

Coco Miller, Mystics
Averages: 5.2 PPG, 2.33 RPG, 1.8 APG
Breakdown: Miller has filled in amply as a starter with all of the injuries that have plagued the Mystics this season. With the emergence of the rookie guards in Washington, Miller has been overshadowed, but her importance for the depth of the Mystics cannot be underestimated.

Kelly Miller, Fever
Averages: 11.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.2 APG
Breakdown: Last year's co-Most Improved Player, Miller has taken on a greater scoring role for the Fever this season and remains one of the top shooters in the league. With Tully Bevilaqua's injury, her number should increase even more.

Deanna Nolan, Shock
Averages: 18.3 PPG, 6.25 RPG, 5.8 APG
Breakdown: Perhaps the best guard in the East so far this season, Deanna Nolan is putting up MVP numbers and guiding the Shock back to the top of the standings. She recorded the fourth triple-double in league history earlier in the season and flat-out deserves a spot on the team.

Elaine Powell, Shock
Averages: 9.3 PPG, 2.75 RPG, 1.5 APG
Breakdown: The steady anchor on the floor for the talented Shock, Powell quietly makes the players around her better. Her assist numbers will go up (if the past two seasons are any indication.

Nykesha Sales, Sun
Averages: 12.3 PPG, 3.75 RPG, 1.8 APG
Breakdown: One shot away from being a champion and (in all likelihood) a WNBA Finals MVP, Nykesha Sales is one of the few WNBA players who has played in every WNBA All-Star game. And while she may not be off to the ideal start, Sales is still one of the best all-around players in the league.

Dawn Staley, Sting
Averages: 5.5 PPG, 2.33 RPG, 4.8 APG
Breakdown: Staley is truly a legend on the court, a three-time All-Star and a three-time Olympian. While her numbers may be dwindling, there is no substitute for her leadership and poise on the court. Might be a popular fan choice as she may not have many All-Star games left in her before becoming a full-time coach.

Lindsay Whalen, Sun
Averages: 8.8 PPG, 4.75 RPG, 5.8 APG
Breakdown: Voted to the WNBA All-Star team at Radio City last year as the 11th player (and fan's choice), Whalen has emerged as a star at the point for the Sun. She is the perfect fit on a team that has great chemistry and is a good bet to return to the playoffs.

Tan White, Fever
Averages: 12.0 PPG, 1.83 RPG, 1.7 APG
Breakdown: A popular pick for preseason Rookie of the Year, Tan White started the season as a reserve player who brought spark of energy into the game off the bench. However, in her first career start, White dropped 26 points on the road in Seattle. A sign of things to come?