Ballot Breakdown ’05: West Centers
Ballot Breakdown covers the Western Conference centers, listed in alphabetical
order. Read about Leslie, Griffith and the rest, 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 15.)
Suzy Batkovic, Storm
Averages: 5.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Breakdown: Kamila Vodichkova's departure to the Mercury in the offseason left a gaping hole in the middle for the Storm. But Australian center and 2003 Storm Draft pick Batkovic has filled in well so far. Having played with Lauren Jackson for many years, she fits into the Storm frontcourt well and should benefit from a point guard like Sue Bird once she returns to the lineup.
Yolanda Griffith, Monarchs
Averages: 16.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 0.8 BPG
Breakdown: The emotional and physical leader of the Sacramento Monarchs, Griffith is having yet another All-Star season in the middle. She leads all West center candidates n scoring and rebounding and will be a member of the All-Star team whether she is voted in as a starter or not. Yo is hungry for a title and letting the rest of the league know it.
Lisa Leslie, Sparks
Averages: 14.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 BPG
Breakdown: Still the best player in the world. A staple in every All-Star game in league history and one of only three players to have played in all five games, Leslie holds just about every All-Star record in the book. This season her overall stat numbers might be slightly down, but she has yeilded much of the scoring to new teammate Chamique Holdsclaw.
Nicole Ohlde, Lynx
Averages: 12.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 0.6 BPG
Breakdown: In just her second season, Ohlde has already established herself as one of the top centers in the league. Her numbers are solid and consistent every night. While she plays in the same conference as Leslie and Griffith, Ohlde will garner serious consideration from fans and coaches for a place on the All-Star team.
Michelle Snow, Comets
Averages: 13.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.1 BPG
Breakdown: Van Chancellor said that Michelle Snow would have to step up and raise her game prior to the start of the 2005 season. And she has responded. In the absence of Tina Thompson alongside her, Snow has picked up her scoring and rebounding and continues to create matchup problems for the opposition thanks to her size and athleticism.
Kamila Vodichkova, Mercury
Averages: 8.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.3 BPG
Breakdown: One of the biggest free agent signings of the offseason, Vodichkova was brought in to Phoenix to fill their void in the middle. While she arrived to the team late after playing overseas in Russia, Vodichkova has begun to fit in with her teammates and has valuable experience that will be quite helpful the Mercury are able to stick around for the stretch run.
Williams, Silver Stars
Breakdown: No longer with the team.