Comparing potential starters for 2005 All-Star Game in Connecticut

Ballot Breakdown 05: West Forwards

June 16 -- 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 Western Conference forwards, perhaps the most difficult position to pick this season, listed in alphabetical order. Read about Holdsclaw, Jackson and Swoopes and all 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 14.)

Svetlana Abrosimova, Lynx
Averages: 9.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.1 APG
Breakdown: Enjoying a solid year after distractions led to a disappointing year a season ago, Abrosimova has been a solid scoring and rebounding presence for the Lynx, complementing Katie Smith and the big post players down low. It will be interesting to see how many former UConn players get the call back to Connecticut for the game.

Janeth Arcain, Comets
Averages: 8.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.6 APG
Breakdown: Arcain opted not to play last season, choosing instead to train in her native Brazil for the Olympic Games. She returned this season and has been a steadying force for a team in transition. While Tina Thompson has been out on maternity leave, Arcain has been a scorer when needed, a leader when needed and a Robin to Sheryl Swoopes' Batman.

Rebekkah Brunson, Mercury
Averages: 4.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.2 APG
Breakdown: With Tangela Smith traded to Charlotte and Chantelle Anderson ending up in San Antonio, things were supposed to open up for the second-year guard from Georgetown. However, the Monarchs have seen greater productivity out of their backcourt and have not yet needed Brunson to assert herself as of yet.

Chamique Holdsclaw, Sparks
Averages: 20.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.1 APG
Breakdown: Is there any doubt that Chamique Holdsclaw is back and playing like her old self? Nearly averaging a double-double, Holdsclaw is having fun again (even if the Sparks haven't been as good as expected) and her play is proof that she is ready to dominate again. Even with Swoopes and Jackson, it is hard not to find a more-deserving forward in the WNBA this season.

Sandora Irvin, Mercury
Averages: 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG
Breakdown: Irvin has yet to make a significant impact with the Mercury.

Lauren Jackson, Storm
Averages: 16.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.9 APG
Breakdown: Jackson's scoring average may be down, but don't think she isn't having a great season so far, because she is. Jackson has been getting additional support in the frontcourt from players like Janel Burse and Suzy Batkovic while Betty Lennox and Sue Bird have been scoring above their career averages as well. But when Bird went down with her broken nose, it was Jackson who put the team on her back and led them on the tough road trip. A lock for Mohegan.

Mwadi Mabika, Sparks
Averages: N/A
Breakdown: Has not played yet this season. The Sparks really could use her experience.

Sheryl Swoopes, Comets
Averages: 19.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.8 APG
Breakdown: Playing like an MVP, Swoopes started out of the gate on fire, scoring more than 20 points a night. Since then, her teammates have cooled a bit and the Comets have struggles, but she has not let up. Another lock for the Western Conference All-Star team and the leading vote-getter thru June 14.

Penny Taylor, Mercury
Averages: 13.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.0 APG
Breakdown: After joining the team late, Taylor has been everything that the Mercury needed: mainly another scorer. Taylor can shoot the three and score inside as well, giving Diana Taurasi an option as well as creating for herself.

LaToya Thomas, Silver Stars
Averages: 12.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.7 APG
Breakdown: Thomas was on pace for another solid season in the Lone Star State, but a shoulder injury has likely sidelined her for the season. The Silver Stars just can't catch a break...

Alicia Thompson, Storm
Averages: 2.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.8 APG
Breakdown: Thompson knows Coach Anne Donovan's systen, but was beat out of starting spot and now is a key reserve for the Storm.

DeMya Walker, Monarchs
Averages: 13.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.4 APG
Breakdown: Walker defnitely merits consideration for an All-Star spot as a potent partner for Yolanda Griffith in the paint. Those two down low create matchup problems for every defense and will be force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

Kendra Wecker, Silver Stars
Averages: 4.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 2.0 APG
Breakdown: In just her first game as a pro, Wecker was lost for the season with an injury. Not how you want to start things off... but she'll be back and ready for 2006, which begins in just 11 months!

Tamika Williams, Lynx
Averages: 5.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.0 APG
Breakdown: The vocal leader of her team yet again, Williams' numbers may not be overwhelming, but the example she sets for her teammates is. Enthusiasm is contagious, and Williams is passing it on.