Ballot Breakdown 2007: Centers
Balloting for WNBA All-Star 2007 is underway. To give you a better idea of the top voting options, WNBA.com will break down all six positions -- Western Conference guards, forwards and centers, and Eastern guards, forwards and centers -- over the coming weeks.
Today's Ballot Breakdown covers the Eastern and Western Conference centers, listed in alphabetical order. Read about Griffith, Sutton-Brown, Snow and all the rest, then cast your vote and help select the starters for the 2007 All-Star Game in Washington on July 15. (Note: All stats are through June 21.)
Janell Burse, Seattle Storm
Averages: 12.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.1 APG
Her case: Burse has been a scoring and rebounding machine for the Storm, posting game highs of 21 points and 19 rebounds while pairing nicely inside with Lauren Jackson. Her .550 field goal percentage is third in the league.
Yolanda Griffith, Sacramento Monarchs
Averages: 8.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.4 APG
Her case: Griffith's stats are down from her career numbers, but she's still one of the most formidable post players in the league. The six-time All-Star and member of the All-Decade Team is one of the league's all-time greats, and it's always fun to see them at these showcase events.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Los Angeles Sparks
Averages: 12.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.3 APG
Her case: This three-time All-Star has adjusted nicely to the Western Conference after eight years in the East. Stepping in for new mom Lisa Leslie with the Sparks, she is scoring well, rebounding solidly (11th in the league) and hitting nearly 50 percent from the field.
Nicole Ohlde, Minnesota Lynx
Averages: 13.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 APG
Her case: Ohlde has upped her level of play significantly after early struggles for the young Lynx. She has been playing a lot of minutes down low for Minnesota, she has scored in double figures in each of her last eight games and is getting to the line a ton. A debut trip to the All-Star Game could be in order.
Ruth Riley, San Antonio Silver Stars
Averages: 5.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Her case: Her numbers don't stand out, but her experience has been valuable both in the paint and off the court for the much-improved Silver Stars. Her fans in both San Antonio and Detroit will likely punch her name on the ballot.
Tangela Smith, Phoenix Mercury
Averages: 12.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.6 BPG
Her case: While some questioned Phoenix for trading away the rights to Lindsey Harding, Mercury fans have to be happy with how Smith has fit into Paul Westhead's offense. She's a savvy veteran who is capable of running with the rest of the Mercury and she's a presence defensively in the paint, standing fourth in the league in blocks per game.
Michelle Snow, Houston Comets
Averages: 14.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.5 APG
Her case: Snow has been one of the few bright spots for the 1-10 Comets. She leads the league in field goal percentage and is in the top 20 in scoring, rebounding, blocks and free throws. Her third All-Star trip should be in the offing... and maybe we'll see another dunk.
Kara Braxton, Detroit Shock
Averages: 6.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Her case: The current league leader in All-Star votes has been solid for the defending champs. She may not deserve that voting distinction, but her rebounding is way up over her first two years in the league and she stands 11th in the league in blocks per game.
Kayte Christensen, Chicago Sky
Averages: 2.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.3 APG
Her case: She hasn't been playing as much since Chasity Melvin (below) arrived in Chicago, but when she was starting regularly, her scoring and rebounding numbers were respectable. She'll also have plenty of voting support both in the Windy City and in Phoenix, her former home with the Mercury.
Jessica Davenport, New York Liberty
Averages: 7.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.5 BPG
Her case: This rookie has been playing well for the surprising Liberty. She beat the Mercury in New York with a last-second three-point play, has been rebounding and defending well down low and has shown signs of improvement on the offensive end as well.
Margo Dydek, Connecticut Sun
Averages: 5.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.7 BPG
Her case: Dydek missed a game with a bad back and has been hampered by the injury all season long, but at 7-2 she remains one of the most frightening post players in the league. She'll also have the Utah and San Antonio votes in her corner, having played in the Starzz/Silver Stars franchise for seven seasons.
Chasity Melvin, Chicago Sky
Averages: 10.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Her case: Since coming over from the Mystics on May 24, the veteran has become a leader for the up-and-coming Sky. She's sixth in the league in rebounds per game and already has four doubles-doubles, best in the WNBA.
Tammy Sutton-Brown, Indiana Fever
Averages: 12.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Her case: Sutton-Brown may be the piece the Fever need to get over the top. After a somewhat slow start, she has come on of late averaging 17.8 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last four games.