Making a case for starters for the 2007 All-Star Game in Washington

Ballot Breakdown 2007: Western Conference Forwards

Balloting for WNBA All-Star 2007 is underway. To give you a better idea of the top voting options, 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 Western Conference forwards, listed in alphabetical order. Read about LJ, Taurasi, Thompson 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 11.)

Lauren Jackson, Seattle Storm
Averages: 23.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.0 APG
Her case: Perhaps the MVP of the league to this point in the season, LJ is a surefire All-Star despite the Storm's less than stellar record. The five-time All-Star leads the league in scoring and blocks, is third in rebounding and is hitting 46 percent of her 3-pointers on the season.

Nicole Powell, Sacramento Monarchs
Averages: 11.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.3 APG
Her case: Though her numbers clearly don't compare to those of teammate Rebekkah Brunson (who has flourished since the season-ending injury to DeMya Walker), Powell has been a solid contributor in Sacramento. She leads the 7-3 Monarchs in minutes per game and is hitting at a .929 clip from the free throw line.

Sheryl Swoopes, Houston Comets
Averages: 7.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.7 APG
Her case: Yes, she played only three games before missing the Comets' last seven with her back injury. And even when she was on the court, her numbers were far from spectacular. But she's a legend and who doesn't like to see a legend in the All-Star Game? If she's healthy, don't be surprised to see her in Washington.

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
Averages: 19.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.8 APG
Her case: Dee's scoring numbers aren't quite on the level of last year's, but she seems to be heating up after a lukewarm start to the campaign, averaging 24.3 a game over her last four. The two-time All-Star has also cut down on her turnovers and is above her career average for blocks. You can bet she'll be hitting from long range in Washington.

Penny Taylor, Phoenix Mercury
Averages: 11.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.6 APG
Her case: For someone who's only 6-1, 168 and not a natural power forward, Taylor has been impressive at the four for the Mercury. An All-Star in 2002 with the Cleveland Rockers, she is capable of scoring in bunches when she gets the opportunity.

Christi Thomas, Los Angeles Sparks
Averages: 9.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.1 APG
Her case: Thomas plays more center than forward and is a bit of a long shot for the All-Star squad, but her 25-point, seven-rebound night against the Mystics on June 15 showed what she's capable of. And with the departure of Chamique Holdsclaw, she could get more of a chance to show what she's got.

Tina Thompson, Houston Comets
Averages: 18.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.4 APG
Her case: The Comets have yet to win a game in 2007, but don't blame Thompson. With Swoopes out, Thompson has picked up the scoring slack. She leads the league in minutes per game, is fifth in scoring and is hitting 43 percent of her 3's. In spite of the problems Houston is facing as a team, this four-time All-Star starter deserves a midsummer trip to Washington.

Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars
Averages: 14.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.6 APG
Her case: An All-Star as a rookie last season, Young is making a compelling case for another invitation. At 6-1, she has no concerns about going down low and banging with the league's bigger fours. She stands 13th in the league in both scoring and rebounding and she's only getting better.