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Ballot Breakdown covers the Eastern Conference centers, listed in alphabetical
order. Read about Dydek, Riley, Schumacher 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 9.)
Margo Dydek, Sun
Averages: 8.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 BPG
Breakdown: Perhaps the biggest offseason acquisition in the Eastern Conference, Dydek has solidified the Sun's core. After a few games of getting settled, Dydek has broken out, blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and scoring when needed. The team's chemistry is strong and Dydek's addition has freed up other players to focus on their own strengths.
Averages: 2.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.0 APG
Breakdown: After only two games, the top overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft left the lineup with back troubles and went on the injured list. She has yet to make an impression for the Sting yet, who need her big body in the middle to open up the floor for her teammates.
Averages: 12.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 0.6 APG
Breakdown: Now in her second season with the Mystics, Melvin has settled in and is playing like an All-Star. She was as responsible for Washington's success down the stretch in 2004 as anyone, and she has not let up in 2005. While she is undersized going up against bigger centers, her aggressive mentality and nose for the ball are integral to the Mystics' playoff run
Averages: 8.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.6 BPG
Breakdown: An Olympian last season, Riley brings much more than her deft interior scoring touch to the Shock. As the anchor of Detroit's potent frontline, Riley rebounds and defends as well as anyone and seems hungry to get back to her 2003 Finals MVP level.
Averages: 4.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Breakdown: Alongside Catchings, Williams and Tan White, Schumacher is rarely called upon to score. However her size inside is important for the Fever and her presence alone changes the way offenses attack the basket.
Averages: 11.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Breakdown: Healthy again, Wauters is showing what she can bring to the Liberty early on. At times she has the ability to score at will, and her double-digit scoring average is proof of that. In order for the Liberty make it back to the playoffs, Wauters and the rest of the Liberty frontcourt players must continue to bang the boards and compete inside, thus taking pressure off Hammon and the guards to provide all of the scoring.