Ballot Breakdown 2007: Eastern Conference Forwards
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 Conference forwards, listed in alphabetical order. Read about Catchings, Ford, Sales 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.)
Swin Cash, Detroit Shock
Averages: 13.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.2 APG
Her case: One of the many stars on the defending champions' roster, Cash is third on the squad in scoring and rebounding and second in assists. The two-time All-Star is an incredibly versatile small forward who at 6-1 can post up a smaller defender, beat her off the dribble or hit a mid-range jumper.
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
Averages: 17.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 4.4 APG
Her case: Quite simply, Catchings is the best all-around player in the game. The four-time All-Star is dangerous at the offensive end, sitting eighth in the league in scoring, is the two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year and is a menace on the boards. She is in the top 10 in the league in both rebounding and assists per game. She can do it all… including booking her trip to Washington.
Shameka Christon, New York Liberty
Averages: 11.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.0 APG
Her case: Though she's only in her fourth year in the league, Christon is one of the veteran leaders on the young Liberty squad. She had a breakout season in New York in 2006, and though her scoring numbers are down a touch, she has upped her output in rebounding and assists.
Candice Dupree, Chicago Sky
Averages: 17.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.4 APG
Her case: In only her second year out of Temple, Dupree has taken her game to a new level in 2007 despite an All-Star rookie campaign last year. She has improved her scoring and rebounding numbers and is one of the main reasons her Sky have already won four games this year after notching only five all of last season. This up-and-coming star deserves a return trip to the All-Star Game.
Cheryl Ford, Detroit Shock
Averages: 14.0 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.2 APG
Her case: This three-time All-Star and two-time WNBA titlist finished sixth in the MVP voting last season. She is currently second in the league in rebounding, third in steals, third in total efficiency and is tied for the team lead in scoring. She is a bruiser down low who can score with the best of them and defend nearly anyone in the paint.
Asjha Jones, Connecticut Sun
Averages: 17.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.6 APG
Her case: After a brutal start to the season, Jones has stepped up her game in a serious way and is doing an admirable job of replacing the departed Taj McWilliams-Franklin in the Sun lineup. She now sits in the top 10 in the league in both scoring and rebounding and was recently named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Cathrine Kraayeveld, New York Liberty
Averages: 13.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.0 APG
Her case: Like teammates Loree Moore and Erin Thorn, Kraayeveld has been a huge surprise for the Liberty. The Oregon native has capitalized on her increased playing time, raising her numbers across the board. She has been a reliable scorer both inside and out, hitting 50 percent of her 3-pointers. If she's not an All-Star, she should at least be in consideration for the Most Improved Player award.
DeLisha Milton-Jones, Washington Mystics
Averages: 11.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.0 APG
Her case: One of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreary start to the season for the Mystics, this former All-Star has been as solid as ever. Her numbers are down slightly from her career marks, but the nine-year veteran has taken more of a leadership role with the young team and deserves a spot in the All-Star Game in her home arena.
Nykesha Sales, Connecticut Sun
Averages: 15.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.1 APG
Her case: One of just two players to be named to every WNBA All-Star Game, this nine-year veteran (who has been with the franchise since its Orlando Miracle days) has made a compelling case to be there yet again. The versatile wing is scoring and rebounding above her career average and remains a deadly threat from 3-point range.
Tamika Whitmore, Indiana Fever
Averages: 11.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 APG
Her case: Whitmore earned her first All-Star appearance in 2006 and, after losing weight this offseason, she continues to perform well for the Fever. She is capable of scoring in bunches -- witness, for example, her playoff record 41 points in a loss last August to the Shock -- and is a dangerous 3-point shooter.