Sky boasts three Eastern Conference All-Stars in San Antonio
Don’t miss the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game on ABC presented by Adidas this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Chicago Sky will be well represented with Sylvia Fowles, Epiphanny Prince and Courtney Vandersloot all making the Eastern Conference squad.
The three Sky players were selected by the league’s 12 head coaches giving Chicago the most spots on the 11-player Eastern Conference team.
While the West holds an all-time 7-2 advantage in WNBA all-star games dating back to 1999, the East has won two of the last three meetings between the two teams. Last season there was a new take on the all-star weekend as USA Basketball took on the WNBA Stars with team USA triumphing, 99-72. Fowles took home MVP honors for Team USA last year thanks to a 23-point performance to propel her team to victory.
This year, the format is back to East vs. West, and unlike past all-star games, the advantage seems to belong to the East. Fowles and Connecticut’s Tina Charles are considered the top two centers in the league and they are expected to control the paint, giving the East an inside advantage. New York’s Cappie Pondexter and Indiana’s Katie Douglas will start for the East as each are averaging better than 15 points per game. Charles, Pondexter, Douglas, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry make up the East’s starting lineup.
The East currently has six of the top seven scorers in the league on their roster and boasts many up-and-coming players that made the team as reserves including the Sky’s Fowles, Prince and Vandersloot. The East also has two of the top three rebounders in the league (Fowles and Charles), the top shot blocker (Fowles) and the top three steals per game leaders (Prince, McCoughtry and Catchings). Vandersloot has proven to be one of the best passing point guards the league as both Prince and Fowles are having career years offensively.
What the West does have is a bit more experience with veterans such as Seattle’s Sue Bird and Swin Cash and Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi leading the way. Bird and Cash have led the Storm this season to the tune of 16.3 and 15.9 points per game, respectively. Taurasi is second in the league in scoring behind only Fowles with 19.6 points per game.
The first overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft, Maya Moore, will represent the Minnesota Lynx as an all-star starter next to Bird, Cash and Taurasi for the West. Brian Agler, the coach of the Western Conference, has yet to name the starter to replace the injured Candace Parker, but Tulsa’s Liz Cambage has been named to replace her on the team.
The East has seen some rough times in past all-star games, but thanks to Fowles, Prince, Vandersloot and the rest of the East roster, the tide may be shifting in its favor.