The 2018 WNBA All-Star Game is on Saturday. Let’s introduce the All-Stars on Team Delle Donne and reflect on what they have done so far this year!
Elena Delle Donne, Frontcourt, Mystics - Delle Donne makes her fifth All-Star appearance in her sixth WNBA season. She was named June’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month and led Washington to the top 4 in the WNBA standings for most of the first half of the 2018 season. Currently, EDD is the WNBA’s third-leading scorer at 10.5 points per game.
Seimone Augustus, Guard, Lynx - This is the eighth selection for the longtime Minnesota guard. Though her minutes and overall production aren’t quite what they were a few years ago, Augustus is still averaging 10.8 points and 2.4 assists a game. Augustus’ efficiency also hasn’t gone away one bit as she is making 48 percent of her shots overall.
Sue Bird, Guard, Storm - The WNBA’s all-time leading assister and Storm’s all-time leading scorer is playing in her WNBA-record 11th All-Star Game. Though Bird is not scoring as much as she did earlier in her career and in her prime, she just doesn’t have to. When Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd are the face of Seattle’s future, Bird can sit back and rack up the assists! In fact, in 2018 she is averaging a career-high 7.3 assists per game, 10 points per game and a career-high 2.5 made threes per game.
DeWanna Bonner, Frontcourt, Mercury - Bonner is in her second All-Star Game. This mention is also notable because she missed all of last season due to the birth of her first child. This season, she is continuing to play at a high level.
Sylvia Fowles, Frontcourt, Lynx - The 2017 WNBA MVP is in her fifth All-Star Game in her 11th season. Fowles played with Delle Donne on the Chicago Sky in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the latter of which resulted in a WNBA Finals appearance.
Brittney Griner, Frontcourt, Mercury - Delle Donne may have been the Rookie of the Year in 2013 when she was drafted, but Griner was the first pick in that year. She is the WNBA’s seventh-leading scorer (19.8 ppg) and grabs 7.2 rebounds per game. Given her ability to play above the rim, Griner is also averaging 2.6 blocks per game which leads the league by a comfortable margin.
Kayla McBride, Guard, Aces - McBride makes her second All-Star Game appearance. She had some inefficient seasons in her last three seasons for the San Antonio Stars. But in a breakout season for Las Vegas, she is averaging a career high 19.3 points per game while also averaging career highs in overall field goal (46.3 percent) and three point (40.9 percent) efficiency.
Breanna Stewart, Frontcourt, Storm - Stewart makes her second All-Star appearance and gets to potentially play alongside Delle Donne, who plays very similarly. She is the WNBA’s leading per-game scorer while making 54 percent of her shots overall and 37.1 percent from three. She and EDD will be competing for this year’s MVP award, but for now, they’re on the same team.
Diana Taurasi, Guard, Mercury - The WNBA’s all-time scoring leader makes her ninth All-Star game appearance. Like Bird, Taurasi is past her prime, but is another definition of fine wine. She is making 3.4 threes per game and just a shade under 40 percent of them overall. All in all, Taurasi is averaging 20.3 points and 4.8 assists per game this season. So yes, DT is a scorer, but she’s also the WNBA’s fourth-leading assister of all time!
Kristi Toliver, Guard, Mystics - Toliver is in her second All-Star Game, her first appearance since 2013 when she was with the Sparks, the team for which she’s most well-known for playing. This season, Toliver is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 assists a game, which are also her best numbers overall since that 2013 season.
A’ja Wilson, Frontcourt, Aces - The rookie post is the WNBA’s sixth-leading scorer at 20 points per game while averaging 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Along with fellow Team Delle Donner McBride, Wilson has played a foundational part to the Aces’ resurgence and a possible playoff appearance for the first time since 2014.
Lineup combinations we’d like to see
Most teams with multiple All-Stars this season have stayed together on their new teams, though it isn’t always the case. For example, Team Delle Donne won’t have Storm guard Jewell Loyd and Lynx forward Maya Moore. Still, exhibition games provide an interesting look at matchups and teammate pairings we may otherwise never see. Here are just some of the many lineups that could (or probably would) happen:
- An all-frontcourt five-woman lineup of Bonner, Delle Donne, Stewart, Wilson and Fowles - This year’s All-Star Game features many top frontcourt players, especially those who are able to shoot from deep and handle the ball. Seeing a very tall lineup of these All-Stars will be interesting to see — and they’ll do better than some might think.
- A Toliver, Taurasi, Bonner, Delle Donne and Griner lineup - This lineup consists of the Mystics’ and Mercury’s All-Stars. But all except Bonner have also played for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg together!
- A Bird, Taurasi, McBride, Delle Donne and Stewart lineup - If Team Delle Donne needs to get threes in a pinch, let’s see all of these five play together. Delle Donne and Stewart aren’t traditional back to the basket posts, but they have the height and strength to handle it in spurts.
- Bird and Wilson - The oldest, I mean, most experienced player is on the same team as the one rookie who made the All-Star pool.
- Bird and Taurasi - The two guards are the sages in this All-Star Game and played together in college, on Team USA, and in Russia. They are playing as well as ever, but you never know when they will hang it up. So let’s enjoy seeing them together on the same team while it lasts.