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WNBA All-Star Game 2018: Breaking down Team Parker

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Let’s review Team Parker, the players and what we’d like to see when they take the floor in the All-Star Game.

Candace Parker captains a team comparatively heavy on Eastern Conference talent to Team Delle Donne in the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game.
NBAE/Getty Images

We introduced Team Delle Donne. Now, let’s take a look at Team Parker’s roster and some lineup combinations that look interesting.

The Roster

Candace Parker, Frontcourt, Sparks - Parker will be the team captain and is making her fifth All-Star Game appearance. The do-it-all forward is averaging 18 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game and has had several near triple-doubles this summer. Don’t be surprised to see Parker get one before this season is done.

Rebekkah Brunson, Frontcourt, Lynx - The WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder is playing in her fifth All-Star Game in a storied 15-year career. Brunson is averaging 7.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Though scoring isn’t Brunson’s forte, she is making nearly 38 percent of her threes and takes them regularly. Though she wasn’t in the past, Brunson’s now a legitimate stretch power forward.

Liz Cambage, Frontcourt, Wings - Cambage is in just her third WNBA season since 2011 due to missing multiple previous seasons because she either preferred to rest or had commitments with the Australian women’s national basketball team. This is her second All-Star Game appearance, with the first coming in her rookie season for the Tulsa Shock in 2011. She is the WNBA’s second-leading scorer at 22.1 points per game and second-leading rebounder at 9.4 boards per game.

Tina Charles, Frontcourt, Liberty - Charles remains in prime playing form despite the New York Liberty’s regression from last season. This is her sixth All-Star Game selection. Charles is the WNBA’s fifth-leading scorer at 20.2 points per game. She has also made a career-high 26 three-point shots out of 78 attempts this season — and still has a few more games to bring that total up some more.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, Guard, Wings - Diggins-Smith is making her fourth All-Star Game appearance. She is the WNBA’s 10th-leading scorer at 18.1 points per game and third-leading assister at 6.3 per game. Thanks to Cambage’s return to the WNBA, don’t be surprised to see Diggins-Smith’s assist averages stay toward the top of the leaderboard for years to come.

Chelsea Gray, Guard, Sparks - This is Gray’s second All-Star Game selection. Her overall scoring production and efficiency have dropped a little from last year, but Gray is still averaging 14.5 points and 5.3 assists per game for one of the WNBA’s top teams.

Jewell Loyd, Guard, Storm - After being one of the snubs from the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game, Loyd has improved her game and is making her All-Star debut this season as a result. She is averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while leading the Storm back to the top of the WNBA standings along with Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, who are on Team Delle Donne.

Angel McCoughtry, Frontcourt/Guard, Dream - McCoughtry was listed as a frontcourt player for Team Parker, but will start in the backcourt later today. She is actually not Atlanta’s leading scorer this season, averaging 16.5 points a game, compared to Tiffany Hayes who is averaging 17.2 points per game. This will be McCoughtry’s fifth All-Star Game appearance.

Maya Moore, Frontcourt, Lynx - Moore was the leading vote-getter for this year’s All-Star Game and was originally named a captain. However, she declined. Moore is making her sixth All-Star Game appearance and is averaging 18.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a game.

Chiney Ogwumike, Frontcourt, Sun - This is Oguwmike’s second All-Star Game appearance and is well-deserved. After missing last season due to injury, she is averaging 14.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for Connecticut.

Nneka Ogwumike, Frontcourt, Sparks - Ogwumike earned her fifth All-Star Game appearance this season. However, she will miss today’s game due to illness, which is a bummer for Nneka, her younger sister Chiney, and also Stanford women’s basketball fans who wanted to see them play on the same team again. This season, Ogwumike averages 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Brunson was named as her replacement for today’s game.

Allie Quigley, Guard, Sky - The Sky’s lone representative in the All-Star Game is making her second appearance. The sharpshooter is averaging 16 points per game and making 43.5 percent of her threes this season.

Lineup combinations we’d like to see

There are many lineup combinations or pairings that will make this team fun to watch. Here are some:

  • Playing a five-woman lineup of Parker, McCoughtry in the backcourt and Brunson, Charles and Cambage - Like Team Delle Donne, Team Parker is loaded with frontcourt players who are skilled at perimeter scoring and passing. There will be a weakness regarding who has to play small forward, but everyone here can shoot threes and make timely passes. It won’t be as bad as it sounds on paper for an exhibition at least.
  • An Eastern Conference quartet of Quigley, McCoughtry, Oguwmike, Charles - The East only has six players of 22 in this year’s All-Star Game. Four of them are on this team while Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver are on the opposition. It’s unfortunate that the East didn’t have much representation and is home to two of the most notable snubs (Tiffany Hayes and Courtney Vandersloot), so this is one way to pay tribute to the conference.
  • A Diggins-Smith and Loyd backcourt - Both guards played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which will make fans of the 2017-18 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Champions very happy.
  • Playing Candace Parker at point guard for most of the game - If there is a low post player who can truly play guard at any time, it’s Parker. Given her ability to rack up points, rebounds, and assists while also leading teams to wins, the best way for her to showcase her skills in an All-Star Game is to let her be the primary point guard after the first few minutes.