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Hoops Happening: All-Star voting is a tangle of tough decisions

A’ja Wilson picks up her first Player of the Week award while Elena Delle Donne grabs her third of the season. Plus, top plays, milestones, standings, links and more. This is today in women’s basketball for Tuesday July 10, 2018!


If, while casting your 2018 WNBA All-Star ballot, you find yourself tensed with frustration — wearing a furrowed brow — you would not be alone. We are in the midst of arguably the best season in WNBA history, where a gaggle of seasoned rookies is running after fresh-legged future Hall of Famers.

If you have yet to make the tough decisions that this year’s All-Star voting requires, perhaps this analysis of the early results from fan voting can help.

WNBA All-Star fan voting — early results

Early results from the WNBA fan vote have a bunch of familiar faces at the top, with Maya Moore in the #1 spot, powered by 25,000 votes. Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker are just on her heels at #2 and #3, respectively, while Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird round out the top five.

But here is where things get interesting:

  • Brittney Griner, who is averaging about 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this season, is all the way down in the 11th spot.
  • Rebekkah Brunson, who became the leading rebounder in WNBA history last week, sits at 18th.
  • Liz Cambage, who has tallied 8 double-doubles this season, is down at 19th.
  • Jewell Loyd, the Seattle sharpshooter, occupies the 14th spot.
  • Angel McCoughtry, who moved into the top 10 on the all-time steals list this season, is in the 23rd spot.
  • Kayla McBride, who has been tearing it up with monster scoring all season, is at 24th.
  • Tiffany Hayes, the Dream’s engine and Player of the Week for Week 3, is down at 32.

The 2018 WNBA rookie class is incredibly deep, so it makes sense for several first-year players to appear in the early results. These players include:

One rookie on this list is having a season that is undeniably All-Star caliber. Although it is great that the others have a ton of fan support, it is doubtful that any of them should come in ahead of Hayes and McBride, or near the territory of McCoughtry.

With only 22 players making it into the player pool for next-round selection, this is insane! The competition is too tough, pointing directly to the insane talent of this league, thereby, making this year’s fan vote more important than ever.

For fans who may be struggling with these tough decisions, or who are new to WNBA All-Star voting and need some tips on how to approach this, here are some things to consider:

  • An All-Star nod is an important award for players, a resume item tied to their legacies. Yes, the All-Star Game is a fun weekend of basketball, but it is significantly more than that too.
  • Respect one’s elders, but that doesn’t mean cater to them. A veteran’s career body of work should matter some, but it probably shouldn’t outweigh the player’s performance in the current season.
  • Honor the undeniable All-Star power of some rookies, but don’t overestimate the accomplishments of others. There are a few rookies who absolutely deserve All-Star nods, but the majority still have much to prove.
  • Let age be the tiebreaker. If your final decision comes down two players, one in the first few years of her career and the other in the sunset, perhaps give the opportunity to the vet who is attempting to outrun Father Time.
  • Envision your dream roster! If you’ve ever wondered how a certain frontcourt player would respond to crispy dishes from a certain point guard, cast your ballot with hopes of seeing these combinations come alive.

How the voting works

Here’s a look at who gets to cast ballots and how those votes are weighed:

  • 40% — fans
  • 20% — players
  • 20% — coaches
  • 20% — media

Key dates

  • Thursday July 12: Fan voting closes.
  • Tuesday July 17: The 22 All-Stars will be announced and captains will begin drafting their respective teams.
  • Thursday July 19: All-Star rosters will be revealed during ESPN2’s telecast of the Mystics-Wings matchup, which tips off at 8 pm EST.


Players of the Week

A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces scored her first Player of the Week award (for the West). Wilson led her to team to a 2-0 record for the week ending Sunday July 8 behind averages of 29 points, 9 rebounds and 4.5 blocks for that week. Elena Delle Donne takes the award in the East for the third time this season, making it hard not to view her as a top candidate for season MVP.

Here’s how they got it done:

Players who were in the running but did not make the final cut include: Atlanta Dream’s Tiffany Hayes, Dallas Wings’ Liz Cambage and Skylar Diggins-Smith, Aces’ Kayla McBride, New York Liberty’s Tina Charles and Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart.

Tough competition week in and week out in this league. Congrats to the winners and candidates!

Top 3 Plays of the Week

Skylar Diggins-Smith shuts everything down ... Sue Bird goes for the layup (sike!) ... and a couple of Sky rookies get it fancy.

Where things stand

Here’s where teams stand as of Sunday July 8:

Things are tight at the top and the Aces maintain their climb.


Will the Las Vegas Aces make the playoffs?

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Next up in the WNBA

Court action returns Tuesday with three games on the schedule. The Sparks and Storm kick things off in a matinee showdown in the Emerald City, streaming live on Twitter.

Stay tuned for previews!


Sue Bird became the leading soccer in Seattle Storm history ... and then some.

According to word on the street, no one cares about the WNBA, no one watches the games on TV, and no one shows up in the arenas. Meanwhile, Seattle is headed for a sold-out crowd!

Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault reached 300 career wins!

Link lush

How to #WatchThemWork all season

Shine brighter. * flicker flicker *