Sunday, July 15, 2007

All-Star Thoughts

In what will be remembered as the most competitive WNBA All-Star Game to date - and maybe the most competitive I can remember in any sport - the East held off a furious challenge by the West to win 103-99. It would have been interesting to see what might have happened if the West had called timeout on its fractured final possession, which ended with Tina Thompson forcing an off-balance shot.

There was no shortage of contenders for MVP honors, which went to Cheryl Ford. Tamika Catchings was another strong contender with 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Katie Douglas led the victorious East with 18 points on efficient 6-of-8 shooting.

Lauren Jackson was part of a West attack that pitched in 17 three-pointers in an incomprehensible 46 attempts. Jackson was 4-for-7 from downtown and scored 14 points, grabbing five rebounds.

Earlier on, Betty Lennox competed in the Dribble, Dish and Swish Challenge.

"Lennox ... struggled with the chest pass and the outlet pass, needing three and four tries, respectively, to complete each pass," reported's Brian Martin. She finished the course in 40 seconds flat."

That ended up putting Lennox in fourth place, less than a second behind Washington's Nikki Teasley (39.4 seconds).

By the way, I wanted to throw in a comment on Anna DeForge. Her selection as a starter in the East was widely-questioned, but I felt good for DeForge even before she hit the big shot in the final minute. Why? In 2004, DeForge had an All-Star-caliber season, but there was no All-Star Game that year because of the Olympics. (DeForge was picked for the team of WNBA stars that played the U.S. Olympic Team in The Game at Radio City, a de facto All-Star Game of sorts.)

There were only two players on that team who had, before this season, not made an All-Star team: DeForge and Allison Feaster. It doesn't look like Feaster will get another shot. She's 31 and out of the league this season. Honestly, however, Feaster didn't belong in the All-Star Game that year. DeForge did. She deserves to be considered an All-Star player and now the annals of history will so record her.

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