WNBA All-Star Starter Picks: Lead Guards
Strong play from these PGs has their teams ahead of schedule
The official All-Star starters have already been announced by now. That can make this exercise better or worse for you to be reading, depending on how you look at it. But mainly, I could have started these two days earlier to put my level of suspense in line with that of Lisa Borders:
I’m 60% of the way there. I’ll be onto my reserve picks by Thursday, so I have a second chance to sync up with those official announcements to be timely for a change. I already shared that Tiffany Hayes and Diana Taurasi made my list. Here are my other two choices for the guard spots.
Starting G, Eastern Conference — Jasmin Thomas, Connecticut Sun
Rebecca Lobo gave us notice. We weren’t supposed to sleep on the Sun. This run of high level basketball they are on has been incredibly eye-opening. Alyssa Thomas has emerged as a premiere playmaking, versatile 4 and Jonquel Jones is an All-Star starter.
As we learned Tuesday, Jasmin Thomas is also an All-Star starter. She’s effective on the ball and off it. So much of Connecticut’s success comes from its pristine spacing. But you need players that can break down the defense to create many of those threes.
Being able to give her the ball when you really need a shot is nice, too, knowing she’s done things like this:
That high pick and roll, especially with Jones, is something that can really interesting to track later in the year. How much do they lean on it when tight games slow down and how effective will it be? Both those players will drill open threes — defenses probably can’t guard that with just two players.
Thomas pulls out a mean crossover to reject that high screen when her defender leans too much that way:
You may have to live with a pull up 2, which Thomas will happily take:
Thomas is crafty enough to find a nice angle to get up a floater or leaner when the defense takes away the three and dump offs:
Thomas also has earned plenty of praise for her defense. She was a 2nd Team All-Defense selection last season. Having her at the point of attack in big games will be key, especially up against top tier guards, such as our next selectee.
Starting G, Western Conference — Skylar Diggins-Smith, Dallas Wings
I tried my best here to dive in and explore her fine start to the season here:
Skylar Diggins-Smith has bounced back. The Dallas Wings are already more than halfway through their regular season…summitthoops.com
I don’t want to just lazily recylce the same video material.
I’ll say this much: Diggins-Smith has been terriffic in carrying this Dallas team to a near-.500 start. Her 3PT shooting is propped up quite a bit by a 7–11 firestorm in San Antonio, but the type of threes she’s taking indicate a high level of confidence — those attempts aren’t just end-of-clock heaves.
Dallas has multiple capable ball handlers. But Diggins-Smith draws as many eyeballs as just about anybody. She doesn’t hijack the offense; the Wings move it side-to-side and allow multiple players to run a pick and roll.
Diggins-Smith has looked good late in games in picking her spots as well. Without undermining the team’s player and ball movement, she’ll be quick to attack switches or size up her initial defender before the defense can load up.
Previous WNBA All-Star picks:
A vet on a new level, a 2nd year breakout starmedium.com
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