By Adrienne Goodson

Okay! So the starters are all set for the WNBA All-Star Game. Boy did the fans have their way with the East squad; but start means just that. So here they are:

East All-Stars
Deanna Nolan-Detroit
Anna De Forge-Indiana
Tamika Catchings-Indiana
Cheryl Ford-Detroit
Kara Braxton-Detroit

West All-Stars
Sue Bird-Seattle
Becky Hammon-San Antonio
Diana Taurasi-Phoenix
Lauren Jackson-Seattle
Yolanda Griffith-Sacramento

In the East, MVP candidate Tamika Catchings was a sure shot joined by her Indiana teammate gaurd Anna De Forge. Three members of the Champion Detroit Shock team round out the lineup. Deanna Nolan, Cheryl Ford, and center Kara Braxton are a force to be reckoned with. Bill Laimbeer, head coach of the Detroit Shock will set the divas on a mission to defend their All-Star title.

In the West, the top vote getter was Sue Bird, though she will need to be replaced due to arthoscopic knee surgery. She is expected to miss four or five regular season games. Diana Taurasi will be joined by Becky Hammon, Yolanda Griffith and MVP candidate Lauren Jackson. Taurasi’s teammate Cappie Pondexter from the Mercury is my number-one choice as a replacement player. The West will be led by Jenny Boucek, head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs.

The reserves will be announced this week. They are picked by the coaches which is, frankly, a higher achievement than being picked by the fans. These players are my picks because they are truly coming up big since day one of the season and continue to improve every game:

East Reserves
Lori Moore-New York
Alana Beard-Washington
Candace Dupree-Chicago
Katie Douglas-Connecticut
Tammy Sutton-Brown-Indiana
Honorable Mention East: Katie Smith, Asjha Jones, Plenette Pierson, Chasity Melvin, Delisha Milton-Jones.

West Reserves
Lindsey Harding-Minnesota
Seimone Augustus-Minnesota
Sophia Young-San Antonio
Tina Thompson-Houston
Janell Burse-Seattle
Honorable Mention West: Nicole Powell, Rebekkah Brunson, Erin Buescher, Kara Lawson, Penny Taylor.

The East will be forced to sub rather quickly because they will not have an answer for Lauren Jackson at the four spot. She’ll come up with MVP numbers like 31 and 10 easily. If my fantasy team comes into play Bill Laimbeer will have matchup problems all over the floor. Now don’t get me wrong, names like Deanna Nolan, Alana Beard and Candace Dupree are no cream puffs but realistically the west coast is deeper at the guard spot. Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi, Becky Hammon, Lindsey Harding, and Seimone Augustus all like to get up and down the floor. Besides that, they’re interchangeable meaning, all of these guards can play small forward as well. Throw Lauren Jackson, Sophia Young and Tina Thompson in the mix and kaboom.

The defenders of the crown will bang all day long because this is Bill’s style of play since back in the Bad Boy days of Detroit, but rebounding will not be the only determining factor. Controlling the tempo of the game will be big. Tamika Catchings, Deanna Nolan, Alana Beard, Candace Dupree and Cheryl Ford will have to carry this team, if they want to repeat in 2007. The game will be full of excitement. First of all, for the crown and second, revenge is sweet. The west hold a 9-1 advantage over the east (losing for the first time last year) and as from the famous words of Lil’ Jon, “ It’s a about to be a girl fight” for real.

Post your All-Star Team and who you think will be the games MVP. The game is this Sunday in DC and I plan to be there.