The reserves of the WNBA All-Star game was announced this week. And that means let’s start the debate about the “snubs” of the roster! This happens every year. One or two players that have the stats, league standing or team success don’t get in. And nine times out of ten, it’s because the players that did make it are also deserving.
That said, it’s still a fun conversation. So who just missed the cut? Let’s take a look at the WNBA All-Star Snub List.
First of all, we should probably start with the rosters for the 2022 WNBA All-Star Game. The starter pool is:
Backcourt: Sue Bird, Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young
Frontcourt: Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, Jonquel Jones, Sylvia Fowles.
Eight of these ten players I had as locks when I did my early All-Star voting podcast (which you can find here). The two I did not have as “locks” were Jonquel Jones and Sue Bird, who were both in my “penciled in” category. So basically these starters aren’t all that surprising.
Now for the reserves:
Backcourt: Ariel Atkins, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Rhyne Howard, Jewell Loyd, Arike Ogunbowale, Courtney Vandersloot
Frontcourt: Kahleah Copper, Dearica Hamby, Natasha Howard, Brionna Jones, Emma Meesseman, Alyssa Thomas.
Each backcourt player made it into one of my three categories. Although I had one “lock” and one “penciled in” that did not end up making the roster. In the frontcourt I had just two reserves that I seriously considered for my ballot.
Now that we have the rosters, let’s take a look at the 2022 WNBA All-Star Snubs.
Elena Delle Donne
Delle Donne is the league’s 15th ranked scorer at 15.3 points-per-game (ppg). Only four players in the top-15 in scoring did not make the All-Star Game. “EDD” is also averaging 5.9 rebounds-per-game (rpg), 2.1 assists-per-game (apg) and 1.2 blocks-per-game (bpg). The Washington Mystics are one of five teams in the league with a winning record and Delle Donne is arguably their best player. However it was Ariel Atkins that got the All-Star nod. EDD has played in 14 of the team’s 22 games which could be a factor, but she still is first on the team in points and blocks, and second in rebounds. I had Delle Donne as a lock to make the team, so to not make the roster at all was a big surprise.
Mitchell is currently fourth in the league in scoring (19.2ppg) and was even in first for a long stretch of the season. She’s also averaging 4.1apg and overall trying to keep a disappointing Indiana Fever team out of the league’s cellar. She’s shooting over 41% on threes and nearly 92% at the free throw line. The one knock you could give her is the lack of overall efficiency from the field (just 43.9%), but if you compare her to the other scorers in the top-10 of the league, she comes in at sixth. Mitchell was the Fever’s best chance at having a representative in the All-Star Game. Seeing an entire team not represented, no matter how bad, when one of their players is a top five scorer in the league is a letdown.
The GOAT. The league’s all-time leading scorer. I know she can be a divisive figure in the league amongst fans, but it was shocking the coaches didn’t make her a reserve. Currently 12th in the league in scoring (16.3ppg) she’s also averaging 4.1apg. The Phoenix Mercury have been struggling, just ninth in the league at 8-12. They also did get an All-Star rep in Skylar Diggins-Smith. Still, it feels weird not having Taurasi out there. Especially in the last All-Star game for Bird and Fowles.
Another player that ruffles some feathers amongst fans (especially this week) but Charles is in the top-12 in both points (16.5ppg) and rebounds (7.1rpg). The only other players doing that this season are Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Nneka Ogwumike. All three of those players were named starters.
A few other names I included in the discussion on my podcast were Liz Cambage, NaLyssa Smith, DeWanna Bonner and Natasha Cloud. But none were quite in the category of the above four in terms of my expectation they’d make the roster.
Who Do They Replace
No one likes the person calling players snubs and not backing it up by voting someone else off. So some names I was surprised to see make the roster that I would swap out for the snubs above:
Courtney Vandersloot, Natasha Howard , Brionna Jones , Emma Meesseman
Now would I swap out everything four for four like a Wendy’s menu? Probably not. But the Chicago Sky have four All-Stars. Considering three of them are outside the top-20 in scoring, and Emma Meesseman in particular is 30th in points-per-game and 21st in rebounds, I think swapping her out for Delle Donne makes sense. A player more towards the top in the league, and it balances out the rosters a bit giving the Mystics a second All-Star.
Natasha Howard also ranks below Charles in scoring and rebounding. Courtney Vandersloot is second in assists-per-game, but outside the top-30 in scoring. Getting Taurasi or Mitchell in there instead would probably make for a more All-Star feeling roster.
Let us know what you think of the All-Stars, and snubs, in the comments below!
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