They are Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd and Natasha Howard. “I could see situations where any of those four could make it,” Storm coach Dan Hughes says.
Voting for the WNBA All-Star Game begins Tuesday, and Storm coach Dan Hughes envisions four Seattle players being chosen to play in the midsummer extravaganza.
“Plenty to choose from, that’s for sure,” Hughes said. “We could have up to four. It doesn’t usually play out that way, but I could see situations where any of those four could make it, or portions of that four.”
The Storm’s All-Star candidates include Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd and Natasha Howard.
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Stewart, who is second in the WNBA in scoring at 21.5 points per game, is a virtual lock to make her third straight All-Star Game appearance.
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Meanwhile, the unsinkable Bird has appeared in a league-record-tying 10 All-Star Games.
The 16-season veteran is second in the league with 5.9 assists per game despite averaging a career-low 25.5 minutes.
The past two years, Loyd has fallen just shy of playing in the All-Star Game. In 2017, she finished fifth among Western Conference guards in the All-Star balloting.
This season, Loyd is tied for eighth in the league in scoring at 18.3 points per game, which is third among WNBA guards.
Howard, who is having a breakout season, is also seeking her first All-Star Game appearance. The five-year veteran is averaging 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals — all career highs.
“I’ve never had a team with four All-Stars,” Hughes said.
“I’ve had a lot of teams that didn’t have an All-Star and I’d be campaigning just to add one. I don’t think I’ll have to do that this year.”
In alliance with the NBA, there is no more East versus West in the WNBA All-Star Game.
This year, the WNBA adopted a new balloting format that allows fans to vote for All-Stars without regard to position or conference affiliation.
Through July 12, fans may submit one ballot each day through WNBA.com (desktop or mobile) or the WNBA app.
The 22 All-Stars for the July 28 game at the Target Center in Minneapolis will be determined through a combination of voting by fans (40 percent of the vote), current WNBA players and head coaches (20 percent each) and a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (20 percent).
The starters will be announced July 22 and the two players receiving the most votes will serve as captains, who will draft an 11-player team.
The All-Star rosters will be revealed July 19 during ESPN2’s telecast of the Washington Mystics at the Dallas Wings (5 p.m. PDT).
The Storm had a franchise-record three All-Stars (Bird, Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash) in 2009.
Six teams have had four players compete in the same All-Star Game. Minnesota is the last team; it had four last year.