Sparks duo leads espnW All-WNBA first team

For the second consecutive season, post players are stealing the show in the WNBA, displaying how many ways they can impact games.

The top two candidates for MVP, Minnesota's Sylvia Fowles and Los Angeles' Candace Parker, are very different types of posts, but both get the job done. Parker's fluidity and versatility are her hallmarks; Fowles is a low-block dominator.

Connecticut's Jonquel Jones -- whose game is more similar to Fowles' -- might also get some MVP consideration. Same for center Brittney Griner, a player who is leading the league in scoring and who might have been in the MVP running but lost too much time to injury.

How are they all going to fit in espnW's picks for All-WNBA first, second and third teams? We put a premium on players who have missed little or no time to injury or overseas commitments. That led to a post-heavy first team, and some big names that did not make the top 10.

First Team

F Tina Charles, New York

Stats: 19.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.5 APG

Charles is a constant threat for a double-double, but her leadership also went to another level this season. She became the veteran voice of the team, and has been a defensive centerpiece for the surging Liberty.

F Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles

Stats: 18.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG

Her numbers (especially her shooting percentage) aren't quite as gaudy as they were last year, when she won MVP. But she's easily one of the league's premiere posts and works so well in concert with teammate Candace Parker.

F/C Candace Parker, Los Angeles

Stats: 17.1 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.3 APG

It has been yet another outstanding season by the two-time MVP. Her ability to score and make plays for others is a huge advantage for the Sparks. And with 45 3-pointers, she has topped the career high she set in this category in 2016.

C Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota

Stats: 19.1 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 2.1 BPG

The consensus is this is Fowles' best overall season, although she's had others in which she also deserved MVP consideration. She leads the league in true shooting percentage (69.0) and player efficiency rating (31.1).

G Skylar Diggins-Smith, Dallas

Stats: 18.5 PPG, 5.9 APG, 3.5 RPG

She has been the rock for a young Dallas squad, leading the Wings in scoring, assists and minutes played as they've advanced to the playoffs. She has hit a career-high 48 3-pointers, and is fully back from the knee injury that cut short her 2015 season.

Second Team

F Maya Moore, Minnesota

Stats: 16.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.4 APG

Her numbers are down a bit, but that reflects Minnesota's greater emphasis on Fowles. Moore is still one of the WNBA's most dangerous offensive threats, and also one of its most durable players, missing just one game in her seven years.

F Breanna Stewart, Seattle

Stats: 19.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.8 APG

Last season's WNBA Rookie of the Year continued to evolve, although the Storm have not had the season they were hoping for. Still, when Stewart is at her best, she's among the top players offensively and defensively in the league.

C/F Jonquel Jones, Connecticut

Stats: 15.8 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG

She has been the breakout star of the WNBA this summer, and like Stewart is in just her second season. The league's leading rebounder in 2017, she has the potential to be one of the best ever on the boards.

G Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles

Stats: 15.1 PPG, 4.4 APG, 47.7 3-point percentage

Los Angeles' third-leading scorer, Gray has blossomed into the player the Sparks were hoping she'd be when they traded for her. A reserve last season, Gray has started every game this year and is averaging 33.4 minutes. She has hit a team-high 51 treys.

G Jasmine Thomas, Connecticut

Stats: 14.6 PPG, 4.3 APG, 1.6 SPG

A first-time All-Star this year, Thomas really came into her own as one of the leaders for the Sun. In her seventh season, she is averaging a career high in scoring and has been very dependable.

Third Team

F Elena Delle Donne, Washington
F Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut
C Brittney Griner, Phoenix
G Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago
G Diana Taurasi, Phoenix