And the envelope please ...

And you thought here in Election Season, the most important decisions would be Obama or Romney, McMahon or Murphy, Formica or Courtney.

Shows you what you know.

Nah. It's time to vote for the best of the WNBA. (But you already knew that, undoubtedly). And this year, yours truly actually gets a swing that counts. I've never been a big secret ballot guy. So here is how I voted. Feel free to leave your thoughts. Or not.

• Most Valuable Player: Tina Charles, Connecticut. If she doesn't win, I'm conducting the investigation. Please. No playoff team this season relies on one player as much as the Sun rely on Charles. She has been a horse. She's has more rebounding and "double-double" records now than there are Connecticut roads under construction. Low post scoring, a mid-range game, ambidextrous hook shots.

I realize the league is in love with promoting Candace Parker. Big name, big city. Totally get it. But the Sun have the league's greatest commodity. And she rocks the big-glasses look.

Also receiving votes: Parker, Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Tamika Catchings (Indiana), Kara Lawson (Connecticut).

• Defensive Player of the Year: Catchings, Indiana. They should retire the trophy in her name. Just ask the rest of the league. Strong, tough, smart, tireless. I saw a commentator the other night on ESPN give this to Angel McCoughtry because she leads the league in steals. She might actually be the worst defensive player. When she gambles and doesn't get the steal, Atlanta's defensive rotations have more holes than Bethpage Black.

• Most improved: DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix. OK. Clearly, Bonner needs a sandwich. But she can play. Just because you are forced to play more because of injuries (she came off the bench last season) doesn't mean you will necessarily produce. Bonner has (21 points per game). It is frightening to think of the Mercury next year with Bonner, Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, Candice Dupree and a potential lottery pick. (Gulp). What if they get Brittney Griner?

• Sixth Woman of the Year: Renee Montgomery, Connecticut. Yes, I have a soft spot for her. Always been among my all-timers, even though parts of her game make me want to take a swan dive off the Indian Summer Garage.

Montgomery (finally) accepted the reserve role and is scoring 12 points per game off the bench. That's huge. Plus, she makes big shots. Montgomery and Lawson have emerged as the kind of clutch shooters the Sun have lacked since Katie Douglas and Nykesha Sales left.

• First-team: guards: Lawson and Augustus; forwards: Parker and Catchings; center: Charles. Lawson might be the surprise to some observers across the league. I have the advantage of seeing her every day. I believe she's been the best guard in the WNBA this year. Clutch shooter, big leader, makes every free throw, trustworthy ballhandler. The rest are no-brainers.

Second-team: guards: Katie Douglas and Lindsay Whalen; forwards: McCoughtry and Maya Moore; center: Sylvia Fowles. I didn't want to pick Fowles.

She's been hurt too much. But the ballot calls for two guards, two forwards and two centers. And frankly, after Charles and Fowles, the rest of the centers drop like a bowling ball off the kitchen table.

Douglas still hasn't lost her fastball. The world is finally seeing Whalen's greatness. Maya is Maya. McCoughtry's act turns my stomach. But she can play.

• Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award: Lawson. Sorry for the love fest here. But when you do this in sports long enough, you run into your share of egomaniacs, dopes, schmos and generally detestable sorts. Lawson is the quintessential professional. Period. Plus, her work to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's research to honor Pat Summitt is inspiring.

• Coach: Mike Thibault, Connecticut. I have a feeling Carol Ross of Los Angeles might win this. Hope not. Thibault won the East despite coaching more than a dozen games without Asjha Jones, not to mention one game in that string without Charles. Thibault didn't get to play Phoenix and Tulsa eight times. Every one of his players has improved. This shouldn't be close.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.


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