Pick One Challenge Outlook, July 30

by Matthew Brennan, WNBA.com

July 30, 2007 - We head into the August with only three weeks and 15 days of games remaining in the 2007 regular season. Lauren Jackson continues to top the league with a PRA average of 35.4., after a huge week. With Indiana's Tamika Catchings sidelined, Minnesota's Seimone Augustus has taken over second with a 28.6 average. Augustus has established herself as one of the WNBA's elite players as her second WNBA season winds down.

Last Week's MVP: Lauren Jackson, Seattle Storm

Who else? The Storm's Jackson has reserved a permanent place in this spot. Her 47 point, 14 rebound performance on Tuesday speaks for itself.

Rookie Watch

Connecticut's Evanthia Maltsi is a rookie (a 28-year old rookie) who has been getting some playing time with the Sun recently. Maltsi, a native of Greece, has reached double figure scoring in two of her last four games and pulled down eight rebounds with seven points this afternoon against the Liberty. If you are looking for a quick boost in the points, you can hit it big with Maltsi if her shots are falling.

Last Week's Picks

I experienced a solid week highlighted by 15 points and 13 rebounds from San Antonio's Sophia Young, but unfortunately Shannon Johnson was shut out on Saturday night. My entry is holding steady in the 81st percentile.

WNBA.com Daily Expert Pick
Tuesday, July 31

Anna DeForge
Indiana vs. Washington
Thursday, August 2

Janel McCarville
New York vs. Minnesota
Friday, August 3

Alana Beard
Washington vs. New York
Saturday, August 4

Sue Bird
Seattle vs. Phoenix
Sunday, August 5

Monique Currie
Washington at Chicago
Tuesday: Anna DeForge, Indiana vs. Washington

Anna DeForge is having a solid season for the Fever, and is currently ranked 71st in the league with a 11.6 PRA. Her numbers have risen a bit lately with the absence of Tamika Catchings, with DeForge reaching double figures in scoring in two of her last three games heading into Sunday.

Thursday: Janel McCarville, New York vs. Minnesota

Janel McCarville is beginning to emerge as a force in the frontcourt for the New York Liberty. The former number one overall pick is averaging 19.3 points in her last three games. McCarville has also reached double figures in rebounding in two of her last four contests as the Liberty try to stay in the playoff hunt.

Friday: Alana Beard, Washington vs. New York

Alana Beard has been her usual outstanding self this season, ranking sixth in the WNBA with 18.2 points per game. The former Duke star will meet the Liberty for the third time this season as both teams try to catch Chicago for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. Beard is averaging 20.0 points and 3.0 rebounds after her first two meetings with New York this season.

Saturday: Sue Bird, Seattle vs. Phoenix

Sue Bird has struggled with her shooting (12-37) in her first four games since returning from knee surgery, but a shootout against the high-octane Mercury could be the remedy. If you only consider her last two games heading into Sunday night, she is actually shooting .500 (8-16), so she could be getting back into the groove. Bird scored 13 points and dished out five assists in her last meeting with Diana Taurasi and company early in the season.

Sunday: Monique Currie, Washington at Chicago

Monique Currie. has increased her numbers across the board in her second season and is becoming a dependable second option for the Mystics' offensive attack. Currie and the Mystics will meet the Sky, who traded Currie to Washington after two games earlier this season, as they battle for the fourth playoff spot in the East. The second year guard went for 16 points in her last game against the Sky.