Orange & Oatmeal: 2007 WNBA Picks

May 19, 2007
With the 2007 WNBA season set tip off in mere hours, Kevin Pelton, beat writer for, and John Maxwell, Shock director of public and basketball operations, project the finishes in the opposing conference:

1 Seattle
2 Phoenix
3 Los Angeles
4 Sacramento
5 San Antonio
6 Houston
7 Minnesota

Seattle over Sacramento
Los Angeles over Phoenix

Seattle over Los Angeles

1 Indiana
2 Detroit
3 Connecticut
4 Washington
5 Chicago
6 New York

Indiana over Washington
Detroit over Connecticut

Detroit over Indiana

2007 STORM PREVIEW is previewing the 2007 WNBA season:
Monday: Storm Has All the Pieces in Place
Tuesday: Rejuvenated Jackson Ready for 2007
Wednesday: Palmer Back to Lead Improved Bench
Eastern Conference Preview
Thursday: Sue Bird: The Winner
Western Conference Preview

WNBA Finals Picks

Kevin: Well, John, looks like we might just be meeting up this September if our picks are accurate. I'll take the Storm in four.
John: Detroit in 5.

Pelton's Awards Picks

MVP: Tamika Catchings, Indiana
Catchings has finished in the top three in MVP voting four of her five WNBA seasons. This might finally be her year if the Fever, as we've predicted, ascends to the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to key off-season additions. However, Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi should also make strong runs at the award.

Rookie of the Year: Lindsey Harding, Minnesota
While this year's rookie crop doesn't figure to have quite the impact of last year, when three rookies made the All-Star Game, Harding should be an immediate asset for the Lynx at the point. She's a polished product who is a perfect fit for Minnesota's needs for a true point guard and improved perimeter defense.

Defensive Player of the Year: Tamika Catchings, Indiana
There's no good reason, barring injury, to suspect that Catchings, the winner in 2005 and 2006, will be relinquishing this award any time soon.

Most Improved Player: Monique Currie, Chicago
High draft pick? Check. Entering sophomore season? Check. Left Charlotte for a better opportunity? Check. Let's not take the comparison to 2005 Most Improved Player Nicole Powell too far - Currie played far more than Powell as a rookie - but they may well share this award.

Coach of the Year: Brian Winters, Indiana
While the Fever finishing at the top of the East would not be much of a surprise, Winters deserves a good share of the credit. He's built a disciplined team that has grown each season and is one of the league's most dominant defensive squads.

Pelton's Team-by-Team Analysis:
Western Conference
Eastern Conference