WNBA Pick One Challenge Outlook: September 8, 2008

By Matthew Brennan, WNBA.com

September 8, 2008 - The 2008 WNBA season and the Pick One Challenge enter the final week as the last games will be played on Sunday. Here are the final picks for 2008, with six days worth of games taking place.

Last Week's MVP: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

Taurasi kept the Mercury alive in the playoff hunt with three outstanding performances. She averaged 30.3 points while leading Phoenix to three straight wins, and also contributed 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists. She continues to lead all WNBA players with a PRA (points+rebounds+assists) of 32.8 per game.

Rookie Watch

Candace Parker will finish the season as the WNBA's top rookie, with her 31.6 PRA checking in at second in the league and far ahead of the next rookie, Minnesota's Candice Wiggins (22.4 PRA). The now healthy Sylvia Fowles is moving up the charts, currently 32nd with an 18.7 PRA. Fowles has posted four double-doubles in six games since returning from the Olympic break.

Last Week's Picks

My entry has moved up to 242nd overall and ranks in the 96th percentile as we enter the final week of the season. Tamika Catchings had one of her best games of the season on Tuesday, scoring 29 points with nine rebounds and three assists.

Monday, Sept. 8

Erika Desouza
Atlanta vs. Indiana
Tuesday, Sept. 9

LaToya Pringle
Phoenix vs. Detroit
Thursday, Sept. 11

Iziane Castro Marques
Atlanta vs. Los Angeles
Friday, Sept. 12

Tanisha Wright
Seattle vs. Atlanta
Saturday, Sept. 13

Vickie Johnson
San Antonio vs. Sacramento
Sunday, Sept. 14

Chasity Melvin
Chicago vs. Houston
This Week's Picks

Monday: Erika Desouza, Atlanta vs. Indiana

Erika Desouza missed a good portion of the season due to to injury but has been a solid frontcourt player for the Dream, averaging 10.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. She scored a season-high 15 points in her last meeting with the Fever on August 30.

Tuesday: LaToya Pringle, Phoenix vs. Detroit

Rookie LaToya Pringle has seen plenty of minutes off the bench for Phoenix this season. She scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in her WNBA debut against Detroit back in May, and I will be hoping she can post a similiar effort in the rematch at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday.

Thursday: Iziane Castro Marques, Atlanta vs. Los Angeles

Iziane Castro Marques is averaging 8.7 points for Atlanta this year after setting a career high in 2007 during her final campaign with Seattle. She had one of her best games of the season against the Sparks back in May, scoring 17 points. Castro Marques will be looking for another game like that as the Dream play their first game at the STAPLES Center on Thursday.

Friday: Tanisha Wright, Seattle vs. Atlanta

Tanisha Wright is coming off her best game of the season on Saturday, scoring a career-high 17 points with six rebounds and six assists against Minnesota. Wright has seen her minutes take a big increase with the absence of Lauren Jackson, so she should be a solid pick over the final week of the season as Seatle tries to wrap up the Western Conference title.

Saturday: Vickie Johnson, San Antonio vs. Sacramento

Vickie Johnson has played in every WNBA season and is averaging a career high 5.4 rebounds and tied a career-high with 3.4 assists in 2008. Johnson does not have to score as much as she used to with the other weapons in San Antonio's lineup, but her versatility still makes her a solid choice.

Sunday: Chasity Melvin, Chicago vs. Houston

Veteran Chasity Melvin is averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in her second season with the Chicago Sky. Melvin was held scoreless in her first meeting with Houston this year, so she will be looking for improvement when the Comets visit the Windy City on the final day of the 2008 season.

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