Ready to show your friends you know more about the NBA than they do? FanNation's Basketball Throwdown fantasy basketball game is your best option. You pick a guard, forward and center who you think will exceed their fantasy projections. The scoring system takes into account points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and turnovers. The team that surpasses their projections by the most wins, so picking a lineup of Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Joakim Noah is no sure-fire path to victory. You can also bet anywhere from $1 to $500 on each night's matchup or play for free.
I'll give you my picks each day and a recap of yesterday's top performers so you can get bragging rights over your friends.
Last night's overachievers
Shumpert returned to the lineup after missing a game with a hip injury and nearly led the Knicks to a win against the Bucks. He scored a season-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals while starting at small forward. Shumpert is scoring a career-high 13.2 points per game this season, nearly doubling his average from last year.
Davis led the Pelicans to a road victory over the Kings despite playing without frontcourt mate Omer Asik. He piled up 28 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals in what has been a typical performance for him this season. Davis is third in the league in scoring (25.5 ppg), fourth in rebounds (11.4 rpg) and leads the league in blocks (3.9 bpg).
Center: Zaza Pachulia, Bucks, +20.6
Playing against a small Knicks team that started Carmelo Anthony at power forward, Pachulia scored a season-high 14 points and added 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals to crush his projected stat line. Pachulia helped the Bucks hammer the Knicks on the boards to hold off New York's late rally.
For the second day in a row, Bryant is the pick at guard because of how low his projections are set. The league's leading scorer is only pegged to put up a line of 16 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds. After joining the 32,000 point club last night, Bryant will likely have extra motivation tonight when he faces off with ex-teammate Dwight Howard. Is there any doubt Kobe will be trying to send a message tonight?
Parsons averages have fallen this season not due to diminishing skills, but because of limited minutes as Dallas has already won five games by double figures. Tonight's matchup with the Wizards should be competitive enough for Parsons to receive heavy playing time. The Mavericks' success this season has led to decreased projections for Parsons (12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists) that he should surpass tonight.
With starting center Nikola Pekovic out of the lineup tonight, Dieng should get a boost from extra minutes. He will also benefit from playing against the undersized Knicks, just as Pachulia did last night. Dieng's numbers so far this season have been modest (8.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.4 bpg), but his per-36 stats (14.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg) suggest he is poised for a breakout game tonight.
- Paul Palladino