Thursday November 20th, 2014

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.

Sign up for tonight's Basketball Throwdown here.

Last night's overachievers

Guard: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks, +24.4

Antetokounmpo played 48 minutes in the Bucks' triple-overtime victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Likely the tallest "guard" in the league at 6-foot-11, he piled up 18 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals to more than double his projected stats for the night.

Forward: Brandon Bass, Celtics, +18.7

Bass has been largely buried on the bench as the Celtics have gone young with the Jared Sullinger-Kelly Olynyk frontcourt, and his projected stats are artificially low. He received extended minutes against the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and responded with a season-high 23 points, six rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal.

Center: Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers, +15.2

In a starting lineup featuring All-Stars LeBron James, Kryie Irving and Kevin Love, Varejao is usually an afterthought on offense for the Cavaliers. During Wednesday night's loss to the Spurs, however, he led the team in scoring with 23 points while adding 11 rebounds and two blocks. 

Today's picks

Guard: Mario Chalmers, Heat vs. Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET

With Dwyane Wade expected to miss another game with a hamstring injury, Chalmers should get the chance to play big minutes tonight against the Clippers. He has beaten his projected stats in four of his last five games and is scoring a career-high 13.5 points per game this season. Luol Deng's expected absence with an injured wrist should shift even more of the offensive burden to Chalmers.

Forward: Taj Gibson, Bulls at Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET

Starting power forward Pau Gasol is questionable for tonight's game with a calf injury meaning Gibson should move into the starting lineup. On Monday, he piled up 20 points, five rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal while starting in place of Gasol against the Clippers. His 28-point projection tonight is well within reach if he gets enough playing time.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers at Heat, 8 p.m. ET

Jordan has been an outstanding Basketball Throwdown player over his past five games. He has beat his projection four times and a matchup with the undersized Heat will allow him to cruise past his 29-point projection tonight. Although his offensive production is mostly limited to dunks and alley-oops, his shot blocking prowess makes him a solid play.

- Paul Palladino

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