Wednesday December 3rd, 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.

Tuesday's overachievers

Guard: Goran Dragic, Suns, +20.5

With backup Isaiah Thomas out for the fourth straight game with an injured ankle, Dragic led the Suns past the Pacers on Tuesday night. He scored a season-high 34 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and four steals as he blew past his 29-point projection. Thomas' addition to Phoenix's backcourt rotation has caused Dragic's stats to drop from last season, but he is still capable of a breakout game.

Forward: Kyle O'Quinn, Magic, +23.7

O'Quinn got his second start of the season on Tuesday against the Warriors and took advantage of the opportunity. He set season highs with 21 points and 11 rebounds while starting in place of the injured Nikola Vucevic. O'Quinn's strong performance was a key part of the Magic nearly knocking off the Warriors before Stephen Curry hit the game-winning three-pointer.

Center: Brook Lopez, Nets, +11.6

In Tuesday's game against the Knicks, Lopez controlled the paint to give the Nets city-wide bragging rights. He finished with a team-high 23 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists in Brooklyn's win at Madison Square Garden. In his return from a foot injury, Lopez's stats are down significantly from last season. The Nets will need more consistent play from him if they want to rebound from their 7-9 start to the season.

Today's picks

Guard: Bradley Beal, Wizards vs. Lakers, 7:00 p.m.

In his return from a fractured wrist, Beal's playing time and stats are down from last season. A matchup with the Lakers, the second-worst defensive team in the league, will allow Beal to have a breakout game tonight at home. The Lakers are allowing more than 111 points per game, and Beal should be extra focused while facing Kobe Bryant.

Forward: Tobias Harris, Magic vs. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

With Vucevic's status for tonight's game uncertain, Harris will be called on to carry an even larger part of the Magic's offense. He played well in last night's loss to the Warriors and has beaten his projection in three of his last four games. The Clippers are allowing fewer points per game than last season, but they still do not have a stopper on the wing who can match Harris' size.

Center: Chris Bosh, Heat vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

Bosh has upped his stats across the board in response to LeBron James' return to the Cavaliers. He is averaging 21.5 points and 8.8 rebounds, both of which are the most since his days playing for the Raptors. The Hawks have been a weak defensive team this season and are in the bottom third of the league in points allowed. The versatile Bosh should feast tonight against Atlanta.

- Paul Palladino

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