Monday December 8th, 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.

Sunday's overachievers

Guard: Rajon Rondo, Celtics, +17.1

Rondo earned the 31st triple-double of his career on Sunday to lead the Celtics past the Wizards in Boston. He had 13 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals while matching his season high with 17 shot attempts. Rondo leads the league in assists (11.2 apg)  and is second on the Celtics in rebounding (7.8 rpg), but his scoring has fallen to 8.8 ppg amid a miserable shooting season. With the Celtics not likely to make a playoff push, chasing triple-doubles is likely the only thing that will keep Rondo engaged all season.

Forward: Brandan Wright, Mavericks, +15.4

Wright had a standout game on defense on Sunday to outperform his 17-point projection. In addition to eight points, seven rebounds and two assists, Wright stole the ball four times and blocked three shots. While his thin frame has prevented him from living up to his potential as the No. 8 pick in 2007, Wright has been an effective big man off the bench for Dallas. For the third straight season, he is averaging more than 17 points and eight rebounds per 36 minutes of action.

Center: Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets, +9.2

Mozgov had a double-double on Sunday in the Nuggets' loss to the Hawks in Atlanta. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal in defeat. As with most of Denver's roster, Mozgov's stats are hurt by the team's depth. With several other big men that need playing time, he is only averaging 25.6 minutes per game. His per-36 averages (13.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg) suggest he needs more minutes, but likely won't find them until the Nuggets make some trades.

Today's picks

Guard: Terrence Ross, Raptors vs. Nuggets, 7:30 p.m.

DeMar DeRozan's groin injury opened the door for Ross to assume a larger role in Toronto's offense, but he hasn't capitalized on the opportunity yet. After scoring 20 points in the first two games without DeRozan, he scored just 17 points in the next two games combined. A matchup with the Nuggets should let Ross breakout tonight. Not only are the Nuggets ranked No. 27 in scoring defense, but they are on the second-leg of a road back-to-back while the Raptors had yesterday off.

Forward: Mirza Teletovic, Nets vs. Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.

With center Brook Lopez expected to miss at least a week with a back injury, Teletovic should see expanded playing time in Brooklyn's frontcourt rotation. The third-year forward is averaging just 10.7 points and 5.4 rebounds, but is only playing 24.6 minutes per game. His per-36 numbers (15.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg) are high enough that he should surpass his 21-point projection tonight against the Cavaliers.

Center: Kris Humphries, Wizards vs. Celtics, 7:00 p.m.

Since moving into the starting lineup in place of the injured Nene, Humphries has put up some big rebounding totals for the Wizards. He has had four double-digit rebounding games, including a 20-rebound game last week against the Lakers. He is coming off an eight-point, 14-rebound performance yesterday against his former team, the Celtics. With Nene still out of the starting lineup, Humphries should exceed his 15-point projection tonight.

- Paul Palladino

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