Tuesday December 16th, 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.

Monday's overachievers:

GuardRodney Stuckey, Pacers, +18.5

The Pacers ended an eight-game losing streak by dominating the Lakers on Monday, and Stuckey had his best all-around game of the season. He flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in just 29 minutes of playing time. It was Stuckey's second game in a row with double-digit rebounds after he pulled down a season-high 14 against the Trail Blazers on Saturday. The Pacers aren't going anywhere this season, but Stuckey can be a good fantasy option if he continues to crash the boards.

ForwardKevin Love, Cavaliers, +23.1

After an uneven start to his first season in Cleveland, Love seems to have found his role with the Cavaliers. During Monday's win over the Hornets, he had 22 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and four steals to finish with 58.1 Basketball Throwdown points. Playing alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Love won't match the lofty scoring numbers he put up in Minnesota on a regular basis, but he is still among the league's best rebounders.

CenterKelly Olynyk, Celtics, +27.3

Olynyk lost his starting job to Tyler Zeller last month, but his playing time and stats have largely remained the same. On Monday against the lowly 76ers, he poured in a career-high 30 points off the bench while adding nine rebounds, three steals, two blocks and an assist. Olynyk's projections has dropped down to 21 points, which makes him a good choice because of his potential for breakout games.

Today's picks:

GuardRussell Westbrook, Thunder at Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET

Westbrook has been on a tear since returning from a broken hand and has beaten his projection in each of his last six games. During the Thunder's six-game winning streak, he is averaging 27.5 points, 7.2 assists, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 50.9 percent from the field in just under 33 minutes per game. Along with Kevin Durant's return from a broken foot, Westbrook has carried the Thunder into the top-10 of SI.com's NBA Power Rankings. A matchup against the struggling Kings should allow Westbrook to continue piling up numbers on Tuesday. 

ForwardTyreke Evans, Pelicans vs. Jazz, 8:00 p.m. ET

Since Anthony Davis injured his chest two games ago against the Cavaliers, Evans has stepped up to carry the Pelicans on offense. He has averaged 32.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks during the last two games. With Davis questionable to play tonight, Evans has a good chance to be the focal point of the team's offense once again. New Orleans and Utah are both in the bottom third of the league in points allowed so Tuesday's game should be a high-scoring contest.

CenterTyson Chandler, Mavericks at Knicks, 8:00 p.m. ET

For the second time in less than a month, Chandler will get to face his former team. He roasted the Knicks for 17 points, 25 rebounds and two blocks in a win last month, and there is no reason to think the Knicks are any better equipped to stop him on Tuesday. Chandler has returned to form this season upon his return to the Mavericks following three seasons in New York. While he has cooled off from a fantasy perspective the past week or so, a matchup with the Knicks promises to bring out the best in him.

- Paul Palladino

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