Wednesday January 28th, 2015

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 out-performs its projections by the largest amount 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: Wayne Ellington, Lakers, +25.1

With Kobe Bryant likely out for the season and Nick Young out with an ankle injury, Ellington stepped into the role of volume shooter for the Lakers on Tuesday. Unlike Bryant and Young, however, Ellington played an efficient game. He made 12 of 20 shots en route to 28 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He has been lost in the shuffle in Los Angeles this season, but will get extended minutes the rest of the season on the injury-plagued team.

Forward: David Lee, Warriors, +21.8

An early season hamstring injury and Draymond Green's emergence have relegated Lee to a bench role this season for the Warriors. But with Andrew Bogut out of the lineup on Tuesday, Lee played a season-high 30 minutes and finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists. While he is often criticized for his lack of defense, Lee has always been a productive player on offense and is averaging 18.1 points and 11.7 rebounds on per-36 minute basis this season.

Center: Joakim Noah, Bulls, +21.0

After being named to the All-NBA First-Team last season, Noah's stats have regressed this season amid injuries and a more talented roster. He had one of his better performances of the year in Tuesday's overtime win over the Warriors. He piled up 18 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and two steals as the Bulls overcame Derrick Rose's 11 turnovers to get a win on the road. When he is healthy, Noah is one of the best centers in Basketball Throwdown because of his versatility.

Today's picks

Guard: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers at Cavaliers, 7:00 p.m. ET

Because Monday's game at the Nets was postponed, Lillard and the Blazers haven't played since Saturday. All the extra rest should results in a big game on Wednesday against the Cavaliers. Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving scored 38 points on Tuesday, but is a below average defender who can't slow down Lillard. The Blazers have lost five of their last seven and will be looking for a statement victory against the streaking Cavaliers.

Forward: Serge Ibaka, Thunder at Knicks, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ibaka's game appears to have plateaued as he is averaging 14.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks while shooting a career-low 46.2 percent from the field. He is unlikely to become a go-to player on offense, but he has improved his three-point stroke to the tune of 40.1 percent. Ibaka has beaten his projection in three straight games while averaging 13.7 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. He should be able to put up big numbers against the hapless Knicks on Wednesday.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers at Jazz, 9:00 p.m. ET

Jordan has beaten his projection in four straight games by crashing the boards and blocking shots. He has averaged 14.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as the Clippers have won each game. While the Jazz have a trio of talented rebounders, Jordan should be able to continue his recent stretch of strong play on Tuesday in Utah.

- Paul Palladino

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