Friday January 30th, 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.

Wednesday's overachievers

Guard: Jordan Clarkson, Lakers, +18.8

Clarkson scored a career-high 18 points in Thursday's double-overtime loss to the Bulls while playing 46 minutes. The 2014 second-round pick also had three rebounds, three assists and a steal while making eight of 18 shots. Clarkson is not a great Basketball Throwdown option, but he can put up decent numbers when he gets extended playing time. Much like the 76ers and Knicks, somebody has to put up stats for the Lakers and Clarkson could be the guy moving forward.

Forward: Pau Gasol, Bulls, +10.0

In his return to Los Angeles, Gasol recorded a double-double in the Bulls' win over the Lakers. He displayed his all-around game and piled up 20 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks. It was Gasol's fourth straight double-double and he has averaged 16.5 rebounds during the stretch. Gasol's resurgence in Chicago this season will see him start opposite his brother Marc in the All-Star Game next month.

Center: Jordan Hill, Lakers, +22.9

Just like Clarkson, Hill took advantage of playing 41 minutes and finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. On the season, he is averaging career-highs of 12.2 points and 8.0 rebounds. With Kobe Bryant out for the season and Nick Young injured, Hill is one of the Lakers' top options on offense. He is unlikely to repeat this performance, but he is a good option as long as his projection remains low.

Today's picks

Guard: Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

After being left off the Western Conference All-Star team, Lillard will have plenty of motivation for Friday's matchup against the Hawks. While making the All-Star team in the West is difficult, Lillard's career highs of 21.7 points and 6.2 assists should have been enough to earn him a spot considering his team is currently the No. 3 seed. A marquee matchup with the 38-8 Hawks will require a big game from Lillard for the Trail Blazers. 

Forward: Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves at 76ers, 7:00 p.m.

Wiggins has been a standout for the past month for the Timberwolves, averaging 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in his last 19 games. While he has only beaten his projection twice in his last five games, a matchup with the lowly 76ers should allow him to have a big game on Friday. The only disappointment of his rookie season is that he will not participate in the Dunk Contest, likely waiting until next season's event in Toronto.

Center: DeMarcus Cousins, Kings at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.

Snubbed from the All-Star team once again, Cousins will look to prove the coaches wrong on Friday. He is averaging 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals and is a likely candidate to replace the injured Kobe Bryant in the All-Star Game. Because of an ankle injury, Cousins is questionable to play against the Cavaliers, but if he does suit up, he is the clear choice.

- Paul Palladino

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