Paul Palladino
Tuesday February 10th, 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.

Monday's overachievers

Guard: Gordon Hayward, Jazz, +21.4

Hayward flirted with a triple-double in Monday's win over the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans. He made 10 of 22 shots en route to 32 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. Hayward is living up to the four-year, $63 million extension before this season, averaging 19.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals.

Forward: DeMarre Carroll, Hawks, +14.8

Caroll is the unsung member of the Hawks' starting five, but he had a big night in Monday's win over the Timberwolves. He had 26 points, four rebounds and three steals while making nine of 13 shots. Carroll isn't an All-Star caliber player like the rest of the starting unit, but he has developed into a key role for Atlanta. He is averaging 12.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers, +30.4

With Blake Griffin sidelined following elbow surgery, Jordan stepped up to control the paint and lead the Clippers past the Mavericks. He scored 22 points, grabbed a career-high 27 rebounds and blocked three shots. Jordan leads the league in rebounding at 13.7 per game and field goal percentage at 72.5 percent. The Clippers will need Jordan to carry a larger load on offense in Griffin's absence.

Today's picks

Guard: James Harden, Rockets at Suns, 8:00 p.m. ET

With Rockets center Dwight Howard out yet again with a knee injury, Harden will need to carry the Rockets yet again. A leading MVP candidate, Harden has been on a tear in his last 10 games, averaging 31.0 points, 6.9 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 45.7 percent on three pointers. He is coming off a 45-point, nine-rebound, eight-assist game against the Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Forward: Greg Monroe, Pistons at Hornets, 7:00 p.m. ET

Since the Pistons released Josh Smith in December, Monroe has been a standout for Detroit. In 24 games, he has averaged 16.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists as the Pistons have won 15 games. Monroe's uptick couldn't come at a better time for him as he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and should command some large offers on the open market.

Center: Jusuf Nurkic, Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET

Like any rookie, Nurkic's season has been filled with ups and downs, and he is trending upwards lately. He has beaten his projection in four of his last five games, including a 16-point, 14-rebound game against the Thunder on Monday. While the Nuggets are having a disappointing season, they can take solace in knowing they are in better shape than the Lakers. Nurkic should put up some big numbers against the Lakers on Tuesday.

 

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