Paul Palladino
Monday February 23rd, 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.

Sunday's overachievers

Guard: Rodney Stuckey, Pacers, +21.3

Against a Warriors team playing without Stephen Curry, Stuckey came off the bench to lead the Pacers to an upset victory on Sunday. He made 11 of 17 shots en route to 30 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal. It was Stuckey's second straight 30-point game after torching the 76ers on Friday. In his last five games, Stuckey has averaged 21.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds. The Pacers are only a half-game out of the playoffs and will need Stuckey to play well until Paul George returns to the lineup next month.

Forward: Serge Ibaka, Thunder, +17.6

Russell Westbrook carried the Thunder on offense in Sunday's win over the Nuggets, but Ibaka was also a major factor on both ends of the floor. He made 10 of 18 shots and finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and a season-high eight blocks. With Kevin Durant out of the lineup for at least the next week, Ibaka should take on a larger role on offense and easily beat his fantasy projections.

Center: Nikola Vucevic, Magic, +13.8

Vucevic had a double-double in Sunday's win over his former team, the 76ers. He finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and a block while making 14 of 24 shots. The 24-year-old center is averaging 19.8 points and 11.4 rebounds on 53.6 percent shooting. The Magic fired Jacque Vaughn earlier this month and aren't going to challenge for a playoff spot, but Vucevic should still be able to pile up stats.

Today's picks

Guard: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics at Suns, 9 p.m. ET

After being traded to the Celtics last Thursday, Thomas returns to Phoenix to play the Suns on Monday. He scored 21 points in just 25 minutes in his debut with the Celtics, but his night was cut short by a pair of technical fouls. Thomas is the Celtics' best offensive player, so his stats should spike after he had to split time with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic in Phoenix. A matchup against his former team should provide Thomas with plenty of motivation.

Forward: Zach Randolph, Grizzlies at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET

Randolph has been very consistent in his last four games, beating his projection three times while averaging 15.3 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He usually relishes matchups with Clippers forward Blake Griffin, but will have an easier time against his replacements on Monday. The Grizzlies are sitting comfortably at No. 2 in the Western Conference and shouldn't have any problems with the Clippers.

Center: Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves at Rockets, 8 p.m. ET

Pekovic missed two months with an ankle injury earlier this season, but he appears to have returned to form over his last four games. He has beaten his projection in four straight games while averaging 19.0 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 44.8 percent from the field. Pekovic should be able to control the paint against the Dwight Howard-less Rockets on Monday.

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