Paul Palladino
Tuesday February 24th, 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: Avery Bradley, Celtics, +21.3

Bradley and his new teammate Isaiah Thomas teamed up to beat the Suns on Monday. While Thomas scored 21 points off the bench, Bradley led the team with 23 points, six steals, four rebounds and three assists. He has come out of the All-Star break playing well, averaging 23.7 points, 4.3 steals, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists The Celtics have traded off several of their best players this season so Bradley should get extended playing time the rest of the year.

Forward: Nikola Mirotic, Bulls, +22.3

Mirotic continued his strong rookie season in Monday's win over the Bucks. In 31 minutes off the bench, he piled up 16 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau traditionally doesn't give a lot of playing time to rookies and Mirotic has been no exception. He is playing just 17.2 minutes per game, but has done well in his time on the court, averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Center: Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors, +15.3

Valanciunas' double-double wasn't enough on Monday as the Raptors lost to the Pelicans. He has been inconsistent this season for the Raptors and has only improved slightly on his stats from last season. Valanciunas is averaging 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 55.4 percent from the field in 26.4 minutes per game. It was a bad loss for the Raptors as the Pelicans were playing without Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson.

Today's picks

Guard: Reggie Jackson, Pistons vs. Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. ET

Last week's trade to Detroit gave Jackson the starting role he has coveted for the past few seasons, and he responded by leading the Pistons to a win over the Wizards. While he struggled shooting and made just seven of 18 shots en route to 17 points, Jackson showed earlier this season that he can put up big numbers when given the opportunity. In 13 starts for the Thunder, he averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds.

Forward: Serge Ibaka, Thunder vs. Pacers 8:00 p.m. ET

With Kevin Durant out of the lineup with a foot injury, Ibaka has seen his stats rise in his last three games, averaging 19.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 3.7 blocks while shooting 59.1 percent from the field. Ibaka has spent more time on the perimeter shooting three pointers this season, but has attempted just three since the All-Star break. The Thunder have been clicking on offense and shouldn't have any problems with the Pacers.

Center: Andrew Bogut, Warriors at Wizards, 7:00 p.m. ET

Bogut's impact on the Warriors isn't accurately reflected in his stats. While he averages just 6.4 points and 8.3 rebounds, he is the catalyst of Golden State's defense and a key factor why they are sitting atop the Western Conference. Bogut has a mere 23-point projection against the struggling Wizards on Tuesday.

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