Paul Palladino
Friday March 13th, 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.

Thursday's overachievers

Guard: Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers, +39.1

Irving scored 57 points to lead the Cavaliers to a comeback victory over the Spurs in San Antonio on Thursday. He made a pair of threes to force overtime and scored 11 more points in extra time. Irving made 20 of his 32 shots, all seven of his three point attempts and all 10 of his free throws. He also added five assists, four steals and three rebounds in Cleveland's statement victory. His 57 points are a career high and broke LeBron James’ franchise record of 56 points from 2005.

Forward: Tim Duncan, Spurs, +19.2

While the Spurs couldn't overcome a career night from Kyrie Irving, Duncan was the best big man on the floor and flirted with a triple-double. He made seven of his 11 shots and finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, four blocks and one steal. While Duncan’s stats aren’t eye-popping this season (14.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks), he has been a much-needed consistent presence for a San Antonio team that has battled injuries all year.

Center: Rudy Gobert, Jazz, +24.4

Gobert took advantage of an undersized Rockets team on Thursday and led the Jazz to an upset victory. He had 19 points, 22 rebounds, four blocks and two assists in Utah's 109-91 blowout win. Gobert has been a stud all season and helped Utah win nine of its last 11 games since dealing Enes Kanter. He has averaged 10.5 points, 14.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks since taking Kanter's spot in the starting lineup. And he's only 22 years old.

Today's picks

Guard: Eric Bledsoe, Suns vs. Hawks, 10 p.m. ET

Bledsoe hasn't seen a spike in his production since the Suns traded Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas at the trade deadline, but that should change against the Hawks. With backcourt mate Brandon Knight out for the second straight game because of a sprained ankle, Bledsoe should see extended minutes and more shot attempts tonight. The Hawks and Suns are both in the top-eight in scoring this season so it should be a high scoring affair in Phoenix on Friday.

Forward: Kenneth Faried, Nuggets vs. Warriors, 9 p.m. ET

This season has been a disaster for the Nuggets, who fired Brian Shaw last week. Faried, who signed an extension before this season, has also been a disappointment following a strong summer with Team USA. Recently, however, he has shown why he received a lucrative extension, averaging 15.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last five games. In an uptempo matchup against the Warriors on Friday, Faried should thrive.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET

Jordan has stepped up in a big way for the Clippers since Blake Griffin had surgery on his elbow last month, averaging 14.9 points, 18.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He leads the league in field goal percentage (71.5%) for the third straight season and rebounding (14.6 per game) for the second straight season. Head coach Doc Rivers has been emphatic that Jordan should win the Defensive Player of the Year award and he has a strong case.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.