Paul Palladino
Thursday March 19th, 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: Marcus Smart, Celtics, +26.3

In his first game in Oklahoma as a professional, Smart nearly led the Celtics past the Thunder on Wednesday. The former Oklahoma State star made eight of 14 shots en route to 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Russell Westbrook’s 36 points were too much for the Celtics to overcome, but Smart was instrumental to Boston scoring 118 points. 

Forward: DeMarre Carroll, Hawks, +16.9

With Kyle Korver out of the lineup because of a broken nose, the Hawks were blown out by the Warriors on Wednesday. Carroll, however, was a bright spot, recording a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. The Hawks and Warriors split the season series in what could be a Finals preview between the No. 1 seeds in the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Center: Steven Adams, Thunder, +10.1

Adams had his second double-double in his last three games during Wednesday’s win over the Celtics. He made five of his nine shots and finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and an assist. In his last three games, Adams has averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds with Serge Ibaka out of the lineup. The Thunder are clinging to a half-game lead over the Pelicans for the final playoff spot and will need strong play from Adams to make the postseason.

Today’s picks

Guard: Jeremy Lin, Lakers vs. Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET

Lin’s first season in Los Angeles has been up and down, but has beaten his projection in three of his last four games. He has averaged 12.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals during the four-game stretch. With Nick Young out of the lineup, Lin should see more playing time for the rest of the season. His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but his 15-point projection is too low to pass up.

Forward: Brandan Wright, Suns vs. Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET

Wright has beaten his projection in four of his last five games and is coming off an 18-point, 11-rebound game against the Knicks on Sunday. He has been efficient during his stint in Phoenix, but has averaged 30.1 minutes during his last three games. Provided he receives enough playing time, Wright is a sure bet to beat his measly 16-point projection.

Center: Omer Asik, Pelicans at Suns, 10 p.m. ET

Asik has beaten his projection in three straight games, averaging 12.7 points and 13.0 rebounds. While he certainly no offensive savant by any means, he only has a 24-point projection tonight against the undersized Suns. With the Pelicans in the midst of a playoff race with the Thunder, Asik and Anthony Davis will need to control the paint for New Orleans to keep pace with Oklahoma City.

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