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 surpasses their projections by the most 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.
Last night's overachievers
While Bryant has been criticized for shooting too much, it is a perfect recipe for success in Basketball Throwdown, which does not factor in shooting percentage. Despite shooting just 15-of-34 against the Warriors, Bryant piled up 44 points, five rebounds and three assists in just 31 minutes of action. Bryant's teammates may not enjoy his high-volume shooting displays, but they will help him exceed his fantasy projections.
Acy benefited from a season-high 31 minutes to surpass his projected stats on Sunday against the Nuggets. The third-year forward out of Baylor had a modest stat line of eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals, but his projection (16 points) was low enough that he was a better play than teammate Carmelo Anthony, who scored 28 points.
Center: Samuel Dalembert, Knicks, +5.6
Dalembert has been unimpressive in his first season with the Knicks, but he was the top center on Sunday as there were only four games. He had eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block for a similar performance as his teammate Acy.
The Suns' top-ten offense meets the Celtics anemic defense on Monday night in Boston. Bledsoe has been inconsistent to start the season as he went from scoring 22 points against the Hornets on Friday to just one point against the Clippers on Saturday. Boston's backcourt has a pair of good defenders in Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, but little in the way of interior defense so Bledsoe should have success driving the lanes.
Faried and the Nuggets are off to a disappointing start to the season and the schedule doesn't get easier with their second game of the season against the Cavaliers on Monday. Following a standout performance for Team USA during the summer, Faried hasn't taken the leap many expected he would this season, but he has upped his scoring over his last four games. Tonight's game will likely be a barnburner between two teams that don't play much defense, and Faried should show the potential he flashed this summer.
Center: Jared Sullinger, Celtics vs. Suns, 7:30 p.m.
Just as Bledsoe will benefit from the Celtics' poor defense, Sullinger should feast against the undersized Suns. Sullinger has bested his projection in five straight games and the Suns don't have the big men to matchup with him down low. Playing Sullinger is a bit of a gamble at center because he doesn't block many shots, but the up-tempo styles of both teams makes him a good selection tonight.
- Paul Palladino