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.
Barton came off the bench to lead the Nuggets to a double-overtime win over the Pelicans on Sunday. He finished with 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block on 10-for-16 shooting in 47 minutes. Barton was buried on the bench in Portland, but has been a rotation player since a trade to Denver last month. He is averaging 14.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.2 minutes for the Nuggets.
Forward: Anthony Davis, Pelicans, +32.3
While Barton’s big game on Sunday was a bit of surprise, Davis’ performance was more of the same from the MVP candidate. He flirted with a quadruple-double and piled up 36 points, 14 rebounds, nine blocks, seven assists and a steal while making 16 of his 28 shots. Since returning from a shoulder injury earlier this month, Davis has been a monster, averaging 30.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.0 blocks and 3.8 assists while shooting 55.4% from the field. The Pelicans are only one game behind the Thunder for the final playoff spot, and Davis is the main reason they haven't fallen out of the race.
Center: Steven Adams, Thunder, +14.7
The Thunder knocked off the Bulls on Sunday behind Russell Westbrook's 36-point performance, but Adams also played a key role in the victory. Adams had his first double-double since returning from a hand injury, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal. With Serge Ibaka out of the lineup, Adams and Enes Kanter have done a good job of controlling the paint for Oklahoma City.
Rondo has been a bust since his trade to the Mavericks in December. He has infamously clashed with head coach Rick Carlisle and was suspended for a game last month. He is averaging just 9.1 points, 6.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds for Dallas. Despite his struggles, Rondo has always played better in matchups against elite point guards, and Monday's matchup against Russell Westbrook certainly qualifies.
After missing all of last season with a torn ACL, Gallinari has just recently returned to form. In his last 12 games, he has averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 40.2 percent on three pointers. Gallinari has benefited from increased playing time and a move to the starting lineup last month and should have no problem topping his 24-point projection on Monday.
With an ankle injury keeping Nikola Pekovic out of the lineup, Dieng should see extended minutes against the Nets on Monday. While he has only beaten his projection once in his last five games, he obliterated his projection with a 21-point, 14-rebound, three-block, three-assist, two-steal game against the Thunder last week. Dieng will be able to control the pain against the Nets tonight.