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Best lineup strategy for Hawks vs. Knicks Game 2 NBA Showdown in 2021 NBA playoffs

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings Game 2 of the Hawks-Knicks first round NBA playoff series, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young passes during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the New York Knicks on May 23, 2021 in New York City. Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty Images

Game 2 of the first-round playoff series between the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks will tip-off on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. The road team snuck by thanks to a game-winner with less than a second left last week, and the rematch could go down to the wire as well. Let’s go over how you should approach fantasy contests on DraftKing that are centered around the matchup.

Captain’s Picks

Trae Young ($15,600) was a nightmare for the Knicks in Game 1 and flirted with a triple-double in his NBA Playoff debut last week. New York has an elite defense, but its point guard rotation is shaky. Elfrid Payton hardly plays, and Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley are average at best defensively. There’s no way for team defense to take Young out of the game when he has so many weapons around him. He’ll be involved in just about everything Atlanta does on offense.

Captaining Young will make you have to settle for quite a few role players in the flex, but Derrick Rose ($11,100) gives you a chance to fit in mere high-upside players without taking a huge risk. New York’s sixth man nearly matched Julius Randle’s ($16,500/$11,000) production for $4K less in Game 1 and paced all Knicks with 28 minutes. He could play just as much or more in a Wednesday’s must-win matchup as Payton has been a non-factor.

FLEX Plays

Lou Williams ($3,400) did a spectacular job acting as Atlanta’s backup point guard in Game 1 and racked up 13 points and two assists in 13 minutes. He and Young combined for 48 minutes last week, so it’s easy to tell who’ll be running the second unit. Sweet Lou can rack up DKFP in a flurry and has a chance to be one of Wednesday's better value plays, alongside De’Andre Hunter ($4,400), Immanuel Quickley ($3,200), and Taj Gibson ($2,800).

Alec Burks ($5,400) has picked up the slack in mid-May. The Knicks wing has tallied at least 28 DKFP in four straight games and is one of the few players New York can rely on to make shots from the outside. His 27 points in 26 minutes were a big part of why the Knicks could compete, so expect to see him more heavily featured in round two.


It’s doubtful that Randle will shoot 26% from the field for the second game in a row, but his dissipating outing in Game 1 killed many lineups. Young has all the momentum heading into Game 2, and playing the two players with the most scoring potential takes many other options off the table. Playing a combination of Rose, Burks, and Barrett ($11,700,$7,800) could allow you to fit in more starters from both teams.

The Outcome

Randle should put on a much better show in Game 2. New York nearly won despite his struggles last week and should be able to cover as 1.5-point favorites at home on Wednesday.

Final score: Knicks win 115-110