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9. Does the New Jersey-New York first-round matchup hold any interest outside of the New York metropolitan area?

We'd like to think so. You have the defending Eastern Conference champion Nets beginning their quest for a third consecutive Finals appearance. You have Madison Square Garden open for the postseason for the first time since 2001. The point guard matchup -- Jason Kidd vs. Stephon Marbury -- is one of the best matchups of the first round. New Orleans Hornets guard Baron Davis knows what he'll be doing on off days after battling the Heat.

"There's always a comparison there because of the trade," Davis told the New York Post. "That's one of the playoff series I'm looking forward to watching. I know both players -- inside -- are looking forward to that matchup and that battle."

So, yes, there are plenty of intriguing subplots to Nets-Knicks (Saturday, April 17, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Not to mention these teams don't particularly like each other. They've been making noise all season.

"They have been asking for us," Kenyon Martin told the New York Daily News on April 3. "The guys proved that we are still the No. 1 team in the area."

When all is said and done, how will Kobe look back on this season?
Now, however, the stakes are much higher than No. 1 team in the New York metropolitan area, which means the action should be even more intense than normal.