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"We're not going to get pushed around," Mutombo vowed on the eve of today's Game 1 at the Meadowlands.
"There's going to be bad blood here because it's been a long time [since] these two teams have faced each other [in the playoffs]. As close as we are, looking at each other over the river. Now we get a chance to be face to face."
Knick coach Lenny Wilkens will rotate his three centers - starter Nazr Mohammed, Mutombo and Vin Baker - which means there's plenty of hard fouls to give.
"I spoke to all of them already, that it's not going to be easy," Mutombo said. "There's not going to be all that dunking, all those high fives on the other end of the court. That's why I'm going to come in the game for, to prevent all those layups and easy baskets."