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Game and Hype come together tonight

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Bruce Bennett

There are 100 media credentialed. Word is that both the Post and Daily News will have six reporters on hand, plus photographers. There will be free "Battle of the Boroughs" t-shirts handed out at the door and not just to the first 5,000 or 10,000 fans, but to every one of them. Inkmaster will be there again to offer free tattoos of the Nets excellent way for Knicks to switch loyalties, get a Nets logo painted on their arm. The Brooklyn Borough President is telling his constituents that if they don't root for the Nets, they will be committing "treason." He's not running for re-election.

And the Nets PR staff is tweeting about how important this game is to the franchise historically. The Nets note if they beat Knicks tonight it would be the first time in six years they held at least a share of first place this far into a season (13 games).A win would also give the Nets a 7-1 record at home, their best start at any home arena since 2002-03 when they went 18-1.

But it all comes down to the GAME. With hours left before tipoff, writers are giving it their last best guess ... and discussing what is a rivalry.