In four close, tightly contested matchups this season, neither the Knicks nor the Brooklyn Nets held the clear-cut advantage as they split the series 2-2.
Carmelo Anthony's play will determine the outcome of this series if the two New York teams meet in the playoffs.
In the two wins this season, Anthony averaged 38 points on 58.7 percent shooting, but only averaged 32 points on 40.7 percent shooting in the two losses (per Basketball Reference).
Even in the losses, Anthony still drew his defenders into foul trouble and caused havoc for the Nets.
Nobody on the Nets roster can successfully slow down Anthony for a full 48 minutes. Gerald Wallace is their best option against Anthony and he's a great defender, but he won't be able to consistently force him into taking tough shots in the post.
On the other hand, Joe Johnson has a size advantage against every guard on the Knicks, so he would have to step up and play at an All-Star level in order for the Nets to have a chance to win a seven-game series.
The matchup of Tyson Chandler and Brook Lopez in the middle would probably be the most fascinating to watch. Chandler is an elite defensive presence in the paint, while Lopez is the best offensive center in the league.
It's a simple matter of whether good offense can beat good defense, or vice versa. Lopez is also just as big and long as Chandler and his defensive rotations have improved dramatically this season, so it will be interesting to see if Chandler can still get those easy alley-oops.
Chances of winning a playoff series: 7/10