Allan Houston played just 20 games last season. One of them was against Larry Brown's Pistons. It happened to be one of the most effective games of his short-lived comeback before his knees flared up again.
Brown remembers the game and knows what Houston still can be. The new Knicks coach is willing to give Houston every chance to prove he can be a factor this season.
"I've talked to him and he tells me he's going to be all right," Brown said yesterday. "I can only go by what he told me. He's had time to rest to get it well. Hopefully it will be for his sake and our sake. We have a lot of young players and it would be good to have an older guy."
Houston scored 17 points in 21 minutes in that game against Detroit, but was out for defensive purposes when Jamal Crawford missed an ill-advised jumper with eight seconds left. The Pistons' Chauncey Billups grabbed the rebound and raced the other way for a game-winning layup at the buzzer in that memorable 94-93 heartbreaking loss at the Garden.