It won't necessarily affect his status for Wednesday's opener, but the Knicks' indispensable shooting guard was only a spectator yesterday, and there are only two more practices left. Not good.

"I just felt like I made a couple of moves and it got a little weak on me, so I didn't want to push it," said Houston, who had his knee scoped on June 10. "I can't really do the things I want to do yet. I just got to keep going one day at a time."

Don Chaney, who ordered Houston to sit out, didn't sound alarmed by this unexpected development -- partly because he has come to expect the unexpected.
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jees, there now two players who can actually miss the start of the regular season