The Return of Houston to New York

Allan HoustonAllan Houston is back practicing, and ready to return to the New York Knicks after a two year hiatus from the league due to a recurring knee problem.

Houston, or H20, was the cornerstone of the Knicks franchise in the mid-to-late nineties, and with help from a breakout playoff performance from Marcus Camby, led New York to an Eastern Conference Finals victory, and an eventual finals loss to San Antonio.

While he did (keyword) have one of the sweetest jump-shots the city of New York has seen since Walt Frazier, it’s going to be very interesting to see how Houston can rebound – no pun intended – after two years of trying to rehab a bum knee.

Because let’s face it, he was drafted in 1993, the same draft class that introduced long-gone players Vin Baker, Nick Van Exel, and – Grizzlies fans will remember this one – Bobby Hurley.

Houston also never played a game with any current Knickerbocker, so he’s basically coming in as a rookie – a very old, experienced rookie.

He does, though, have a young, promising team to play with, especially now that Stephan Marbury doesn’t have to compete for a the starting point guard role with recently dealt Steve Francis.

Because of that, ‘Starbury’ can focus on doing what he does best – distributing the ball and making highlight reel plays – and not having to be constantly looking at the bench to see the “Franchise” unbuttoning the tearaways and subbing in for him.

This can only benefit Houston. The last thing he needed was an inexperienced point guard, who will take months to learn Houston’s tendencies.

Houston will bring experience to the team, but only time will tell if he is still able to perform at the same level that brought him to the 1999 finals.

Update: The Houston-less Knicks were embarassed by the new look Celtics tonight, 101-61 in pre-season play

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