Knicks Turn to Allan Houston for Luck Once Again

The Knicks have a slim chance of grabbing the top pick

It was 10 years ago this month that Allan Houston created one of the greatest moments in Knicks history. His running jumper as time ran out in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series with Miami caught iron, kicked off the backboard and then dropped through the net. The victory gave the Knicks an upset series win against the Heat and started them on an unlikely run to the NBA Finals.

It's a moment that no Knicks fan will ever forget, and now the team is hoping Houston can have a hand in another. He'll represent the team at the draft lottery on May 19 with hopes of pulling another rabbit out of his hat, or, to be more exact, a ping pong ball out of a hopper.

The Knicks are seeded eighth in the lottery, which gives them a 2.8 percent chance of moving up to the first pick. That would give them a chance to draft Blake Griffin, a player who looks like he could fill the role Amare Stoudemire played for Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix. They have a 10 percent chance of moving into the top three, which would land them highly regarded Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio or UConn center Hasheem Thabeet, who would greatly upgrade the team's interior defense.

If the Knicks stay put, the draft may not offer quite as many rewards. There's been a lot of talk linking them to Stephen Curry of Davidson. He's a phenomenal shooter, but may be too slight to be an effective NBA guard and all of the other prospects have similar good news/bad news profiles.

The draft looms large for the Knicks. It figures to have some impact on the team's decisions regarding free agents David Lee and Nate Robinson, and, since they don't have a first-round pick in 2010, it is their last chance to add to the core of players they'll use to try and lure a free agent after the season.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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