Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amar'e, 'Melo Onboard with Lin

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amar'e, 'Melo Onboard with Lin

Article excerpt

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- They finally were all gathered in the same gym -- Amar'e Stoudemire on the practice floor, Carmelo Anthony waiting to get the go-ahead to resume, and Jeremy Lin, who was crowned savior of the team in their absence.

They weren't playing together yet, with Lin getting a recovery day and sitting out the session. But the blending of Lin, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week who has led the Knicks to five straight victories, and the two missing stars, was on their minds -- and all are convinced it won't be a problem.

"I know there's questions about can I fit in and stuff like that," said Anthony, who is expected to return to the lineup Friday after sitting out with a strained right groin. "But this is like a dream come true to me. It takes some pressure off of me.

"I don't have to play point guard; I don't have to try to get Amar'e 20 points, try to get this guy 20 points, me try to go out there and get 25 to 30 points a night, play defense, rebound, do the whole thing. When I get back, Jeremy will have the ball in his hands and I'm playing off of that."

It actually seemed a bit difficult to tell who was the star on this day, as the two accomplished faces of the franchise tried to explain how they would fit while Lin was given the day off after logging long minutes in the last five games.

Stoudemire practiced and will play tonight against the Raptors. He seemed to not only have no problem with Lin's ascension, providing a facsimile of the Steve Nash-led version of Mike D'Antoni's offense from their days in Phoenix, but also pointed out that the Linsanity provided a brief moment of happiness in a difficult week spent mourning the death of his brother, Hazell, with family in Florida.

"The only positive for us during that whole week was we were watching the basketball games and we were watching Linsanity," Stoudemire said.

"My family was getting a kick out of it. That's the only smiles they really had all week. It was great to see that. It's been a tough week."

Stoudemire figures to fit in easily. He'd been preaching the need to buy into this system all season long, watching as one ill- fitting point guard after another was plugged in until finally, in desperation, the Knicks turned to the undrafted, twice-waived Harvard product. …

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