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Melo and Amare saw potential in Jeremy Lin

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- After Monday's practice, an emotionally calm Amare Stoudemire addressed reporters for the first time since the passing of his older brother, Hazell, who was killed in a car crash on Feb. 6.

Stoudemire said it was a tough week, but he and his family were able to exchange smiles watching not only the Knicks win four games in a row, but Lin-sanity unfold before their eyes on TV. While Stoudemire said he knew Lin had potential, after watching the point guard play with the Warriors last season, he didn't think he would be that good.

"I saw that he could play," Stoudemire said. "It was tough for him playing behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, but I saw the potential in him for sure. In practice, not so much. I noticed he was holding his own and just trying to hold his position down. I didn't see this in him. I don't think any of us did, to be honest with you. But you never know.

"Guys really just stay focused and keep working hard. It's a great lesson for a lot of the youth out there also, for them to always understand that you always have a chance, as long as you keep working hard and keep studying the game and practicing and playing smart. You'll have a chance to be a great player."

Meanwhile, back in New York, Carmelo Anthony had a front-row seat to Lin-sanity, as he sat on the Knicks' bench in a street clothes sidelined with a strained right groin. Melo also knew Lin could ball, and that he deserved a shot after taking advantage of the limited minutes he received before his breakout week.

"To be honest, I always knew he could play," Melo said. "Just in practice, we're around him every day, so we know what he could do. It's just a matter of opportunity for him and having game experience. He hadn't had enough game experience to be put out there. That Boston game [on Feb. 3] was a big test for him, for everybody. We were kind of shocked when he got thrown out there, and then the next night he came back big against New Jersey. He really stepped up."

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