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MavsFanFinley
04-18-2002, 07:59 PM
Veterans Starks and Crotty won't see playoff action
By TIM KORTE

AP Sports Writer
April 18, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- John Starks was left off Utah's playoff roster Thursday, signaling a possible end to the NBA career of a 13-year veteran and longtime fan favorite at Madison Square Garden.

The Jazz put Quincy Lewis and Rusty LaRue on their 12-man playoff roster instead of Starks and injured point guard John Crotty. Starks and Crotty are in the final year of their contracts.

``We just went with a younger guy,'' coach Jerry Sloan said when asked why the 36-year-old Starks wasn't included.

Utah is seeded eighth in the Western Conference and opens the playoffs Saturday at top-seeded Sacramento.

In eight seasons with the New York Knicks, Starks was a streaky but dangerous 3-point shooter, averaging 19 points and 5.9 assists in his best season, 1993-94, when the Knicks lost to Houston in the NBA Finals.

That year, Starks made his lone All-Star Game appearance. He also won the Sixth Man Award in 1996-97, averaging 13.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds.

He left the Knicks in 1998, playing with Golden State and Chicago before joining the Jazz for 2000-01. But his inconsistent shooting was a glaring change from the player he was signed to replace, the retired Jeff Hornacek.

Starks averaged 9.3 points in 2000-01 and 4.5 points this season. In recent months, he saw limited action.

Crotty averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 assists backing up John Stockton, but his left knee bothered him much of the season. Crotty had arthroscopic surgery in January, missing 39 games.

He was activated April 11, but returned to the injured list Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Lewis, averaging 3.8 points, spent 25 games on the injured list with tendinitis in his left Achilles' tendon before replacing Crotty this week. He scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in Wednesday's loss to San Antonio.

``Quincy played well and he's been working real hard in practice the last three or four weeks,'' Sloan said. ``We felt we'd give him a chance.''

LaRue, signed in January to replace Crotty, is averaging 5.8 points and 2.2 assists

Drbio
04-18-2002, 08:57 PM
much like AJ, it doesn't make sense to me to keep proven winners off your team. I know AJ is hurt though....

Hoopsmeister
04-18-2002, 09:44 PM
What makes you think Starks is a proven winner? i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif