14 Utah Jazz With a legend gone, a talent-starved team has a new point to make

October 27, 2003

Like following The Beatles on stage or Chris Rock on Open Mike
Night, Carlos Arroyo is in the unenviable position of replacing
the irreplaceable. A sleek third-year point guard, Arroyo entered
camp as the odds-on favorite to run the offense following the
retirement of John Stockton. To most guards, succeeding the NBA's
alltime leader in assists and steals sounds about as much fun as
running into a Karl Malone pick. (It probably wasn't a selling
point for free-agent Andre Miller, who spurned the Jazz to sign
with the lowly Nuggets.) But Arroyo says he welcomes the
challenge. "I look at it as a great opportunity to play a lot of
minutes," he says. "I don't expect people to think I'm going to
come in and do what John did, but I think I can do well."

Undrafted out of Florida International in 2001, the 6'2" Arroyo
has played in only 81 NBA games--one less than Stockton
customarily logged in any given regular season. Arroyo, however,
is coming off a confidence-inflating summer, having helped Puerto
Rico win a bronze medal in the Tournament of the Americas to
snatch a berth in the 2004 Olympics. In the decisive game Arroyo
orchestrated an upset of the Canadian team that featured
Mavericks All-Star point guard Steve Nash. That feat did not go
unnoticed by the Jazz brass.

The fifth Puerto Rican to play in the NBA, Arroyo, 24, had an
excused absence on the third day of training camp so he could
attend a reception in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month held at
the White House. The highlight came when President Bush thanked
Arroyo for attending. "Honestly," says Arroyo, "I was sort of
surprised he knew my name."

By season's end, the Commander-in-Chief may not be alone. --L.J.W.

COLOR PHOTO: KENT HORNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES Carlos Arroyo

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Jazz

"Forget everything about the Stockton and Malone era. If this team
wins 20 games I'll be surprised. Its only hope is to take on the
personality of coach Jerry Sloan and become the NBA's
hardest-working team, because this is probably the least talented
club in the league.... Despite their youth they'll have a
surprisingly high basketball IQ, they'll move well without the
ball, and they'll try to make the extra pass. But it doesn't
matter how well you run a play, you still need somebody to put
the ball into the basket, and I don't know where the points are
going to come from--especially in the last six minutes when
opponents are turning up the defense.... Unless they make a move
to bring in a veteran, they'll be going from the best point guard
play in the league to Carlos Arroyo and Raul Lopez, who is coming
off two reconstructive ACL surgeries. They'll have a hard time
getting the ball past half-court and setting up the offense some
nights.... You also want to attack their big guys, especially
Greg Ostertag, who is one of the most foul-prone guys in the
league. I know that Sloan has always been frustrated by Ostertag,
but on this team Ostertag is one of his most reliable guys....
Andrei Kirilenko is the kind of hustle player who can make good
things happen at both ends of the floor. But the bottom line is
that they have no experienced floor leader, no one to command a
double team in the post and little perimeter shooting. It's going
to be especially hard on Matt Harpring, who scored by moving
without the ball while Stockton and Malone commanded so much
attention. Harpring is going to have to develop a new type of
game so he can create his own shot.... DeShawn Stevenson still
doesn't understand how to play. If he couldn't learn with
Stockton and Malone, I doubt he's going to learn now."

FAST FACT

Karl Malone's 20.6 points per game last season marked the lowest
team-high scoring average in the 29-year history of the Jazz.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 47-35 (7th in West)
Points scored: 94.7 (17th in NBA)
Points allowed: 92.3 (7th)
Coach: Jerry Sloan(16th season with Jazz)

GREG OSTERTAG

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% FT%
C 190 5.4 6.2 0.7 1.81 0.25 51.8 51.0

ANDREI KIRILENKO

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
SF 48 12.0 5.3 1.7 2.19 1.48 49.1 32.5

CARLOS ARROYO

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
PG 124 2.8 0.6 1.2 0.27 45.9 42.9 81.8

MATT HARPRING

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
SG 45 17.6 6.6 1.7 0.94 51.1 41.3 79.2

KEON CLARK[1]

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% FT%
PF 74 6.7 5.6 1.0 1.88 0.48 50.1 65.6

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

F[1] SASHA
PAVLOVIC(R) 42 10.1 ppg 2.4 rpg 0.8 apg 49.0 FG% 27.8 3FG%
G[1] RAJA BELL 212 3.1 ppg 1.9 rpg 0.8 apg 0.69 spg 44.1 FG%
F-C JARRON
COLLINS 249 5.5 ppg 2.7 rpg 0.27 bpg 44.2 FG% 71.0 FT%
F-C[1] MICHAEL
[+] RUFFIN 270 6.3 ppg 7.4 rpg 0.9 apg 1.41 bpg 49.1 FG%
G DESHAWN
STEVENSON 284 4.6 ppg 1.4 rpg 0.7 apg 0.36 spg 40.1 FG%

NEW ACQUISITION[1]
(R) Rookie (Euroleague Statistics)
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 94)
Spanish League statistics[+]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)