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11 Golden State Warriors One volunteer is eager--and able--to pick up the scoring slack

Oct. 27, 2003
Oct. 27, 2003

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Oct. 27, 2003

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11 Golden State Warriors One volunteer is eager--and able--to pick up the scoring slack

The players most responsible for last season's 38 wins--Antawn
Jamison (traded), Gilbert Arenas and Earl Boykins (free
agents)--are gone. "They were our clutch shooters," says coach
Eric Musselman. "Who is going take those shots this year?"

This is an article from the Oct. 27, 2003 issue Original Layout

Frantically waving his hand and calling for the ball is
third-year shooting guard Jason Richardson. Though he started all
82 games and averaged 15.6 points last season, Richardson
complained that Musselman was bypassing him in the offense in
favor of Arenas, who averaged 18.3 points and then signed a
six-year, $64 million contract with the Wizards over the summer.
"A lot of people were trying to pit me and Gil against each
other, but it wasn't his fault--he wasn't the one who was calling
maybe only one play a game for me," says the 6'6", 220-pound
Richardson. "I was always getting the short end of the stick."

Musselman says it was nothing personal--Jamison, Arenas and
Boykins earned their leading offensive roles while helping Golden
State become the league's most improved team last year. Musselman
and Richardson cleared the air in meetings immediately after the
season and again last month. Richardson, 22, also took stock of
himself during the off-season, working hard to improve his
defense and ball handling.

After losing so many key players, the Warriors need Richardson to
play at a higher level. He's likely to sit out the start of the
season, though, while serving a suspension from the league after
his conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence. "I have to put
the past aside and play the kind of basketball I know I can
play," Richardson says. "I have to get mentally stronger than
last year. I have to be accountable." --I.T.

COLOR PHOTO: ROCKY WIDNER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES Jason Richardson

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

"If you're trying to build with young guys like Mike Dunleavy,
Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson, why would you expose them to a
potentially negative influence like Nick Van Exel? Their decision
to package Antawn Jamison as part of a nine-player trade to
Dallas had to be purely financial. Now they'll either deal Van
Exel's contract or let it expire after next season, when they'll
have tons of cap space.... If Van Exel realizes they have no
chance of winning, he'll try to force a trade by skipping
practice and being unavailable to play in games. But if things
are going well, he's a guy the other team has to fear because
he's so talented and he wants so badly to beat you.... I don't
think the season's going to go well, because they got rid of more
talent than they added. They lost their two leading scorers in
Jamison and Gilbert Arenas, and they'll be relying on three very
young starters, though I feel that Dunleavy and Murphy are going
to have good years. Dunleavy is an emerging star who has all the
skills and knows how to use them.... Richardson has been a horrid
ball handler, and teams have learned to exploit that. He's like
their rookie from France, Mickael Pietrus--those two can fly up
and down the court, but they don't know how to play.... I don't
like Erick Dampier or Adonal Foyle individually, but together
their size and rebounding make them a fairly productive 48-minute
duo at center.... The Warriors have excellent reserves in
Clifford Robinson, Calbert Cheaney and Speedy Claxton, a
fantastic backup point guard who thinks he's a starter.... I
understand why they want to move Murphy out to the three-point
line, to stretch the defense, but in doing so they take away his
inside strengths--and they are so hard to find. Once you invite
guys out to the perimeter, it can be hard to get them back into
the blocks."

FAST FACT

The Warriors became the first team to rank last in defense for
four straight years since the Nuggets (1980-81 to '83-84).

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 38-44 (11th in West)
Points scored: 102.4 (2nd in NBA)
Points allowed: 103.6 (29th)
Coach: Eric Musselman (second season with Warriors)

ERICK DAMPIER

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% FT%
C 157 8.2 6.6 0.7 1.88 0.33 49.6 69.8

MIKE DUNLEAVY

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
SF 134 5.7 2.6 1.3 0.23 0.65 40.3 34.7

NICK VAN EXEL[1]

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
PG 37 12.5 2.8 4.3 0.58 41.2 37.8 76.4

JASON RICHARDSON

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
SG 78 15.6 4.6 3.0 1.10 41.0 36.8 76.4

TROY MURPHY

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% FT%
PF 61 11.7 10.2 1.3 0.38 0.82 45.1 84.1

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

F-C[1]CLIFFORD
ROBINSON 128 12.2 ppg 3.9 rpg 1.09 bpg 1.07 spg 33.6 3FG%
C ADONAL
FOYLE 145 5.4 ppg 6.0 rpg 2.50 bpg 53.6 FG% 67.3 FT%
G-F[1]CALBERT
CHEANEY 187 8.6 ppg 3.5 rpg 2.0 apg 49.9 FG% 58.0 FT%
G[1] SPEEDY
CLAXTON 213 5.8 ppg 1.9 rpg 2.5 apg 0.73 spg 46.2 FG%
G[1] MICKAEL
PIETRUS(R) 227 12.1 ppg 3.6 rpg 1.7 apg 48.7 FG% 40.2 3FG%

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