Who'll take Antawn's place?

The Warriors will improve on last season if they get more than dunks from Jason Richardson.

Updated: October 14, 2003, 3:41 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Editor's note: Here's a glimpse of the good -- and the bad -- that could happen to the 2003-04 Golden State Warriors.

Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson must help fill the offensive void left by Antawn Jamison.
Best Case Scenario
Three things need to happen for the Warriors to keep building on last season's 38-44 finish and join Houston and Portland in the battle for the No. 8 seed in the mighty West.

1. Someone emerges as a go-to scorer. Or, at the very least, the Warriors need consistent and increased production from Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy and new starter Mike Dunleavy. Antawn Jamison, Gilbert Arenas and frequent fourth-quarter hero Earl Boykins have all departed. Nick Van Exel can certainly offset Arenas' departure, and Boykins actually faded somewhat in the second half of the season, but Jamison averaged 22 points a game. Richardson hasn't proven he can score at that level, and from Dunleavy you only expect solid, not spectacular, numbers. The ever-improving Murphy has been working diligently on his 3-point shot to extend defenses -- I personally watched him swish dozens in camp -- but the Warriors need him more as a gritty double-double guy than as a perimeter threat. So Richardson is the prime candidate, aside from Van Exel.

Marc Stein | email

ESPN Senior Writer
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics