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Warriors Wrap

And the bleeding continues…

The Warriors kicked off their road trip in Boston last week with relatively unfounded confidence and a prompt loss to the Celtics. Fortunately, the Warriors had three mediocre Eastern Conference opponents queued up (New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago). The question of whether or not Golden State would topple any of the aforementioned Eastern Conference bottom feeders was quickly answered.

Jersey's triple threat of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson came out inspired against the already road weary (and hobbled) Warriors. Carter posted 22 points, Kidd posted a near triple double, and Richard Jefferson threw in 20 points for good measure. While Mike Dunleavy, Calbert Cheaney, and Mickael Pietrus attempted to match with twelve points apiece, the Warriors efforts were not enough to compensate for the absence of their leading scorer (Jason Richardson) resulting in a Warriors loss, 82-72.

A trip to Toronto seemed like an opportunity for a palate cleansing. It seems like an eternity ago, but the Warriors defeated the Raptors right before the New Year to extend their season long win streak to four. These are also the 'Post-Vince Carter' Raptors, struggling to craft some kind of identity after the departure of their brightest star.

The Warriors played a solid first quarter opening up a seven-point lead. Without Jason Richardson contributing his team leading 20.8 PPG and Troy Murphy shooting abysmally the entire evening, the door was opened for a Toronto Victory. Rafer Alston took advantage finding his shooting touch, unloading 14-second half points igniting a Toronto victory and handing the Warriors their fifth straight loss, 109-87.

Next was a trip to Chicago for a game against the long-suffering Chicago Bulls. Seemingly cursed after the departure of Michael Jordan, seeing red hardly inspires fear in opponents these days. However, the Bulls team Golden State encountered on Monday was on a hot streak not dissimilar from the one the Warriors had in the latter part of December.

The Bulls had one four in a row, gone 5-1 in January, and had won 10 of their last 13 games. The Warriors found themselves in the mix, up 50-49 at the beginning of third. Chicago's hot shooting ways continued as they blasted the Warriors with a 25-8 run closing out the third quarter with a 19 point lead. Unable to find enough offense, the golden state fell to the Bulls, 85-94.

A tourniquet was not to be found in Wednesday night's home game against the Miami Heat either. The Heat, anxious to end a two game losing streak, scored eight straight points before Golden State sunk one bucket in Oakland. Despite a slow start (and the still absent Jason Richardson), the Warriors kept things competitive in the first half down by one, 47-48.

Midway through the third quarter, the wheels began to come off and a one-point deficit had blown up to ten. Once again, the Warriors lacked sufficient offensive potency to put together a quality run in the fourth to steal a win. Troy Murphy led the way with 22 points and 17 rebounds, alas; Miami ended their losing streak with a score of 98-91.

Marred by offensive inconsistencies and an injured Jason Richardson, the Warriors have dropped seven in a row. One has to wonder if Golden State could have mustered a few victories had their primary offensive threat been on court. Richardson is questionable for Saturday's game against the Lakers and as if the Warriors ability to win wasn't questionable enough, Richardson's ambiguous status doesn't help matters.