Warriors better than Blazers?

Why Golden State a more serious contender than Portland

Updated: January 2, 2014, 12:57 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Andre IguodalaRocky Widner/NBAE/Getty ImagesWith Andre Iguodala back in the fold, the Warriors are on six-game run.

If healthy.

We slap that disclaimer on a number of promising teams every season, hinting at a club's potential if injuries somehow weren't part of the conversation. For some teams this season (the Chicago Bulls, for instance), playing the "if healthy" game is a sad, unrealistic ideal. But for others, it has tangible implications down the road. Perhaps no team hears that "if healthy" tag more than the Golden State Warriors.

That's because the Warriors are legitimate title contenders -- if healthy. No, they don't seem like card-carrying members of the NBA elite because of that 20-13 record, which is only good for seventh in the loaded Western Conference.

But that 20-13 record is misleading because of the health issue. With Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry suiting up, the Warriors are absolute juggernauts. Check out the Warriors' record this season with that trio in uniform:

15-3.

In other words, a better win percentage than any team in the NBA. In their "healthy" games, the Warriors have posted an average scoring margin of plus-11 every 100 possessions, which would also top the league. In all other games, the Warriors are 5-10. That's why you hear the "if healthy" disclaimer repeated ad nauseum.


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