Should Golden State Warriors take consolation from the struggles of fellow contenders?

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point shot against the LA Clippers in the second half during an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on March 08, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after making a three-point shot against the LA Clippers in the second half during an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on March 08, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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With talent parity seemingly at an all-time high, the 2022-23 season was always going to produce highly-competitive NBA action. Still, coming off an NBA championship just months ago, few expected the Golden State Warriors to be sitting at less at 3-5 after eight games.

The same can be said for the top of the Western Conference, with two of the top four teams, the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs, expected to be cellar dwellers simply vying for greater lottery odds. Instead they’re 6-2 and 5-2 respectively, while the Portland Trail Blazers, who most expected to miss the playoffs, are sitting pretty in second at 5-1.

The Golden State Warriors are just one of a number of expected contenders to be struggling during the early stages of the new NBA season.

Of the top 11 teams in the NBA championship betting market, six teams currently sit with a .500 or worse record. While the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics have all been impressive, the likes of the Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat have all been significantly underwhelming.

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are a combined 6-8 this season. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are a combined 6-8 this season. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

So, should the Warriors be taking consolation in the struggles of fellow expected contenders? To an extent yes — while Golden State have been poor to open the season, few Western Conference rivals, outside the Suns, have produced anything noteworthy or presented as more than what otherwise expected.

Further than the Clippers, the Denver Nuggets are 4-3 with a last start loss to the previously winless Los Angeles Lakers. The Memphis Grizzlies are also 4-3 having been blown out by 16 points against the Jazz on Monday. The Dallas Mavericks are 3-3 with losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and an extremely shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans.

In saying all that, this is a franchise that views itself as superior to the competition, or as Joe Lacob once put, ‘lightyears’ ahead. After four titles in eight years, this is a team that compares themselves just as much to their own championship level as to the standard of the opposition.

Next. Golden State Warriors: No need for panic button on bench unit just yet. dark

Golden State have plenty of work to do, most evident in recent three straight losses against the Charlotte Hornets,Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat. But losses like these also demonstrate the vast talent across the league, and the susceptibility you face when nowhere close to optimal level.