3 teams worse than the Golden State Warriors despite their records

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors may be facing an uphill battle just to make the playoffs, but their also not your usual 10th seed in the Western Conference.

The Warriors are three games above .500 at 34-31 -- in many other seasons they'd be well placed to finish in the top eight and earn a playoff spot. Golden State have suffered a series of close losses from significant leads, ultimately harming what could have been a far better record.

The Golden State Warriors may be better than a number of teams across the league that boast better records this season

Having gone 15-7 over their last 22 games, the Warriors are better right now than what their record suggests. So, which teams could the franchise claim to be better than despite their respective results this season? Let's have a look at three:

1. Orlando Magic

The Magic have been one of the stories of the league this season, rising to the fifth-seed in the Eastern Conference behind the star young duo of Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. Orlando's 39-28 record far outweighs Golden State's, but the difference between the two teams is far less than what that may suggest.

The Magic's 1.6 net rating ranks 13th in the league, just ahead of the Warriors in 14th. If both teams played a seven-game series starting today, who exactly would be favorite? You could well make the argument that Golden State would be given their greater experience and the superstar presence of Stephen Curry. They also won the only meeting between the two seasons this season, claiming a 121-115 victory on January 2.

Paolo Banchero, Trayce Jackson-Davis
Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

2. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have also been somewhat of a surprise packet in the Eastern Conference, sitting with a 37-30 thanks to the second-best offense in the league. However, like the Magic, that doesn't mean they're better than the Warriors necessarily.

Indiana have the same 1.6 net rating as Orlando, and have also lost the only meeting between them and Golden State this season. That was a 22-point blowout win for the Warriors who took advantage of the Pacers' 25th ranked defense to post 131 points in Indiana. Again, ask yourself who would start favorite in a seven-game playoff series? Plenty would take Golden State.

3. Sacramento Kings

It's hard to make a huge argument that the Warriors are categorically better than any team ahead of them in the Western Conference. Yet if there's one argument you'd argue they're better than, it's the Sacramento Kings.

While the Kings have a better record at 38-31, the Warriors have a better net rating. The teams' split their four meetings this season, with Sacramento's two victories each coming by a point. A real rivalry has been brewing between the two teams over the past two seasons, but the Warriors hold a 9-6 advantage during that period including a first-round playoff series victory in 2023.