The Warriors are 33-2. Their two losses have come:
- To the Bucks without Harrison Barnes and Kevon Looney
- To the Mavericks without Stephen Curry, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, Barnes and Looney
Thompson, via Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post:
If we were completely healthy, we probably would still be undefeated, but Milwaukee caught us at a great time and they played a great game, so that’s hoops.
Give the Warriors perfect health and let them re-play their schedule 1,000 times. Some of those times, they’d be undefeated. But I believe, more often, they’d have more than two losses.
This is no knock on the Warriors, and I’m not pulling a Doc Rivers to call them lucky. It’s hard to go undefeated over a long stretch.
Measuring teams by their point difference has proven to be a better indicator of ability than won-loss record. The Warriors suffered their first major injury in their 17th game, when Barnes went down. At that point they were 17-0, but they had a point difference resembling a 15-2 team. That’s still great, but it shows how the breaks had worked in Golden State’s favor.
Now, the Warriors have the win difference of a 29-6 team. Still excellent, just not quite 33-2.
Besides, why should we presume perfect health for Golden State and not its opponents? The Warriors can blame the Dallas loss on injuries, but how many games did their opponents play at less than full strength?
Ultimately, Thompson is justified to think Golden State might not have lost those specific two games if completely healthy. But if we re-did things, the Warriors likely would’ve dropped some of their other 33 games.