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There are, of course, only two conferences, and the Warriors are, of course, in the Western Conference.
But the Western Conference is not all that similar to its eastern counterpart. Sure, both have some elite teams at the top, but the West is far superior after that.
The Western Conference's dominance can be illustrated in several ways. One could point to the fact that the West has finished with a better record than the East for 13 straight seasons, or that 10 of the last 14 NBA champions have come out of the Western Conference.
One could also look at the fact that the West routinely features non-playoff teams that would not only make the playoffs in the East, but likely win a series.
In 2007-08, the Warriors were history's greatest example of this. Golden State finished with a 48-34 record, but missed the playoffs. In the East, their 48 wins would have placed them 4th, while the easier schedule that comes with being in the East would have likely made them a top-two seed and a finals contender.
This year's Warriors may not win 48 games, and they likely won't have to in order to make the playoffs. But make no mistake: Oakland's NBA franchise was one of the better teams in the West during the season's first month.
Even a sober breakdown of the numbers say so: The Warriors are 8-6, putting them on pace for 46 wins, good for sixth in the West.
When looking at the Warriors' home-road splits, they look even better. The Dubs are 4-2 at home and on pace for 27-28 wins. They are 4-4 on the road, putting them on pace for 20-21 wins and 47-49 wins overall.
The Warriors have also played the NBA's fifth toughest schedule (fourth toughest among Western Conference teams). While it is difficult to project the impact this has had on their record, it's safe to say that, with a slightly softer schedule from here on out, the Warriors should finish at least one or two wins above their current pace.
This means that, when assessing only how well the Warriors have played thus far given their schedule, the 2012-13 Warriors look like a 50-win team.
Of course, the quality of the roster can change throughout the season, and the chances of more key players getting injured or the production of healthy players dropping off is a real one. However, even a pessimist would have to say that it is at least equally likely that the Warriors get healthier (Andrew Bogut returning) and their current players improve (three rookies in the rotation and a slumping Klay Thompson).
What does all this mean? Technically, nothing. The game is played on the court and, from this point forward, the Warriors' first month is history. Still, the bar has been raised, and it is clear to Warriors fans and hopefully—for their sakes—to teams on the playoff bubble that the 2012-13 Warriors need to be tentatively accounted for among the top eight.