NBA Power Rankings: Battle for seeding priority of OKC Thunder and peers

OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings week 22 (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings week 22 (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder, 2019 NBA All-Star Rising Stars
Trae Young, 2019 NBA All-Star Rising Stars Practice and Media Availability (Photo by /NBAE via Getty Images) /

team. 66. . 17-54. Previous: 24th. Phoenix Suns. 24

Although kid Luka and recently Trae Young have dominated the rookie conversation it’s important to remember neither was the top draft pick. For as impressive as Doncic and Young have performed Deandre Ayton has also delivered in his rookie season.

Typically it takes centers a while to feel comfortable in the NBA game, but Ayton has fit in immediately. The big man from the Bahamas isn’t trying to dominate as much as fill his role and his numbers indicate success. As of this posting Ayton is averaging 16.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Notably, Ayton is shooting 58.4 percent and if he can manage to raise that to 60 percent he’ll become the first rookie in NBA history to average a double-double while shooting 60 percent from the field. For comparison’s sake in Shaquille O’Neal’s rookie season, his per game averages were 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 56.2 shooting percentage. Granted, Shaq’s era emphasized the center role in a far different manner, but that in itself speaks to how impressive Ayton has been particularly offensively.

Schedule particulars:

Tankathon rank for schedule strength of remaining games: 24th

Games Remaining:11 | Home: 7 | Road: 4

  • Versus top 10 offenses: one
  • Versus top 10 defenses: three
  • Games facing teams over .500: four
  • Last 10 games: 5-5
  • Back to back sets: none

Key Stats:

Offensive Rating: 27th (104.8)
Defensive Rating: 29th  (113.2)
Net Differential: 29th  (-8.4)

Record: 15th in WC
Home: 10-23| Road: 6-29 | Back to back sets played: 12
Versus the West: 9-33 | Versus the East: 7-19

Week 22, 1-2: Won vs. @Pelicans, Lost vs. Jazz, @Rockets
On tap for week 23: vs. Bulls, Pistons, Kings