The National pundits provide week six NBA power rankings. Discover where the top sites and experts rank the OKC Thunder.
With week seven of the 2019-20 NBA season underway the National pundits and bloggers reflect back on week six seeding all 30 teams. It’s interesting to note how each of the top analysts is ranking the OKC Thunder as this week there is a common trend of certain writers who seemingly have defined the team’s ceiling and basement as the club is comprised today. Presumably, there is uncertainty over potential trades and therefore reluctance to move OKC too high.
As per usual, each of the top sites varies in their opinions and some pundits are respecting the energy the Thunder is bringing to the court while others are more impressed by wins than overall stats.
Notably, this week of pundits picks arrives late (week seven is posting immediately after), however in order for everyone to have access to the sequential weeks TI decided to run it.
Here’s how the top-ranked National sites and blogs rank the OKC Thunder in week six:
NBA.com – John Schuhmann:
Through six weeks John Schuhmann has remained resolute in placing the OKC Thunder in the middle to top portion of the lower tier of the pack.
Over the course of the early schedule, Schuhmann has ranked the Thunder as low as 20th and this week he raises them to 15th – the highest mark they’ve been in his rankings.
Schuhmann highlights the usage of the CP3, SGA, Schroder, Gallo Adams lineup and that group’s success in this week’s comments. The following is a portion of his excerpt:
The Thunder closed the Golden State win with a lineup – Paul, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and Steve Adams – that has outscored its opponents by 33 points in 45 total minutes together. Though he’s used that lineup in 15 of their 19 games, Billy Donovan has never had it on the floor for more than seven minutes on any one night.
The rest of the above excerpt and full NBA power rankings can be viewed in its entirety by clicking this link.
ESPN – Panel
ESPN: Tim MacMahon |Andre’ Snellings | Royce Young | Bobby Marks
The Undefeated: Marc J. Spears
The panel moves the Thunder from 20th to 19th in week six. The excerpt by Young almost feels like they are begrudgingly conceding to what OKC is doing and rank where they do not for their own efforts but for other teams’ shortcomings.
Click this link for the full panel rankings.
There was some curiosity within the Thunder that, in spite of the tumultuous offseason, this roster might still be good enough to flirt with a playoff spot. Many saw it as a long shot, and it’s not like the Thunder are exceeding expectations at 8-11. It’s just the back end of the West is doing the opposite, leaving an apparent door open to be in the early conversation. The longer they stay in it, the better, with it creating a little more value and leverage in trade conversations. — Young
Grant Hughes has typically been one of the pundits more open to what the Thunder are doing but he’s down on their road record which is perhaps why he stings them this week with their 18th rank (down one spot from the week prior).
The following is a section of his excerpt on the Thunder and his full comments and rankings can be found via this link.
Perhaps even more concerning: Oklahoma City is 2-7 away from home. That’s not what you’d expect from a club with veterans like Chris Paul and Steven Adams leading the way. Those two have won plenty, at home and on the road, which should make steadier play with less dramatic location-based splits easier to come by.
Sports Illustrated – The Crossover
Michael Shapiro seeded the OKC Thunder in 17th in week five and drops them to 18th this week. Shapiro notes the impending trade market and players who could switch jerseys. Not much new here that TI hasn’t already mentioned – CP3, Gallo likely trade targets and Adams most likely to stay.
The Crossover writer’s full ranking can be viewed here.
Oklahoma City’s February decisions will be fascinating. The Thunder are a competent squad with a crop of quality players, but with the lottery a near-guarantee, it may be time to acquire more assets. Chris Paul is the biggest trade target, though teams will inquire on Danilo Gallinari’s. Steven Adams’ value may not be significant on the open market. He’s the best bet to stick around any in potential purge.
Phil Watson changed his listings to run Sunday to Saturday (most pundits run Monday to Sunday) so keep this in mind when reviewing his listings as they won’t reflect what’s happened on the Sunday to close the week. In week six he slides the Thunder down to 20th.
Watson cites the two sides of the spectrum with the blowout loss to the Pacers and then upset win over the 76ers as his reason for the drop in his ranking.
The following is a portion of the excerpt on OKC. The rest along with Watson’s full listings can be viewed by clicking this link.
Oklahoma City has had some difficulty closing out games against better teams, with eight of their 11 losses coming against teams that currently have above-.500 records. Seven of those eight losses has been by five points or less — something that could loom large with the Pacers and Timberwolves coming in this week.
Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports power rankings vaults the OKC Thunder up four spots from 19th to 15th. His full power ranking can be viewed via this link.
OKC had a soft schedule this week, beating the Pelicans twice and the Warriors once while losing to the Blazers on the road. The Thunder have been starting games slowly, but have managed to pull out some close victories to keep their record respectable. Their net rating is right about even, so the path to a .500 season could be inevitable.
That wraps up week six of the National writers power rankings with the OKC Thunder lowest placement of 20th and the highest of 15th.
Week six comes late this week (apologies) however it allows a sequential order for your perusal. Week seven will run immediately afterward.