The National pundits provide week seven NBA power rankings. Discover where the top sites and experts rank the OKC Thunder.
With week eight of the 2019-20 NBA season underway the National pundits and bloggers reflect back on week seven seeding all 30 teams. Thunderous Intentions weekly rankings will follow this week noting where all the teams rank. In the interim, it’s interesting to note how each of the top analysts is ranking the OKC Thunder.
Another week of success finds a few pundits raising the team up their ladder but none of the shifts are large.
Here’s how the top-ranked National sites and blogs rank the OKC Thunder in week seven:
NBA.com – John Schuhmann:
Through seven weeks John Schuhmann has predominantly held the OKC Thunder near the middle of the pack even in weeks their record hasn’t been indicative of the product on display.
Over the quarter pole, Schuhmann has ranked the Thunder as low as 20th and this week he raises them for the second consecutive week up to 14th – the highest mark they’ve been in his rankings.
In terms of his comments, Schuhmann points out something we’ve been highlighting in the post game grades and takeaways which is the oddity of the drastically low assists even on night’s the Thunder have strong offensive showings. The statsmaster also circles back to the three point guard plus Gallo, Adams lineup and their prowess. The following is a portion of his excerpt:
Eighteen of the Thunder’s 22 games, including 10 of the last 11 and five straight, have been within five points in the last five minutes. They’ve won four of those last five, with the highlight being their overtime victory over the Wolves – featuring Chris Paul’s tattling and Steven Adam’s touchdown pass to Dennis Schroder – on Friday, which has them in playoff position (and Minnesota in ninth place).
With their top five guys all averaging between 16 and 21 points, the Thunder have both a top five offense (116.4 points scored per 100 possessions) and the league’s lowest assist rate (they’ve assisted on just 46% of their buckets) in December.
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 18th placement by the panel is confusing since they note all the improvements and shifts in winning the Thunder make and yet they rank the Wolves 14th, Blazers 15th, Suns 16th, and Magic 17th. Granted, everyone is entitled to an opinion but even if the panel puts more emphasis on the cumulative effort versus the weekly performance then checking their big three stats category should still find OKC ranking at worst above two of those squads.
Click this link for the full panel rankings.
The Thunder have won four of their past five, and a big part of it has been their offensive improvement. Balance has been a big part of OKC’s step forward offensively. In the bonkers overtime win against the Wolves, OKC had five 20-point scorers (the first time that’s been done in the NBA since 2004), and in a quality road win over Portland, the Thunder had three more 20-point scorers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s closing instincts shined in both of those games, scoring 11 of OKC’s 17 in overtime against Minnesota, and 14 in the fourth against the Blazers. — Young
A few weeks back Grant Hughes offered complimentary commentary on Chris Paul and while it might seem like he’s pulling the “snitches get stitches” Shaq-like quote he’s actually impressed by CP3 and when you read the entire Thunder segment that becomes clear. Hughes vaults the Thunder up three spots to 15th.
The following is a section of his excerpt on the Thunder and his full comments and rankings can be found via this link.
But the Thunder’s shocking 137-129 win against Minnesota on Friday was mostly the result of Chris Paul’s world-class snitching.
CP3, a player uniquely devoted to wringing every last drop of competitive advantage out of the NBA rule book—whether by flopping, call-baiting, well-timed ripthroughs or encyclopedic knowledge of obscure technicalities—saw Jordan Bell‘s jersey untucked with 1.1 seconds remaining as he entered the game ahead of Karl-Anthony Towns‘ second free-throw attempt. So he screamed about it.
Sports Illustrated – The Crossover
Michael Shapiro seeded the OKC Thunder 17th the past two weeks and again holds them steady in week seven. Given the Thunder variance over these three weeks, Shapiro holding them steady feels more like other teams were rising and falling but he seems to feel this is the definitive spot for OKC (which in fairness they do rank somewhere between 14th and 18th in most key stat categories).
The Crossover writer’s full ranking can be viewed here.
Chris Paul’s OKC highlight reel won’t be long, but the Point God stealing a win over the Timberwolves on Dec. 6 was a near-perfect encapsulation of the nine-time All-Star. Few players in the game’s history are more competitive, and Paul may be the smartest player in the league. Never change CP3.
Through the early weeks of the season Hoops Habit editor, Phil Watson was arguably the OKC Thunder biggest advocate. However, the past few weeks he’s not quite as enamored. This week he places them 18th. Notably, Watson’s rankings run a day earlier so the Sunday games start his week instead of finishing it.
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.
Chris Paul had a turn-back-the-clock game against the Timberwolves Friday, scoring a season-high 30 points in the overtime win. For the week, Steven Adams showed signs of snapping out of his funk, averaging 19.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 31.0 minutes per game, shooting 82.1 percent overall and going 13-for-18 at the line to get over the 50 percent mark for the year.
Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports power rankings vaulted the OKC Thunder up four spots last week and holds them steady this week at 15th. Ward-Henniger’s full power ranking can be viewed via this link.
The Thunder had a good week with wins over the Timberwolves and Blazers following a loss to the Pacers. Steven Adams nearly averaged a double-double for the week, while Dennis Schroder has been on a scoring tear, averaging 21.3 points on 55 percent 3-point shooting over his last three games.
That wraps up week seven of the National writers’ power rankings with the pundits ranking the team as high as 14th and as low as 18th.
Make sure to check back to see how Thunderous Intentions rank all the teams and where the OKC Thunder is seeded in our opinion.