Discover where the top sites and experts rank the OKC Thunder in week 11 of the NBA Power Rankings and how many moved the team into their top 10.
With the New Year arriving it announced the arrival of week 11 of the 2019-20 portion of the NBA season. And many teams entered 2020 dealing with hopes for continued success or turning over a new leaf with the calendar. The OKC Thunder wants to keep up its current hot streak.
While the squad flew under the radar for what seemed like an eternity, the National pundits and bloggers have noticed their ascent and this week the rankings reflected it.
Here’s how the top-ranked National sites and blogs rank the OKC Thunder in week 11:
NBA.com – John Schuhmann:
Through 11 weeks NBA stat man John Schuhmann has held the OKC Thunder around the middle of the pack to the low teens. This week he finally moves them into his top ten. That’s a three rung jump from last weeks when he ranked them 13th to his highest ever rank for them at 9th.
The Thunder remain clutch. They’ve won nine of their last 10 games overall and 12 of their last 14 (including six straight) games that have been within five points in the last five minutes, coming back from double-digit deficits to beat the Mavs (with a 14-2 run to close the game) and Spurs (with a 63-48 second half) last week.
Winning close games (often with a best-five lineup that is now a plus-79 in 98 minutes) is the biggest reason they’re 14-4 (only the Bucks have been better) since Thanksgiving, but they’ve also improved offensively, mostly because they’ve cut down on turnovers and improved on the offensive glass.
The rest of the above excerpt and Schuhmann’s 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 OKC Thunder made the panels headlines leading us to believe they would rank in the top ten but no such luck. Instead the panel raised the squad from 13th to 11th.
As per usual Royce Young provides the notes for the team and the focus this week is on the clutch time Thunder. Something we’ve all been focused on for about a month now. Hey, at least this group is on board finally. After the loss to the Lakers undermanned squad in week 12th though don’t be surprised if the panel drops them next week. Click this link for the full panel rankings.
The best record in the NBA since Dec. 1? The Bucks. The second best? The Thunder, at 13-4. Probably the biggest reason for the turnaround has been Oklahoma City’s domination in the clutch. The Thunder went 8-1 in two-possession games in that span, they’ve won the most games decided in clutch time this season (16), and they have the best offense in the league in the clutch (125.4 offensive rating). The Thunder’s three-point-guard lineup is a nightmare, and within it, Chris Paul has been an absolute crunch-time master, leading the league in clutch points and baskets. — Young
Grant Hughes’ focus for week 11 is on Mr. Clutch (our name for him not Hughes) as he notes some of the more impressive Chris Paul stats.
Despite Hughes being impressed by the OKC Thunder he holds them steady at 13th for the third week in a row.
The following is a section of his excerpt on the Thunder and his full comments and rankings can be found via this link.
Paul’s 93 clutch points (with a stellar 66.3 true shooting percentage) lead the league.
Though Paul’s late-game production has had a conspicuous impact lately, we shouldn’t let that overshadow what Shai Gilgeous-Alexander does for entire games. He’s been metronomically consistent, scoring in single digits only once all year and reaching his career high in points, 32, three times in the last eight games.
Sports Illustrated – The Crossover
Last week Sports Illustrated (The Crossover) scribe Michael Shapiro moved the OKC Thunder up to 13th and this week he holds them steady there.
Shapiro’s focus for week 11 is Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander noting the point guard’s incredible sophomore season and clutch time performances.
Click this link for Shapiro’s full ranking list.
What a sophomore season for Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. The Kentucky product is averaging 24.6 points per game in Oklahoma City’s five-game winning streak, and he’s made 22 of 31 clutch shots, per NBA data. The Thunder landed a potential future All-Star in the Paul George trade, kickstarting their rebuild after the Russell Westbrook era.
Week 11 of the NBA Power Rankings finds Hoops Habit editor, Phil Watson holding the Thunder steady at 13th. Of note, Watson’s weekly ranking runs Sunday to Saturday as opposed to Monday to Sunday so the final games of each week appear the following week.
The following is the segment of his posting on the Thunder. For the with the rest of his comments and ranking list click this link.
Remember when the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to five games below .500 with a three-point loss at home to the Lakers on Nov. 22? Wow, does that feel like a long time ago now. After hitting their low-water mark at 5-10, the Thunder have ripped off 15 wins in their last 20 games, including four in a row and eight of their last nine, and are a season-high five games above .500.
Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports power rankings has consistently kept the OKC Thunder in the middle of the pack the majority of the season. Last week he held them in 13th but given there continued success moves them into his upper echelon ranking them 10th for week 11. Ward-Henniger’s full power ranking can be viewed via this link.
The Thunder continue to steamroll through their schedule, winning three more games this week to make it five in a row and nine of their last 10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder each averaged over 20 points per game this week, with Danilo Gallinari returning to provide some extra shooting. Now that they’re playing so well, OKC will have some interesting decisions to make as the trade deadline nears.
Big surprise the Thunderous Intentions power rankings is the highest on the board. I did a lot of mulling over how high to raise them up the ladder into my top ten.
The fact they’ve been the second hottest team in the Association for as long as they have the quality of competition they’ve beat ended up resulting in perhaps a surprising 7th rank.
The fact these rankings went up late may have also influenced my ranking position knowing they’ll drop a bit next week. Last week they ranked 9th on my board so the 7th rank isn’t that big of a leap following another 3-0 week.
Another winning sweep week by the Thunder with Chris Paul putting on vintage CP3 efforts. Yet, it’s that three point guard lineup that continues to shine.
In the three wins the trio put up the following averages:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 21.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 block.
Dennis Schroder: 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and shot 46.7 percent from deep on 5 attempts.
Chris Paul: 13.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.0 steal
For the rest of the post on the OKC Thunder and the remainder of my rankings click this link or the blue box below.
That wraps up week 11 of the National writers’ and analyst power rankings with pundits ranking at a low of 13th and a high of 7th.
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