Where National NBA pundits rank OKC Thunder in week 12

OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets smiles during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 9, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets smiles during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 9, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

An up and down week for the OKC Thunder is reflected in where the National pundits and top sites rank the team in week 12 of NBA Power Rankings.

With teams nearing the halfway mark of the 2019-20 season most clubs are experiencing some highs and lows. For the OKC Thunder that was definitely a product of week 12 as they had one of their biggest wins of the season followed by arguably their worst loss.

National pundits offered mixed rankings based on these ups and downs.

Here’s where the top sites ranked the club in week 12.

NBA.com – John Schuhmann:

It took 11 weeks for John Schuhmann to put the OKC Thunder in his top 10 (9th last week) but while the NBA scribe kept them in this upper tier he noted the first quarter issues. In addition, Schuhmann cited the ‘clutch time’ prowess again as per the excerpt below.

The stats master is still impressed enough to keep the Thunder in his top 10 but drops them from 9th to 10th.

"The Thunder weren’t quite as good as their West-best 16-5 post-Thanksgiving record would have indicated. Twelve of those 16 wins were within five points in the last five minutes (with Chris Paul’s Brooklyn takeover on Tuesday being one of the highlights) and they ranked fifth in the West in point differential over that stretch. But losing a 41-19 first quarter to the star-less Lakers on Saturday was a little more of a tumble that we could have expected."

To see Schuhmann’s complete ranking and the remainder of his insights on the OKC Thunder click this link.

ESPN – Panel

ESPN’s panel: ESPN: Tim MacMahon |Andre’ Snellings | Royce Young | Bobby Marks, The Undefeated: Marc J. Spears

A bit of an oddity for the panel who came close to putting the OKC Thunder into the top 10 last week but then drop them from 11th back to 13th in week 12 of the ratings.

I’m not sure how you credit a team for being the best in the West for the month of December and then drop them like a bad habit for a .500 week — one in which the panel noted how OKC bested the Houston Rockets but inexplicably don’t punish the Rockets placing them seventh on their list. Go figure.

Click this link for the full panel rankings.

"The week ended on a low note with a loss to the Lakers’ B-team, but maybe it was understandable given how perfect Russell Westbrook’s return game went two nights before. With OKC wearing its city edition uniforms for the first time (which honor the victims of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing), Westbrook was celebrated with a touching tribute video and raucous ovation.But then the ball went up and OKC routed Westbrook’s Rockets as Chris Paul capped it with a brilliant highlight nutmeg. If the marketing team would have drawn it up, it would’ve gone exactly the way it did. — Young"

Bleacher Report:

Two weeks in a row Bleacher Report writer Grant Hughes waxes poetic about Chris Paul. Seems he’s a bit smitten with the Point God (and for good reason).

Unlike some of his counterparts, he didn’t punish the Thunder for a .500 week at the office. It’s a pretty solid bet he’ll drop them next week but for week 12 at least Hughes ranks OKC in 9th.

Here’s a portion of his OKC excerpt – you can find the remainder of it along with his full rankings via this link.

"Paul’s “I’m just too nasty to be allowed to continue playing” reaction is the new gold standard in post-highlight celebrations. The bar has been raised.CP3 is shooting an unbelievable 52.4 percent from 10-16 feet and remains the league’s preeminent clutch scorer.OKC went 2-2 this week and is 15-6 since Dec. 1, but the more consequential story continues to be the undimmed divinity of the Point God."

Sports Illustrated – The Crossover

For the third consecutive week, Sports Illustrated (The Crossover) writer Michael Shapiro holds the OKC Thunder steady in 13th.

Why he doesn’t feel they deserve a top 10 rating is beyond the narrator and it’s more likely he drops them a spot or two next week so maybe if they move ahead of the Rockets he’ll finally acquiesce (for what it’s worth he ranked the Rockets 5th despite OKC ousting them!). Stay posted.

Click this link for Shapiro’s full ranking list.

"Chris Paul continues to impress in his first year in Oklahoma City, and Thursday night marked perhaps the highlight of his season. Paul torched the Rockets in Russell Westbrook’s return to OKC, capitalizing his revenge tour by going through the legs of Houston center Isaiah Hartenstein. Run this one on a loop."

Hoops Habit:

Hoops Habit editor Phil Watson has consistently kept the OKC Thunder in his middle to just outside the top 10 range all season. Week 12 is not different with the editor holding the steady in 13th for the third consecutive week.

Like many of his peers, Watson notes the big high of beating Westbrook’s Rockets and the massive low of losing to the injury depleted Lakers.

His Thunder comments note this (as per below) as well as touch on the great week Steven Adams had for the club. For the complete Thunder segment and the rest of his rankings click this link.

"It was a 2-2 week for the Oklahoma City Thunder, with one very big high point and an almost-to-be-expected letdown. The Thunder watched Russell Westbrook as a visitor against them for the first time on Thursday and he had a big night, but OKC came away with an impressive 21-point win. They followed that up with a thumping from the Lakers in which they never led."

CBS Sports:

Odd rating week from Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports who moved the Lakers ahead of the Bucks into his top spot.

So he penalized the Bucks for a single loss but didn’t do the same to the Rockets (6th), Celtics (7th) or 76ers (8th) — go figure.

Meanwhile, the team who beat the Rockets as he notes in his excerpt is placed in the lowly 13th spot in hit rankings.

To see where all the teams rank on Ward-Henniger’s power ranking list click this link.

"The Thunder picked up a huge national TV win over the Rockets in Russell Westbrook’s emotional return game and Chris Paul showcased his closing abilities in a win over the Nets, but they also lost to the 76ers and Lakers. The Lakers game was quite a shock, since neither LeBron James nor Anthony Davis suited up and OKC was never even close to winning. The Thunder have solidified themselves in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings, and it will take a dramatic turnaround to get them out of playoff position."

Thunderous Intentions:

More from Thunder News

The Thunderous Intentions power rankings often gets the award for the highest rank of the OKC Thunder but that’s to be expected (hey – we’re fans – we own it). This week however we’re not alone ranking the team 9th.

Like most of the pundits the Rockets-Lakers, great-bad seesaw is noted in our overview. But as per below TI also touches on the concerning trend of relying too much on their clutch prowess.

For the full Thunderous Intentions, power ranking click this link of the blue box below.

"This week also earmarked the neon flashing warning signal of the reliance on their clutch time prowess. They’ve gotten out of so many games via comeback efforts to beat teams at the end that it’s started to become something they seemingly rely on too heavily."

Well there you have it— the rankings of your OKC Thunder by the top sites for week 12. The squad placed as high as 9th but most writers agreed on 13th as the correct positioning. It will be interesting to see how OKC ranks next week with the losses they endured this past week. Make sure to check back with TI next week to get those details.

Next. NBA Power Rankings W12: injury fallout, OKC highs and lows. dark

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