Where National NBA pundits rank OKC Thunder in week 13

JANUARY 13: Dennis Schroder #17 pours water in celebration on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder on the court after the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
JANUARY 13: Dennis Schroder #17 pours water in celebration on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder on the court after the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the OKC Thunder producing split results, most National pundits dropped them down the ladder in week 13 of NBA Power Rankings.

After weeks of the OKC Thunder performing above expectations week 13 caught up to the club as they faced two of the East’s elite. The second and third seeded Heat and Raptors served up tough competition and in the case of the latter, a crazy up and down game couldn’t be won in the clutch as Toronto’s talent won out.

OKC managed to knock off two victories however and with that held on to their seventh seed. The losses to Miami and Toronto didn’t allow them an opportunity to climb upward but they kept padding between themselves and the copious teams vying for the eighth rung.

With that let’s dive into where the top sites ranked the OKC Thunder in week 13.

NBA.com – John Schuhmann:

As per above, it was anticipated the OKC Thunder might take a hit this week given the split of their four games. The first entry into week 13 follows that thought process as NBA stat man John Schuhmann dropped the team 10th to 14th.

Quite a hit for a team who remains sitting on that seventh rung in the West and given who the two losses were conceded to (Raptors, Heat).

As for Schuhmann’s weekly insights his commentary on Steven Adams hits the mark. The Big Kiwi seldom gets the recognition he should and the little ditty Schuh adds regarding how OKC performs with and without him on the court speaks volumes.

Here’s a portion of his excerpt…

"But Steven Adams remains critical to this team’s success. After he left the Thunder’s game against Toronto on Wednesday with a bruised knee, they went on to lose that one and their game against the Heat two nights later, two of their worst defensive games of the season. The Thunder are a bottom-10 rebounding team, but have grabbed 52.5% of available boards with Adams on the floor and just 45.8% of available boards with him off the floor. And after those two losses, they’re 1-4 in games he hasn’t played or been able to finish."

To see Schuhmann’s complete ranking and the remainder of his insights on Adams and thoughts regarding how the OKC Thunder fared this past week click this link.

ESPN – Panel

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

The panel held the Thunder steady in 13th but inexplicably kept the Rockets above them. It will be interesting to see where the panel ranks the teams next week if Houston keeps losing and the Thunder continue to win.

Click this link for the full panel rankings.

"The Thunder are maybe the most interesting team in the league as the trade deadline nears. They could be influential in stacking contenders with difference-making players if they decide to sell, they could buy on the short term themselves, or they could stand pat. All appearances suggest they want to make the playoffs, and with a bit of a head start, they could do a little selling and make it anyway. And consider this: As good as Danilo Gallinari has been this season, OKC is 6-1 without him. — Young"

Bleacher Report:

For the past several weeks Bleacher Report writer Grant Hughes has been fixated on Chris Paul and his performance for the OKC Thunder. First – it’s great CP3 is garnering the accolades and attention league-wide. Could that mean he’ll draw All-Star reserve attention too?

This week, however, Hughes shares the spotlight with another OKC guard highlighting how special Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is playing. Additionally, Hughes noted the split week by the club. It resulted in the squad falling two spots from their 9th rank to 11th this week.

A portion of his excerpt it noted below and you can catch the rest along with Hughe’s full rankings by clicking this link.

"OKC sandwiched losses to Toronto and Miami between wins over Minnesota and Portland this week, obliging our ranking order by beating two teams situated below and falling to two slotted above. At 4-4 in their last eight games, the Thunder have leveled off a bit, but their overall net rating remains a solid plus-1.5, which ranks 13th in the league."

Sports Illustrated – The Crossover

A great stat served up by Sports Illustrated (The Crossover) writer Michael Shapiro who notes some rare company Gigeous-Alexander is keeping. SGA’s stat line of 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists is something only Blake Griffin and Luka Doncic have matched prior to turning 22 years old. (impressive!).

Shapiro holds the OKC Thunder steady in 13th.

Click this link for Shapiro’s full ranking list.

"Only three players since 2010 have posted a 20-5-3 statline before turning 22. Luka Doncic, Blake Griffin and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Doncic and Griffin were athletic specimens. SGA is a wiry guard. His knack for the ball is supernatural, and few players are smoother gliding to the tin. The jewel of the Paul George trade continues to shine in his first year with the Thunder."

Hoops Habit:

When reviewing Hoops Habit editor Phil Watson’s entries remember he runs his picks a day sooner so they don’t reflect games played on the Sunday like most pundits rankings.

This week he notes the rarity of the back to back losses by the OKC Thunder and touches on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s big night in Minnesota. His week 13 ranking holds the OKC Thunder steady in 13th for the fourth consecutive week.

For the full excerpt and the rest of Watson’s rankings click this link.

"The Oklahoma City Thunder did something they had not done in more than a month when they lost consecutive games to the Raptors and Heat on Wednesday and Friday. The Thunder hadn’t lost two straight since Dec. 11 and 14, when they lost at Sacramento and Denver. OKC hadn’t lost two straight at home since last season, when it fell to the Nuggets and Mavericks in late March."

CBS Sports:

CBS Sports scribe Colin Ward-Henninger rankings for the Thunder are generally harsh and this week isn’t any different. While he affords some teams the courtesy of an off week he’s not as smitten by OKC dropping them down a spot from 13th to 14th for splitting the week.

In fairness, the Rockets and Celtics took a hit on his list this week whereas previous weeks they haven’t taken a drop for losing weeks.

For Ward-Henniger’s full power ranking list click this link.

"OKC beat the Wolves and Blazers this week, while losing to the Raptors and Heat. Danilo Gallinari has been on a tear of late, averaging 25.4 points on 50 percent 3-point shooting over his last five games, but the Thunder defense let them down this week with a 114.3 rating."

Thunderous Intentions:

More from Thunder News

As is typical the (cough —biased) Thunderous Intentions power rankings provided the highest rank for the OKC Thunder ranking them 11th this week.

Then again, yours truly recognizes the two teams the Thunder lost to are arguably among the top five clubs in the Association. Still, the Thunder made runs against both Eastern clubs in the form of a huge fourth-quarter comeback effort over the Raptors and simply not having enough left in the tank to finish the game against the Heat.

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

"For those wondering who won the Paul George trade the argument that the OKC Thunder may already have that edge came in a star turning performance in week 13 versus the Wolves. Certainly, if the Clippers win the Larry O’B that debate will garner merit for the other side.Yet, in just that one game Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showcased precisely why the Clippers were hesitant to include him in the trade. It was bad enough they got talked into giving away so many draft picks but also losing a player of SGA’s ilk was a huge loss. His 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists gave a brief glimpse into what the future holds for OKC."

That wraps up the column for where the pundits ranked the OKC Thunder in week 13. The club’s high rank was 11th and lowest rank – 14th. Next week expect the team to climb up some of the pundits’ lists — a 4-0 week simply can’t be ignored!

Apologies for this going up a day late this week. Sunday was spent as a day of mourning with the far too early loss of Kobe Bryant from this world.

Next. NBA power rankings W13: Halfway mark, Thunder hold steady. dark

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