Where National NBA pundits rank OKC Thunder in week 15

Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder shoots a free throw during the game against the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder shoots a free throw during the game against the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The trade deadline dominated viewpoints in week 15 of the NBA Power Rankings with the OKC Thunder in a holding pattern for most pundits.

With the All-Star teams getting the schoolyard treatment and the trade deadline on tap in week 16 pundits tended to look forward more than reflect on the previous week for a change. The OKC Thunder like all the teams were analyzed more so from the perspective of what the deadline would offer.

Some sites even offered up suggestions on who should (or would) stay or get traded while others looked at potential targets. The remainder left the trades to the brain trusts focusing entirely on performances to this point in the season.

As we’ve witnessed all season, however, most cites have held the OKC Thunder at 13 rarely moving them up or down.

It might be a good bet though this coming week that dynamic should change given the teams who often rank ahead that had subpar week 16 performances. And, if the Thunder can pull off the victory over the Celtics — dare I say it would result in a big rise up the list next week.

With that let’s dive into where the top sites ranked the OKC Thunder in week 15.

NBA.com – John Schuhmann:

For the NBA stat mastermind to keep the OKC Thunder in his top 10 a team has to show sustained success and or palpable growth. They have and he has — moving them up yet another rung from 10th last week to ninth this week.

Given the losses, the Jazz and Heat had in week 16 the Thunder should be in for another boost in the coming week.

Here’s a portion of his excerpt from this week …

"The Thunder have still won the last seven games in which Chris Paul (now a 10-time All-Star) has played, picking up wins in Sacramento and Phoenix on Wednesday and Friday, with Mr. Clutch hitting the go-ahead bucket (from mid-range, of course) against the Suns. Over those seven games, they’ve outscored their opponents by almost 21 points per 100 possessions in Paul’s 210 minutes on the floor. He’s registered a plus-10 or better in each of the seven and dished out 10 assists in each of his last three."

To read the rest of the above excerpt by Schuhmann and the entirety of his power ranking list click on the following link.

ESPN – Panel

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

Inexplicably the panel continues to rank the OKC Thunder in the 13th seed. This in spite of noting last week how the club continues to win and demonstrate consistent growth.

Most weeks the panel ranks teams such as the Jazz, Heat, 76ers, Rockets, Mavericks and Pacers ahead of OKC. Surely, after this week’s performances by most of those crews the panel will give the Thunder a nudge.  Right?

For now, the remain ranked in the 13th (again).

Click this link for the full panel rankings and the rest of the excerpt.

"They’re 24-9 since Thanksgiving, the second-best record in the NBA in that span. To cap it off, they kept their league-best All-Star streak going, with Chris Paul giving Oklahoma City an All-Star in 11 consecutive seasons. Since 2010, the Thunder have had 18 All-Star selections, tied with the Warriors for second-most in that span and behind only that of the Heat (19). — Young"

Bleacher Report:

As the fan base knows T.I. rewards long and short term success as well as performance in core areas. Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report utilizes similar ranking criteria.

Logically, it’s why our rankings from week to week are often similar. To that end, Hughes’ rank in week 15 is the only one higher than TI’s as he places the OKC Thunder in sixth (moving them up from ninth).

Hughes also elected to approach this week from the perspective of how teams would (or should) approach the trade deadline.

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

"But Paul’s leadership, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s emergence and a team-wide knack for coming out on the right end of every clutch situation have the Thunder looking like a threat to just about anyone in the postseason. Can you really consider stripping a team for parts if it already has more future draft assets than it knows what to do with? Is pick overkill a thing?"

Sports Illustrated – The Crossover

Sports Illustrated, The Crossover’s writer Michael Shapiro focused most of week 15 on what teams trade deadline plans would be.

His take was CP3 was staying put but Danilo Gallinari was likely headed out the door. As it turns it he was almost correct except Pat Riley wanted to keep his cap flexibility options open.

He has held the OKC Thunder in the 13th rank most weeks and keeps them in that spot yet again.

For Shapiro’s full ranking list of week 15 click this link.

"It would be shocking to see Chris Paul shipped midway through his All-Star campaign. Will any member of the Thunder core be dealt? Gallinari remains a smart bet. He can fetch a hefty haul from a playoff contender, and the Italian forward is unlikely to remain in Oklahoma City after his contract expires after 2019-20. Expect the Thunder to find a motivated suitor sooner than later."

Hoops Habit:

As noted previously Hoops Habit Editor Phil Watson provides his power ranking list a day ahead of most scribes. That means his week runs from Sunday to Saturday instead of Monday to Sunday.

For his week 15 list Watson holds the Thunder steady in12th citing the oddity in their schedule this past week.

Then again, the Thunder played more games in January than any of their counterparts.

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

"Dennis Schroder made his first start for the Thunder since April 10 — the regular-season finale in 2018-19 — in the loss to Dallas, playing in place of Chris Paul, who was away from the team after the death of Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday. Schroder had a solid week, averaging 23.0 points, 7.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 33.5 minutes per game."

CBS Sports:

Like many of his counterparts, CBS Sports writer Colin Ward-Henninger doesn’t seem to shift where the ranks OKC from week to week. Inevitably they land in 13th and lo and behold he keeps them in the same spot yet again.

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

"The Thunder lost to the Mavs to kick off the week, then beat the Kings and Suns on the road. Dennis Schroder has averaged 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds on 45 percent 3-point shooting over his last three games — a nice showcase if OKC is interested in entertaining trade offers as Thursday’s deadline nears."

Thunderous Intentions:

More from Thunder News

As explained previously, the Thunderous Intentions power rankings credit weekly performance and other factors such as road dominance, the three key stat categories, and obviously sustained success.

Although there is likely some bias here (hey — we are Thunderous Intentions) I’m personally not committed to holding teams atop the ladder who get swept or consistently can’t win on the road.

Hence the second straight week of the Thunder ranking 7th.

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

"As noted in last week’s power ranking the Thunder are one of the best road teams and they continued that assault this week finishing the month with an impressive 9-1 road record.Although the other pundits aren’t recognizing the OKC Thunder as one of the elite squads it’s hard to deny they’ve been better than the Jazz with more impressive wins versus the above .500 teams."

That wraps up the column for where the pundits ranked the OKC Thunder in week 14. The club’s high rank was 6th and the lowest rank is 13th.

NBA Power Rankings week 15: OKC hit trade deadline. dark. Next

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