Where National sites rank OKC Thunder: week 20 power rankings

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and forward Darius Bazley (7) talk during a time out against the Denver Nuggets : Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and forward Darius Bazley (7) talk during a time out against the Denver Nuggets : Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Week 20 is complete with teams continuing to jockey for position while the OKC Thunder tries to navigate giving their young roster experience while keeping their eyes on the prize which in this case is increased bingo balls.

Perhaps I should call this Ja Week instead of week 20 as he delivered more exciting in-game moments and witnessed his Grizzlies briefly hold the second seed until a loss pushed them back to third. Still, with the Warriors flailing it feels like an inevitability they’ll regain that second berth.

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 20 power rankings

As for the OKC Thunder, they played four matches this past week losing to the Kings, Wolves, and Jazz but marched into Denver and walloped the Nuggets 119-107.

There is plenty to like about this squad and we’re also beginning to witness progress from last season’s rookie Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon.

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

John Schuhmann dove into Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s dominance since the All-Star break while simultaneously examining the offensive weakness of the OKC Thunder.

In week 20 he held the team in 26th. A portion of Schuhmann’s comments are below and his full ranking can be viewed here.

"Only Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum and Ja Morant have averaged more points per game since the All-Star break than Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (33.3), who’s scored at least 29 points in all six of his post-break games. SGA had a brief dalliance with good 3-point shooting (6-for-8 over two games) early last week, but has done most of his work inside, averaging as many points in the paint (18.3) as Morant since the break and doing it with much better shooting (64% vs. 52%)."

ESPN Panel:

The ESPN panel held the OKC Thunder steady in 27th for the sixth week in a row. Per usual, Tim MacMahon offers the excerpt while the full listing can be viewed here.

"Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is shining despite injuries sidelining the rest of the Thunder’s regular starting lineup as well as some key reserves. Gilgeous-Alexander has 33.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists in six games since the All-Star break, while shooting 56.6% from the floor. It’s a matter of time before the 23-year-old makes an All-Star appearance, and he’s likely to still be the Thunder’s centerpiece once the long-term rebuilding project starts paying dividends. — MacMahon"

CBS Sports

Writer Colin Ward-Henninger was impressed by the Thunder in week 20 of gameplay. He held them steady in the 22nd seed and offered his musings on SGA specifically in the excerpt below.

CW-H’s full week 20 power ranking list can be viewed here.

"Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned to the floor this week, exponentially increasing OKC’s chances of winning any given game. Lo and behold, they went 2-2 with an impressive road win over the Nuggets on Wednesday. SGA picked up right where he left off, averaging 33.5 points, 6.3 assists and six rebounds per game on 44 percent 3-point shooting. Rookie Josh Giddey could be out a while with a hip injury, so let’s just hope Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t shut down soon to aid the tanking efforts."

Bleacher Report

In week 20, Andy Bailey offers his musing on Isaiah Roby and his sudden onslaught on the offensive end.

As the Bleacher Report writer notes performances like these are what Sam Presti and the front office is looking for during the rebuilding phase.

The Thunder stay in 26th on his list and a portion of the excerpt can be viewed below. The full week 20 power rankings list can be viewed via this link.

"In seasons like this, when the organization is still in the asset-accumulation phase, these performances can be welcome reprieves. But for OKC, there’s additional hope to be derived.Most people are already aware of SGA’s star upside. His 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting against Denver wasn’t all that surprising. But getting 26 points and four threes from Roby should raise some eyebrows.Roby is averaging 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks in just 27.1 minutes over his last five games. For the season, he’s shooting 42.9 percent from three."

Overall, the national media rated the OKC Thunder with a high of 22nd and a low (and more common placement) of 27th.

Next week, the Thunder have three games with two at home facing the Bucks and Grizzlies and travel to Minnesota to play the Wolves.

Next. B/R taps Thunder starting backcourt in top 10 under 25 duos. dark