Power Rankings: OKC Thunder get out the brooms in week 3

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) celebrates in front of Luguentz Dort (5) after making the game-winning shot against the Clippers on Dec. 18, 2021, at Paycom Center.jump
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) celebrates in front of Luguentz Dort (5) after making the game-winning shot against the Clippers on Dec. 18, 2021, at Paycom Center.jump /

A much stronger effort this week by the OKC Thunder who flipped the script by winning all three of their contests. They swept the baseball set versus the Clippers but perhaps the bigger shock was marching into Dallas and beating the Mavericks on their home court.

Subsequently, the Thunder got more love from the National scribes this week.

The team kept their 26th rank on offense, leaped up to the sixth-ranked defense, and is in the middle of the field for net differential ranking 14th while slipping a bit to 10th on pace.

Let’s dive in and see where the National sites ranked the OKC Thunder in week 3.

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 3 power rankings

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

Following a perfect week of play where the team won three matches John Schuhmann vaulted the OKC Thunder from his basement (30th) position all the way up to 21st on his list.

Schuhmann spends time discussing the performance of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and how his game has changed this season and dove into how the Thunder won their three matches.

A portion of Schuhmann’s OKC Thunder excerpt is below and you can view the rest plus his full rankings here.

"Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting better from beyond the arc; He’s 7-for-19 (37%), up from a brutal 30% last season. But 1.4 makes per game is not a lot for a guard averaging 31 points, his 3-point rate (3PA/FGA) is a career-low 16%, and he’s doing most of his damage in the paint. His 17.6 points in the paint per game is ranks fourth in the league, trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson. All those ventures to the paint aren’t necessarily being rewarded with whistles; SGA’s free throw rate (25.2 attempts per 100 shots from the field) is also a career-low mark. But he’s 30-for-30 (easily the most attempts among players who’re perfect) at the line."

ESPN Panel:

Every year ESPN comprises a panel of writers who offer up the excerpts on the teams and vote on where the teams rank weekly. That group this season is Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, and Kevin Pelton.

The panel may have taken a while to catch up to their national counterparts but in week three they pushed the OKC Thunder up to 24th from their previous rank of 29th.

"Despite trailing Dallas by 16 points with under four minutes to play Saturday, the Thunder stormed back to win 117-111 in overtime. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, this was the 9,977th time in the past 25 seasons a team led by 16 or more with four minutes remaining in regulation. This was only the second time a team in that scenario came back to win, with OKC’s effort joining the Kings’ comeback against Minnesota on Jan. 27, 2020.— Lopez"

For the full ESPN preseason listing, click here.

CBS Sports

In week three CBS writer, Colin Ward-Henniger was impressed by the OKC Thunder bumping them five spots up his ladder from 23rd to 18th.

His full week two power rankings can be viewed here.

"OKC launched a furious comeback to beat the Mavs in overtime to start the week, then beat the Magic before seeing its four-game win streak end against the Nuggets on Thursday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has complete mastery of his offensive game right now, averaging a ridiculous 36.3 points this week to go along with six assists and 4.7 rebounds. Perhaps even more amazing — he put up those point totals without making a single 3-pointer. Josh Giddey also returned from an ankle injury this week, averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 assists in two games."

Bleacher Report

Andy Baily of Bleacher Report continues to stan on Shai Gilgeous-Alexnder just like the Thunder fans are.

He raises the OKC Thunder up to 22nd on this week’s ranking list. You can view his full article here. 

"Just over three years after they acquired him in the Paul George trade, it’s pretty clear the Oklahoma City Thunder won the deal with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.After dropping 37 points on 13-of-17 shooting (without a single three-point attempt) in Thursday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, SGA is averaging 32.3 points and shooting 54.5 percent from the field. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also averaging 6.3 assists.He probably isn’t going to keep this up all season, but Gilgeous-Alexander looks like one of the best guards in the league. And with him, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren and potentially Victor Wembanyama, OKC might have one of the best young cores."

This coming week the OKC Thunder will host the Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets and complete the week on the road in Milwaukee.

dark. Next. Power Rankings week 2