Week 2 Power Rankings: OKC Thunder stumbles out of gate

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27): Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27): Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

A full week of games is in the books for the OKC Thunder and their opponents.

The team finished week one with the 26th-ranked offense, 21st-ranked defense, 26th net differential (a good marker for how the team is really doing), and the eighth-fastest pace.

Unfortunately, the team got off to a slow start losing all three matches. With that in mind let’s see where the national sites ranked the team.

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 2 power rankings

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

Statsmaster John Schuhmann follows up his week one preseason ranking of 27th for the OKC Thunder by dropping them to the bottom of his list (30th).

Granted the team went 0-3 in week one and they’re expected to be committed to the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes so the positioning isn’t that surprising.

Schuhmann notes the early absences already of star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and injuries to key players and suggests fans keep a roster checklist handy since Mark Daigneault is clearly going to go deep into his bench for games this season.

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

"Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 30 points in the two games he played, and Giddey had some strong, late-game drives as the Thunder put a real scare in the Nuggets. They also erased all (or almost all) of a couple of big deficits against Minnesota (after losing both first quarters against the Wolves by 13 points). They somehow don’t rank last in offensive efficiency (again), despite Giddey, Lu Dort and Tre Mann shooting a combined 12-for-50 from 3-point range."

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. This season the panel consists of Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, and Kevin Pelton.

In week two the panel held the OKC Thunder steady, ranking them 29th.

"The Thunder took advantage of a Clippers squad without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to pick up win No. 1 on the season Tuesday night, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his strong start. Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals. It was the third time in his career he has had at least three blocks and three steals, and the Thunder have been victorious in all three contests. — Lopez"

For the full ESPN week 2 power ranking listing, click here.

CBS Sports

In week two, CBS scribe, Colin Ward-Henniger ranks the OKC Thunder 23rd, jumping them up from 29th in his initial ranking.

His full week two power rankings can be viewed here.

"OKC was winless on the year until the Clippers came to town, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped take down his former team in consecutive games. SGA has started the season brilliantly, averaging 29.3 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals in four games on 48/41/100 shooting splits. Josh Giddey put up 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and five assists in three games before an ankle injury, so if those two are ever on the court at the same time, the Thunder will stay competitive despite a rest of the roster that’s in flux."

Bleacher Report

Andy Bailey is buzzing about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and will be all season if the OKC Thunder superstar stays on the court.

Bailey ranks the OKC Thunder 26th this week and you can catch the full article here.

"When Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in the lineup, the Oklahoma City Thunder should generally be competitive.He played the first two games of the season, and OKC suffered two single-digit losses. Then, it lost the one game he sat by 10, before rattling off back-to-back wins with him back in the lineup.SGA is a legitimate All-Star talent on a roster that simply can’t give him enough support to compete for the playoffs. Even with all defensive eyes on him, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 29.3 points and 6.5 assists."

Editor’s note: historically power rankings used to all be posted on Monday morning by every publication but that’s no longer the case. NBA and Schuhmann still stick to Monday but several others post on the weekend – or their week runs until Friday instead of Monday to Sunday.

The resulting effect is a varying schedule that the sites are ranking. Keep that in mind as sometimes a writer will mention a specific opponent that another writer already covered the week prior and yet another will cover the following week.

As for the schedule TI is sticking with the Monday to Sunday ‘week’ and in that vein, next week the OKC Thunder will play a baseball set versus the LA Clippers in Oklahoma City. That should prove interesting as the Clippers finished the first week of play with a lower-ranked offense than the Thunder. The team will finish the week on the road in Dallas versus the Mavericks.

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