Power Rankings week 13: OKC Thunder get rewarded for winning

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is defended by Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (25) as he dribbles the ball down the court : Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is defended by Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (25) as he dribbles the ball down the court : Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

In week 13 the OKC Thunder delivered a 3-1 performance with victories versus the Celtics, Wizards, and Mavericks and a single loss to the Magic.

OKC began week 13 with a 15-21 record and finished with an 18-22 mark after winning three of their four matches.

Statistically, the Thunder fell out of the top 10 defensively (11th) but improved offensively jumping five spots from 25th to 20th, but remain a top-three squad for pace (3rd). OKC also jumped in the Net Rating from 25th to 18th.

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 13 power rankings

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

Given their success, it’s not a surprise the stats master raised the OKC Thunder up his power rankings this week.

Schuhmann jumps the OKC Thunder two spots to 23rd.  A portion of his OKC Thunder excerpt is below, to see the full OKC segment along with Schuhmann’s full week 13 rankings click here.

"The Thunder are in 13th place, and they’ve lost to both the Hornets and Magic in the last two weeks. But, at 18-22, they’re just two games behind the fifth-place Warriors. Though they have those losses in Charlotte and Orlando, they’ve won seven of their last 11 games, ranking in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency over that stretch. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has obviously led the way, but the Thunder also beat the Celtics by 33 points without him on Tuesday. The franchise’s most efficient offensive performance (150 points on 107 possessions) in the last 25 seasons (since April of 1998) was not led by Ray Allen, Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, but rather by Josh Giddey (25 points on 10-for-15 shooting) and Tre Mann (21 on 8-for-11)."

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. The panel this season is comprised of Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, and Kevin Pelton.

The panel sure isn’t giving the Thunder credit for their effort his season. Unlike Schuhmann, they weren’t moved by the week OKC had neither awarding them for the impressive victory versus the Celtics or Mavericks. It’s sort of unbelievable that teams who consistently are having worse weekly performances continue to rank ahead of the Thunder.

With that, it’s sort of ironic that Andrew Lopez elects to discuss the Heat match that was viewed nationally. Perhaps the national games are the main fodder for this group who certainly are missing one of the best shows in the NBA!

In week 13 the panel held the team steady in their 25th spot.

"The Thunder performed well in their first national television appearance since Aug. 14, 2020, when they played the Clippers in the bubble. Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, the Heat didn’t miss a free throw. Miami went 40-for-40 from the line — the most makes in NBA history without a miss. Josh Giddey had 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for the sixth triple-double of his career. That ties LaMelo Ball for the third most in NBA history for a player under age 21, behind Luka Doncic (21) and Magic Johnson (seven). — Lopez"

For the full ESPN preseason listing, click here.

Bleacher Report

Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report didn’t spare any shade for the Clippers in his recent power rankings. I laughed out loud at his excerpt and to be fair — he’s ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!

Bailey moves the Thunder up three spots to 22nd from a previous rank of 25th.

As a reminder, Bailey’s power rankings are based on a differently timed schedule with this new rating including the Heat and 76ers games (which NBA.com and ESPN won’t review until next week).

Bailey’s Thunder excerpt follows and you can view the entire article by clicking here.

"It’s officially the “Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade,” and it’s looking more and more like the Oklahoma City Thunder won it."

"On Thursday, SGA pulled his scoring average up to an even 31.0 by dropping 37 in a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers.And now, OKC is only two games back in the loss column of the Los Angeles Clippers team that traded Gilgeous-Alexander."

CBS Sports

Colin Ward Henninger is back after missing the past few weeks. In his last ranking in week 10, the CBS writer had moved the OKC Thunder from 27th up to 21st.

Not only does the OKC Thunder make it into part of Ward Henninger’s headline he also vaults them seven positions from 21st to 14th! 

"A huge 3-1 week for the Thunder, with their only loss coming by a single point to the Heat on a night Miami went 40-for-40 from the free throw line. OKC dropped 133 points in a 19-point road win over the 76ers on Thursday and put up 120.9 points per 100 possessions for the week. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did his thing, averaging 31.5 points, five rebounds and 4.8 assists on 57/40/91 shooting splits. Josh Giddey added 17 points, eight assists and 7.5 rebounds per game on 38.5 percent 3-point shooting."

Weekly Power Rankings:

For those that want to see how the OKC Thunder have progressed this season or to look back at a specific week, the following offers the links breaking down where the OKC Thunder ranked each week…

Week one: click here 

Week two: click here

Week three: click here

Week four: click here

Week five: click here

Week six: click here

Week seven: click here

Week eight: click here

Week nine: click here 

Week 10: click here

Week 11: click here

Week 12: click here

Up next…

The coming week’s power rankings will look at how the OKC Thunder performed on their four-game road trip facing the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and Brooklyn Nets. The middle games will occur as a back-to-back set.

Next. Thunder and parity pack schedule leading into trade deadline. dark