Power Rankings week 17: OKC Thunder continue to drop

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives to the basket Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

In week 17 the pundits witnessed the  OKC Thunder deliver a single victory against the worst team in the league. But hey, it was one heck of a win as the young squad dropped 153 points on the Rockets.

The problem of course, is two nights earlier they lost to that same team despite their starting back-court being out injured. OKC also lost to the Warriors in a match where Stephen Curry dropped 38 points.

OKC began week 17 with a 24-25 record and finished with a 25-27 mark after going 1-2.

Statistically, the Thunder witnessed a drop across the board from 13th to 16th on offense, eighth to 11th defensively, and held steady at 13th in net differential and pace (third).

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 17 power rankings

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

It was inevitable that the OKC Thunder would drop this week with so many teams making positive leaps. The NBA stats master John Schuhmann wasn’t dropped them five spots from 14th to 19th

A portion of his OKC Thunder excerpt is below, to see the full OKC segment along with Schuhmann’s full week 16 rankings click here.

"They did make that Golden State game closer at the end, and the win over the Rockets came by 32 points. The Thunder continue to have a point differential (plus-1.4, that of a 29-23 team and fourth best in the West) that belies their record. They’re two games below .500, but are one of 10 teams that have been better than the league average (113.5 points per 100 possessions) on both ends of the floor. The defense has been more consistent, but the offense just had the most efficient game for any team this season (153 points on 103 possessions). It was the first time in franchise history that the Thunder made more than 20 3s and committed fewer than 10 turnovers."

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.

With the panel dropping the OKC Thunder from 19th to 21st it’s fair to say I saw this coming from a mile away. The panel hasn’t rewarded the team with high marks at all this season while giving teams like the Lakers, Hawks, and others the benefit of the doubt even when they’ve sputtered. So in a week where they lost to the Rockets, this drop was anticipated.

"Oklahoma City became the first team this season to score 150 points twice when it defeated the Rockets 153-121 on Saturday night. The Thunder also scored 150 points against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 3. The 153 points were the most the franchise has scored since moving to Oklahoma City. The franchise mark is 154, done by the Seattle SuperSonics twice in 1988 and once in 1989. — Lopez"

For the full ESPN preseason listing, click here.

Bleacher Report

While his peers all punished the OKC Thunder for the second consecutive losing week it wasn’t surprising Bleacher Report writer Andy Bailey gave the team a bump.

That’s because he’s ranking the Lakers game in his mix whereas his counterparts won’t be ranking that game until this coming week.

Bailey bumps OKC from 21st to 20th this week.

Bailey’s Thunder excerpt follows and can be viewed in its entirety along with the rest of his rankings by clicking here.

"The Oklahoma City Thunder rained on LeBron James’ parade when he broke the all-time scoring record on Tuesday. Behind 75 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey, OKC got the win.That big scoring performance from the Thunder’s playmaking trio is further evidence the team is onto something with those three.On the season, OKC is 8-5 when at least two of those three get to 20 points."

CBS Sports

CBS Sports writer Colin Ward-Henninger hit the OKC Thunder the hardest dropping them eight spots from 16th to 24th this week. 

Typically CWH’s schedule runs in concert with Bleacher Report but based on the excerpt it seems like he used the same schedule as the NBA and ESPN this week.

CWH’s full power ranking can be viewed here.

"OKC started off the week with losses to the Warriors and Rockets, the latter being an embarrassing effort against a Houston team missing two of its primary offensive creators. They got revenge on Saturday, however, by putting a 32-point hurting on Houston and scoring 153 points in the process. The Thunder may make some minor deals around the deadline, but any talk of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being traded disappeared long ago."

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…

Up next…

Power Rankings for week 18 will examine the OKC Thunder games from a week where they sort of spoiled LeBron’s big night and rallied to beat the Blazers with the lone loss versus the Warriors.

All three games were played on the road. As for the post-trade deadline week, the Thunder have just two matches both at home versus the Pelicans and (yes you’re reading this right) the Rockets.

That will lead the team into the All-Star Break where Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams will be busy but everyone else will get some R&R.

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