OKC Thunder week 22 NBA Power Rankings

Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

A much better performance by the OKC Thunder for games played in Week 22 of the NBA Power Rankings as the youngsters delivered a 3-1 showing. OKC collected wins against the Warriors, Pelicans, and Spurs but suffered a bad loss to the Suns.

OKC began the week with a 30-34  record and finished with a 33-35 record.

Another week of consistency statistically as well as the Thunder ranks third in pace (as they have all season), maintain a 13th offensive rank, climbed back to the top 10 on defense (10th), and also rank there on net differential which is the one stat in my opinion that matters most.

Statistically, the Thunder remained close to their previous ranks of third on pace, 12th offensively, 11th defensively, and 10th in the net differential. 

Games from last week – Week 21: vs. GSW, @ PHX, @ NOP, @ SAS

Where National sites seed OKC Thunder in week 22 power rankings

OKC Thunder power ranking – NBA.com:

The stats guru was suitably impressed by the OKC Thunder in week 22, raising them three spots to 17th on his list.

A portion of his OKC Thunder excerpt is below, to see the full OKC segment along with Schuhmann’s full week 20 rankings click here.

"Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has played in only three of the Thunder’s last 10 games, but they’ve remained competitive, winning five of their last six to hold onto one of the four Play-In spots in the West. With Jalen Williams also missing a couple of games, no OKC lineup has played more than 32 total minutes over the 5-1 stretch, but the Thunder continue to have good starts no matter who’s on the floor for the opening tip. They’ve won the first quarter by double-digits in four of their last five games, with their top-10 defense allowing just 91 points on 111 first-quarter possessions (82 per 100) over those four wins.Through Week 21, there are nine teams that have been better than the league average (113.8 points per 100 possessions) on both ends of the floor. The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the nine and their point differential (plus-1.5 per game) is fifth best in the West, much better than that of the Warriors or Clippers. It’s the point differential of a team that’s 38-30 instead of 33-35, with the Thunder having been undone by close games. They’re 13-22 (fifth worst) in those that were within five points in the last five minutes.Week 22: vs. BKN, @ TOR, vs. PHX"

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 returned to offer power rankings this week after taking the post All-Star Break week off and dropped the youngsters four spots from 19th to 23rd.

Click here for the full listings.

"Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has missed the Thunder’s past three games with what the team  now calling an abdominal strain, and Oklahoma City’s record has gone down with him. The Thunder have now lost four in a row after losing to Sacramento on Monday and slipped to 13th in the Western Conference playoff standings. — Lopez"

Bleacher Report

While Andy Bailey hinted last week that the conservative approach to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s injuries was tied to tanking  — this week he straight up calls out OKC for purposely tanking.

Bailey even included a tweet calling out the Thunder not playing SGA. I get it – people are suspicious but let me remind you of two summers ago when Shai wasn’t managed as he dealt with plantar fasciitis that became a major issue.

The injury was bad enough for him to miss playing for the Canadian National Team. And – that was something he wanted to do so clearly there was no need for him to be “managed” in the offseason to sell a tanking narrative.

It will be very interesting to see if he backtracks next week now that they’ve won some games and pulled back ahead of the Lakers and Pelicans this past week putting them in the play-in.

Anyway, Bailey ranks the Thunder 22nd this week one spot higher than the week prior.

His excerpt is below and the full listings can be read here.

"It’s hard to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder without a hint of suspicion that they’re angling to hang onto their own lottery pick.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played in the All-Star Game and OKC’s first contest afterward (when he had 39 points), then he sat for five games."

CBS Sports

One thing you can count on with CBS writer Colin Ward-Henniger is a fair assessment. Unlike some of the national lists that tend to repeatedly reward (or punish) past performances CWH bases his rankings on the past week’s games.

As such the OKC Thunder took a major hit from him coming out of the All-Star break when they suffered a losing streak. But, with the team performing well again he credits them for their efforts. For the second consecutive week, the Thunder rise up the ladder on CWH’s power ranking list improving to 17th this week — a jump of five rungs!

CWH’s full power ranking can be viewed here.

"Strong week for OKC, who beat the Warriors, Pelicans and Spurs while getting blown out by the Suns without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He was outstanding, as usual, in the two games he played this week, averaging 34 points on 53 percent 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 the past five weeks (those wanting to view prior weeks need only open one of the post links below)…

Up next…

Power Rankings for week 23 will review the three-game slate of two games in OKC versus the Nets and Suns plus a road game up North versus the Raptors.

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