NBA Week 12 Power Rankings – Where National Scribes Rank OKC Thunder
The OKC Thunder got off to a good start last week with big wins over Chicago and Memphis. They ended up going 3-1 following a disastrous 1-3 week.
All in all it was a good week for the OKC Thunder. They started off the week by blowing out the Chicago Bulls in Chicago and followed that by out grinding the Grizzlies. They finished the week 3-1 acquitting themselves nicely of a difficult week.
Russell Westbrook added a couple triple doubles to his total bring him to 20 on the season. Enes Kanter has been unstoppable all month, leading the bench that is now fully healthy and hitting their stride.
So how did this affect their rankings across the national NBA media?
NBA.com – John Schuhmann
The OKC Thunder’s nice week was enough to nudge the Thunder up a spot to number nine in John Schuhmann’s rankings.
The team playing the most road-heavy January schedule got its first two January road wins and outscored their four opponents, 94-28, on fast break points . Enes Kanter saw a bump in his minutes, averaged 22.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in the four games, and the defense didn’t suffer. In fact, it allowed less than 95 points per 100 possessions in his 120 minutes and while the Thunder’s starting lineup was a minus-28 in 47 minutes, the same group with Kanter in Domantas Sabonis‘ place was a plus-17 in 26. It’s still just a plus-15 for the season, but the Thunder are 11-2 when Kanter has played at least 24 minutes.
Sports Illustrated – Jeremy Woo
After the 3-1 week, the OKC Thunder actually move down a spot in Jeremy Woo’s rankings to number ten.
It isn’t juuuuust Russ: Enes Kanter’s last 14 games: 18.4 points, 58% shooting, 8.6 rebounds
CBS Sports – Matt Moore
Matt Moore also moves the Thunder down a spot in his rankings dropping them to number 11.
Russell Westbrook’s supporting cast is either flying under the radar and better than advertised or more dangerous than they’re being given credit for. Jerami Grant is averaging 39 percent from 3-point range and Enes Kanter has been a monster.
ESPN – Marc Stein
Marc Stein moves the Thunder up two spot in his rankings and wants to talk more about Russell Westbrook’s triple doubles.
The Thunder had won 12 consecutive road games in which Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double before Friday’s loss at Minnesota. But when Westbrook did it again Sunday night in Sacramento, OKC moved to 16-4 overall in his triple-double games this season, compared to 9-13 when he doesn’t get all the way there. So please tell me, when it comes to the Thunder, how we can be talking about triple-doubles too much. The bigger question, to us, is how much OKC’s 2-5 record in games decided by a margin of one or two points will come back to haunt the Thunder in terms of playoff position. Only Minnesota (0-5) and Denver (1-5) are worse in that situation.
The OKC Thunder have a light week ahead as they on have two games, both of which come early in the week. The first Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers and then Wednesday against the Golden State Blew a 3-1 Finals Lead.
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Check back here next week to see how they did.