Following a week of elevated play, the Oklahoma City Thunder have now risen to No. 16 in the latest NBA power rankings.
Written off as a team that wouldn’t compete by many prior to the season, OKC has impressed in recent weeks with some improved play from its star players: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.
After winning three of four road games, one of which being a historic, one-point loss to Miami, both Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey were Western Conference Player of the Week nominees.
Domantas Sabonis ultimately took home the honors, averaging well over a triple-double on the week, but the potential accolades were just one indicator of how good OKC has been.
On the season, Oklahoma City has the 14th ranked net rating out of all 30 teams, a pretty clear indicator of sustained success. In their eight games in 2023, they have the third-ranked net rating, trailing only Memphis and Denver.
In that same span, Oklahoma City has the second-best offensive rating in the entire league. And the Thunder rank ninth overall in points per game this season.
Suffice to say, the team’s position in the latest NBA power rankings is no fluke. And it’s only like to get easier for OKC:
“Monday and Tuesday are the first of six two-day breaks that the Thunder have over the next four weeks, a stretch that includes only one back-to-back. They’ll play the Pacers and Kings for the first time this season on Wednesday and Friday, a fun pair of games against two other teams that have made a leap. The three most improved teams from last season in regard to winning percentage are Indiana (+.218), Sacramento (+.206) and Oklahoma City (+.185).”
Oklahoma City next takes on the team one spot ahead of them in the power rankings, the Indiana Pacers, on Wednesday, Jan. 18.