OKC Thunder Rise to No. 4 in NBA Power Rankings.

BREAKING: Thunder Rises To The Top Why They….

On Tuesday, NBA.com released an updated power ranking, with Oklahoma City earning a spot in the top four.
John Schuhmann, a writer at NBA.com, revealed his updated NBA power rankings on Tuesday.

Oklahoma City comes in at No. 4 on Schuhmann’s rankings after back-to-back victories over Western Conference Finals contenders. Last Thursday, the Thunder were able to take down the Los Angeles Lakers before defeating the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

Despite OKC being one of the youngest teams in the league, they have been able to churn out multiple impressive victories and stay competitive even in their losses. So far, Oklahoma City is 13-6 on the year, which is good enough for second place in the West.

Even more impressive than the team’s record, however, is OKC’s offensive and defensive balance. Currently, the Thunder are scoring the fifth-most points in the league and are allowing the ninth-fewest.

Schuhmann placed Boston, Minnesota and Denver above Oklahoma City with Philadelphia rounding out the top five. While the Thunder have yet to play Boston this season, OKC has already dropped games to the 76ers and Nuggets.

One of the catalysts for Oklahoma City’s success this season, aside from reigning All-Star and All-NBA honoree Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of course, has been the emergence of rookie phenom Chet Holmgren. The former No. 2 overall pick missed all of last year with a foot injury but has consistently been one of the team’s three best players in his first 19 career regular season games.

Holmgren is averaging 17.6 points, eight rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 53.1% from the field and 39.5% from 3-point range.

OKC has already seen Holmgren take control of multiple games and help lead the Thunder to a victory. Most notably, the Gonzaga product went for 36 points and the game-tying triple at the end of regulation against the Golden State Warriors back in November.

In addition to Holmgren’s emergence, Oklahoma City has one of the highest field goal percentages and 3-point percentages in the league, which has proved to be lethal when Gilgeous-Alexander is on the court.

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If SGA, Holmgren, Jalen Williams and Oklahoma City’s role players all continue to perform at the level they have through the first 19 games of the season, the Thunder will have a chance to breeze past their projected win total of 46 games in addition to securing a spot in the playoffs.

Still, the young team will have to continue to grow and learn to combat some of its weaknesses, as OKC still has trouble on the boards and in a few other niche spots. So far, however, Oklahoma City is off to a white-hot start in 2023.

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