NBA power rankings roundup: ‘Daigneault deserves credit’ for work with OKC

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Logan Newman
·3 min read
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As the Oklahoma City Thunder have plummeted down the reverse standings, but they are already at the bottom of many national power rankings.

Three of the five outlets used in this segment have them at No. 30, and they dropped a spot in one other. In ESPN’s, the Thunder kept steady.

Despite the losing, multiple outlets talked about the Thunder have seemed to stay engaged and optimistic. Bleacher Report said that head coach Mark Daigneault deserves credit for his work over this losing streak.

At time of these power rankings’ publications on Monday morning, the Thunder were on a 13-game streak, so the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday is not included in these opinions.

Here are the Monday power rankings from the five national outlets.

ESPN: 26th (no change)

The Thunder held at No. 26 in ESPN's power rankings for the third week in a row. Royce Young wrote about how players and the coaching staff have said they're remaining positive despite a losing streak that was at 13 as of time of publication and 14 entering Tuesday. Young wrote:

"The Thunder's losing streak is at 13 games, but even with the extended absence of winning, players and coaches are still adamant the team's mood isn't crumbling"

That doesn't exactly prevent them from moving down in the power rankings, but it is important for the final few weeks of the season.

The Athletic: 30th (no change)

The Athletic, meanwhile have had the Thunder at No. 30 for three weeks in a row. Zach Harper has consistently ranked them lower than counterparts in this exercise, and there's no signs of them moving up soon.

"The tank is still very strong for the Thunder — 13 losses in a row, and 16 of their last 17 have been defeats. And they’re only 3.5 games ahead of Minnesota now."

That was on Monday -- then the Timberwolves won and OKC lost, so the Thunder are just 2.5 games back from that second-worst record. With so few games remaining, though, it will be hard to catch them.

NBA.com: 30th (no change)

The Thunder have long been one of the worst offensive teams in the league, but the defense had been good entering this month. With April drawing to a close, NBA.com's John Schuhmann referenced the defense.

"The Thunder have fallen off more defensively than offensively since Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s last appearance (March 22). But their 99.8 points per 100 possessions over the 17 games since then are 4.7 fewer than any other team has scored over that stretch."

That's rare, as Schuhmann pointed out.

"Amazingly, it will be only the fourth time that the Sonics/Thunder have had a worse-than-average offense in the 25 seasons for which we have play-by-play data."

Bleacher Report: 27th (down 1)

After dropping three spots the week before, Oklahoma City moved down one more on Bleacher Report's rankings. Mo Dakhil wrote that the joke that the Thunder don't know how to tank is over. However, he spent the bulk of the section complimenting OKC.

"Darius Bazley averaged 24.0 points last week to go with his 7.3 rebounds. Theo Maledon has shown growth as a playmaker, handing out 6.7 assists last week. Coach Mark Daigneault deserves credit for keeping the players engaged despite all the losing."

CBS Sports: 30th (no change)

CBS Sports also kept the Thunder at the bottom of the league for the third week in a row. Reporter Colin Ward-Henninger also referenced Bazley and Maledon, and gave Lu Dort a mention as well. Even with that, Ward-Henninger doesn't care much for what he's seeing during this losing streak.

"Fans must keep telling themselves this is what's best for the future, but it's getting a bit hard to watch."

For what it's worth, yes, Thunder Twitter does seem to be enjoying the losing as much as a group can.

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