Ogwumike Ranks Thunder at #4 in West Group C Power Rankings

August 18, 2023

Athlete Studio

The NBA's highly anticipated In-Season Tournament is fast approaching, and the schedule has been released. Oklahoma City Thunder fans can mark their calendars as group play kicks off on November 3 and concludes on November 28. The exhilarating tournament will culminate in the championship game on December 9.

ESPN reporter Chiney Ogwumike has released her power rankings for West Group C, placing the Thunder at number four out of five teams. The group includes formidable opponents such as the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and of course, the Thunder.

Surprisingly, Ogwumike places the Thunder just ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, despite their franchise-altering draft pick, Victor Wembanyama, a towering 7-foot-5 French phenom. The top three spots in the rankings are claimed by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and the dominant Golden State Warriors, respectively.

Considering the Thunder boast an impressive roster with depth, rising young talent, and the cornerstone presence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ogwumike's rankings seem entirely plausible. The Golden State Warriors, led by the legendary Stephen Curry, have been a tough challenge for the Thunder in the Western Conference for the past decade. The Warriors' only setback came after Kevin Durant's departure, but they remain a force to be reckoned with. Their victory over the Kings in the playoffs last season solidifies their number one ranking in this group.

Claiming the second spot in the rankings, the Sacramento Kings deserve recognition after their impressive improvement last season. Making their first playoff appearance since 2006, the Kings showcased the talents of De'Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Harrison Barnes, and the promising young player, Keegan Murray.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who eliminated the Thunder from the playoffs last year, secure the third spot in the rankings. With rising star Anthony Edwards and a strong frontcourt consisting of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves enter the tournament with promise.

The San Antonio Spurs find themselves at the bottom of the rankings due to uncertainties surrounding the impact of rookie Victor Wembanyama. While his potential is widely recognized, the Spurs are expected to focus on his development rather than achieving immediate success. Considering the Spurs' last-place finish in the West last season, it is no surprise they are ranked fifth in this group.

Ultimately, it is fitting to place the Oklahoma City Thunder at number four. Although they have yet to fully display their potential, their depth, talent, and chemistry make them a formidable contender in group play. With their sights set on victory, the Thunder are poised to make their mark in the tournament.

As the In-Season Tournament approaches, fans eagerly anticipate witnessing the Thunder's journey and how they will fare against their skilled opponents. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and let the games begin!

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