NBA Western Power Rankings Week 3: Warriors storm ahead

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Nov 16, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) gestures after making a three point shot against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Oklahoma City 122-114. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

4th: Oklahoma City Thunder (48 points)

By Tom West

Record: 6-5

Record last week: 3-1

The Thunder’s season has been a streaky one so far. They started with a three game win streak, then lost three straight, then had another three game win streak, and now they’ve lost two more (Monday night against Memphis). Kevin Durant missing their last two contests has something to do with that, but the Thunder still haven’t been able to settle into a rhythm and are in 6th place in the Western Conference because of it.

As is often the case — especially when Durant is out — Russell Westbrook is the man that keeps the Thunder going. He plays with relentless energy and aggressiveness every game, and he’s once again firing every weapon in his loaded arsenal to lead his team. Despite having a couple of poor shooting performances recently (33.9 percent over his last three contests), he’s still just shy of averaging a triple double with 25.5 points, 10.3 assists and 8.1 assists per game. Along with the usual great performance of Durant before he was sidelined with a left hamstring sprain, Westbrook’s drive has led the Thunder to ranking 2nd in offensive efficiency — only being bested by the defending champion Warriors.

Their area of weakness has been on defense so far. Even with Serge Ibaka stepping up with 8.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks each night, the Thunder rank 26th in opponent scoring by allowing 105.7 points per game.

So, despite their inconsistencies and defensive struggles early on, the strong performances they have had and their immense talent still keeps them at 4th place in our rankings.

Next: Dallas Mavericks