NBA Western Power Rankings Week 4: Warriors make history

14 of 16

Nov 22, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a three point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

3rd: Oklahoma City Thunder (38 points)

By Tom West

Record: 9-6

Record last week: 2-3

Kevin Durant has made his return, and after they fared well enough in his absence, there’s no way the Thunder can’t remain among the best teams in the West in our rankings. They’re just that good. They have more talent than most teams could wish for and the Mavericks haven’t done enough yet to prove themselves as someone who should rank above them.

Russell Westbrook continues to prove just how terrifying and well rounded his game is. The accusations that he’s a ball-hog will always be there due to his high shooting numbers, but ranking 2nd in the NBA with 10.1 assists per game speaks for itself. He gets teammates looks, creates in transition like no other guard, he crashes the boards at a ridiculous rate with 7.5 a game, and he can take over in an instant with his pull-up jumpers and explosive drives to the rim. His tenacious talent has been the Thunder’s driving force so far, by Durant is back after missing six games and the deadly duo is once again together in Oklahoma.

The entire NBA, even the Warriors, should be nervous. OKC are always capable of causing anyone hell.

With Enes Kanter putting up 12.6 points and 8.5 rebounds in only 21.7 minutes a night, Serge Ibaka protecting the rim as always with 2.5 blocks per game, and solid bench play, the Thunder have guys contributing across the roster.

The only main problem has been their defense, which is currently ranked 17th in the league. They excel at defending the paint, but are more generous from outside. If they can tighten up their perimeter play, the Thunder really are a force to be reckoned with throughout the season.

Next: San Antonio Spurs