The Oklahoma City Thunder climb two spots in Week 5.
The latest NBA Power Rankings are out for Week 5 from SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are climbing back into elite territory after an early season lull after the James Harden Trade. Kevin Martin is really starting to fit in and the team is performing fairly well thus far, although there are still points of growth.
Rosenthal has the Thunder at No. 3 overall, just behind the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs in the first two slots, which still keeps OKC third in the Western Conference. However it also shows just how powerful the West is when compared with the East. Rosenthal writes:
You got a sense for how much Oklahoma City's bench relies on Kevin Martin to produce when his scoring suddenly dropped off in each of the last two games -- a loss to the Celtics and tough win over the Sixers. The Thunder need Martin and the reserve corps to maintain a pretty high level of offense, because their defense has faltered noticeably over the last five or six games.
The Thunder had a good week with overtime wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers, so they're showing the kind of clutch performances that will fare them well in the playoffs next spring.