NBA power rankings 2012: Thunder among league's best, even with slow start

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

The Oklahoma City Thunder are among the top teams in the NBA even as the team begins the 2012-13 season 1-2.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have seen a slight dip in their position on the weekly power rankings after starting off the season 1-2.

SB Nation's Seth Rosenthal has the Thunder in fifth place following the first week of the year, commenting that they are trying to establish new roles following the trade that sent James Harden to Houston.

The Thunder are one of several very good teams pausing to reestablish roles with a slightly warped roster. Kevin Durant's been a bit too generous, Russell Westbrook perhaps a bit too hyper. Kevin Martin just wants to run around and shoot things. The defense needs to recalibrate a bit. They'll be okay.

Marc Stein of ESPN dropped the Thunder two spots to number seven this week, stating that two poor Russell Westbrook performances are one of the main reasons for the Thunder's slow start.

Three games post-Harden, two deflating L's and two sightings already of the PG known across the Twitterverse as Bad Russell. Good thing I didn't write "things can only get better from here" in this space as I originally planned on the Monday after the trade and OU's loss to Notre Dame.

Matt Moore at CBSSports.com dropped Oklahoma City a staggering 17 spots to 20th overall, and he gave a simple explanation why in his comments,

Russell Westbrook and a no-good, rotten, very bad week.

Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk.com dropped Oklahoma City three spots to sixth overall, but he said the Thunder will hash out their early chemistry issues,

It's going to take a while to adjust to not having James Harden dishing the rock and leading the second unit. That said, don't think the early chemistry questions will last. This team is just fine. And Durant is starting to develop as more of a point forward, the man can pass the rock.

Finally, John Schuhmann of NBA.com dropped the Thunder just one spot from fourth to fifth, and says its the starting lineup that has caused the team's slow start,

The Thunder are struggling a bit offensively to start the season, but James Harden's departure doesn't have much to do with it. The starting lineup has been the biggest problem, scoring just 90.5 points per 100 possessions in 49 minutes so far. OKC has actually been pretty potent offensively (106.9) with Kevin Martin, who is 12-for-17 from 3-point range, on the floor.

Overall, Miami and San Antonio are the league's top two teams while Detroit, Washington and Sacramento all reside in the bottom three following winless starts to the season.

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