We’ve been ranking the Thunder roster, 1-15. Each day we’ve revealed a new ranking and a player. We’d enjoy your feedback by using the hashtag “#ThunderRank” on Facebook or Twitter. Alright, alright, you’re all waiting.. here it is! PS: Grant Jerrett is ineligible for the list due to he remains unsigned with the Thunder.
#5 – Nick Collison
In Oklahoma City, Nick Collison’s popularity rivals that of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at times. The sensitivity with coming to judge Collison faces a lot of biased criticism from his fan base. What’s not to like though? A smart, good looking athlete with a good head on his shoulders. Not to mention, he’s a great father to his daughter. However, Collison is a stud on the basketball court.
While he’s not flashy, what Collison does while in the game, really sets him apart from the rest of the players on this team. Collison found out a young age in this league what he needed to do if he was going to stay in this league for the long haul. He found his niche, and has really thrived on this talented basketball team.
Averaging just 19.5 minutes per game this last season, Collison was a top 10 in taking charges in the association. He’s a real defensive mind for most of the game. He had a career high of 104 Defensive Rating last season (defensive points allowed per 100 possessions). He’s ability to play decent defense is giving the Thunder a real strength when their starters go to the bench.
He’s a really underrated offensive player as well. He had a career high on the offensive side as well with the offensive rating of 123 (points per 100 possessions). While his points per game aren’t exactly the highest, but he shoots a high percentage, and he shoots it very efficiently.
Some things are getting better with age, and that’s what Nick Collison has done while in Oklahoma City. A player that really struggled in Seattle at times, despite sometimes gaudy rebounding numbers. He’s growing as a player, and he’s one of the key components to why the Oklahoma City Thunder have been so successful.
Collison’s ability to defend the paint successfully while being a great leader off the court, all of that puts him into the top five of the Thunder Rank. He’s going into his 10th season, and who knows how much longer he’ll be able to keep up this type of defense, but until it just completely falls off, the Thunder and their fan base are really happy to have him here.
Here’s a recap of the #ThunderRank to this point:
- #6 – Reggie Jackson
- #7 - Jeremy Lamb
- #8 - Kendrick Perkins
- #9 - Derek Fisher
- #10 - Perry Jones III
- #11 - Hasheem Thabeet
- #12 - Steven Adams
- #13 - Ryan Gomes
- #14 - Daniel Orton
- #15 - Andre Roberson