Thunder Cap Off Regular Season With Return To The Top

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Written By Maya Cantina

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(Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)

Coming into the 2023-24 NBA regular season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were thought to be one of the most talented young teams in the league and potentially a couple of years away from being a real force to be reckoned with.

Although everyone knew the Thunder were a team on the rise, no one would’ve picked them to secure the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, especially considering how competitive the conference has been this season.

Even though the odds were against them, the Thunder were able to lock in the top seed in the West on Sunday, as they crushed the Dallas Mavericks in the team’s regular-season finale.

To put the Thunder’s accomplishment into perspective, according to ESPN, Oklahoma City hasn’t been the top seed in the West since 2013, when superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook led the franchise.

As a result of the Thunder clinching the top spot in the West, the team will have to wait to see who they’ll face in the first round of the NBA playoffs, as the Play-In Tournament will need to unfold, with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and Golden State Warriors battling it out for two spots in the postseason.

Even though the Thunder are the top seed in the conference, Oklahoma City has yet to prove its worth in the playoffs, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leading the way.

Despite the team’s talent, it’s all about playoff experience when the postseason gets underway, and this young squad will be put to the test once the first round gets started, regardless of their opponent.

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