The OKC Thunder's path to winning the Northwest Division title

Minnesota Timberwolves v Oklahoma City Thunder
Minnesota Timberwolves v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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The Oklahoma City Thunder reside in the NBA's Northwest Division and are joined by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers. Currently, the Thunder are battling for the 2023-24 division title with their aforementioned rivals.

At one point this season, it appeared OKC had a slim chance to win such honors, as they accrued four division losses. In comparison, the T-Wolves sat with only two division losses for a long period of time this season.

The OKC Thunder's Northwest Division History

Oklahoma City has won the Northwest Division five times throughout their history. The years and their record in those seasons are as follows:

  • 2010-11: 55-27
  • 2011-12: 47-19
  • 2012-13: 60-22
  • 2013-14: 59-23
  • 2015-16: 55-27

The Thunder won over 50 games in all their division title seasons, except the lockout-shortened 2011-12 campaign. In addition to their division title wins, they have finished as the runner-up on four occasions.

Maybe losing the division wouldn't be the worst thing for the franchise, as the only team to have ever won it and go on to win the NBA Finals was the Denver Nuggets last season. Before that, however, the Oklahoma City Thunder were the only Northwest Division winner to reach the title round.

There could be multiple reasons for the strange coincidence, such as exerting themselves in the regular season stretch run aiming for a higher seed, or perhaps past winners running into better teams during postseason play.

Regardless of how things played out in the past, the Thunder are in a position to win their division this season.

Let's dive into some scenarios that could help Oklahoma raise another banner this year.