OKC Thunder put on blast ahead of playoffs: 'Weakest No. 1 seed that we've seen'

Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

The OKC Thunder recently capped off their 2023-24 campaign in exhilarating and historic fashion, as they have officially become the youngest team ever (average age of 23.9) to secure a top seed heading into the NBA postseason.

Claiming their third-highest record in franchise history at 57-25, it's no secret that this youth-filled squad is way ahead of schedule based off of preseason expectations. Alas, after an 82 game regular season, here they are, storming into their first playoff excursion with homecourt advantage on their side.

Though this Thunder team seems confident in their chances of competing with the best of them under the bright lights of this admittedly uncharted territory, many are still not convinced that they are as legitimate of a threat to contend for the Larry O'Brien Trophy as their record and standing may suggest.

In fact, on a recent episode of ESPN's First Take, media personality Shannon Sharpe went on record to slam OKC, labeling them as the "weakest number one seed that we've seen" in quite some time.

OKC Thunder slammed as being 'weakest number one seed' in years

"They're the weakest number one seed that we've seen in a very long time... They had a great season but I do not believe...they beat the Mavs. I don't believe they beat the Nuggets. I don't believe they beat the Lakers."

Shannon Sharpe

What's arguably most perplexing about Sharpe's peculiar assessment of this Thunder team is the fact that of the teams he suggests they can't beat, they actually find themselves heading into the playoffs with a cumulative winning record in such matchups at 7-5.

Just recently, in fact, Oklahoma City spanked the Mavericks in their finale by a final score of 135-86.

Now, granted, it must be noted that Dallas didn't have either Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving available for the contest, as they were both sidelined due to injury, but this doesn't take away from the two previous wins they secured against them that saw Mark Daigneault's club average a whopping 126 points.

Though OKC did find themselves struggling while playing the more physical Lakers (lost the season series 1-3), there's a strong possibility that these two teams won't even wind up facing one another during this year's playoffs anyway, as Los Angeles just barely secured the seventh seed in the conference standings and will be squaring off against the Denver Nuggets in round one, a team they went 0-3 against during the regular season.

Add all this to the fact that even in a ridiculously competitive Western Conference race that saw 11 teams register 40-plus wins and could realistically see an eight-seed with just shy of 50 wins (New Orleans holds a record of 49-33) the Thunder still found themselves reigning supreme, and the notion that this club is anything close to weak is completely and utterly ludicrous.