Thunder see first domino fall in NBA awards season with Mark Daigneault win

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Sunday afternoon, the OKC Thunder wrapped up their illustrious 2023-24 regular season in exhilarating fashion, as they spanked the Dallas Mavericks in what wound up being a blowout 135-86 win.

Boasting a record of 57-25, Oklahoma City has gone from a consistent sub-.500 lottery team over the last four seasons to, now, a legitimate title contender.

While many arguments can be made when it comes to who or what has been the biggest factor in the club's astonishing ascension, at the end of the day it has taken a full-on collective effort for the team to get to where they currently are.

As a result, many individuals associated with the Thunder find themselves in the running for league-wide honors for their efforts and accomplishments and 24 hours after the final buzzer sounded on their regular season finale, the first delightful domino fell in favor of the organization in the awards department, as Mark Daigneault was officially named Michael H. Goldberg National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

Thunder's Mark Daigneault wins NBCA Coach of the Year honors

Since being named head coach of the Thunder back in 2020, Daigneault has outwardly improved the team with every passing season, gradually upping their record and conference standings until, this season, he helped guide them to the number one spot out in the west, which officially sets the record for the youngest team (average age of 23.9) to earn a number one position in a conference standings.

The 39-year-old joins Billy Donovan (2020) as the only other OKC coach to take home these specific honors, and will now look to join Scott Brooks (2010) as being the only headman of the organization to win the NBA Coach of the Year award, one that's voted on by a panel of sportswriters whereas the winners' peers vote upon the other.

Along with Daigneault, other Thunder members that are expected to be in the running for other awards include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Most Valuable Player), Jalen Williams (Most Improved Player), Chet Holmgren (Rookie of the Year), and Lu Dort (Defensive Player of the Year), though this last one is arguably the most far-fetched of them all.