Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drops truth bomb on 'delusional' mentality for Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Sunday night, the OKC Thunder managed to pull off a majestic victory while on the road squaring off against a scrappy New York Knicks team.

A back-and-forth affair, in the closing seconds of regulation Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who had just made his return to the lineup following a two-game absence, knocked down an epic fadeaway jumper with 1.8 left on the game clock to, ultimately, pave his team's way to victory.

Led by his heroics, Oklahoma City claimed their first postseason berth since 2020 as well as their 52 win on the season, which marks just their sixth 50-plus win campaign since migrating from Seattle to the 73102 back in 2008-09.

All season long, this youth-filled Thunder club has found itself competing with the league's established elite and severely seasoned teams, and, following their Easter bout at Madison Square Garden, Gilgeous-Alexander went on record to reveal the admittedly "delusional" mindset that has helped them come across such great successes despite their overall inexperiences.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander reveals 'delusional' mindset for OKC Thunder

"We don't use our age or lack of experience as an excuse for ourselves. We think of ourselves as a veteran-experienced group. It might be a little bit delusional but it helps us for sure. No matter what your age is, there's certain things you need to do to win a basketball game, especially late and we just pinpoint those things and try to get it done. We might have lapses, we might not always get it done but we always have the right intention and because of it we've been successful."

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

As things currently stand, this Thunder team rosters just three players over the age of 30 (Bismack Biyombo, Mike Muscala, and Gordon Hayward) and a whopping seven players of the age of 23 or younger.

To put their youthfulness into perspective, Dan Treacy of Sporting News recently broke down the average age of this year's Duke Men's basketball roster and compared it to Oklahoma City.

In his findings, it was calculated that despite being a collegiate team, the Blue Devil's average age of 22.2 was only a mere .4 years younger than Mark Daigneault's team (22.6).

From a fan's and overall onlooker's perspective, it has been truly mesmerizing to see this Thunder team succeed at the heights they have this year.

Going from a sub-.500 team to a 50-plus win legitimate title contender in just one year is absolutely remarkable and, with eight games remaining on the docket and the Western Conference's top seed still well in sight, this squad with a "lack of experience," as noted by Gilgeous-Alexander, has a chance to claim homecourt advantage through at least the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Hopefully their "delusional" mentality can translate into more wins and greater successes under the bright lights of the 2024 postseason.