Thunder cap off magical regular season with historic finish vs Mavericks

Apr 14, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
Apr 14, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The OKC Thunder have had themselves quite a magical season in 2023-24. Through 82 games played, Mark Daigneault and company have managed to ascend from their cellar dweller status of years past to, now, a legitimate title contender following their 57-25 finish.

On top of clinching their first playoff berth since the Lake Buena Vista bubble of 2020, with their blowout victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Sunday's finale Oklahoma City heads into the illustrious tournament as the number one seed in the Western Conference standings, edging out both the Denver Nuggets (57-25) and Minnesota Timberwolves (56-26), their two main threats to the top spot.

With such a finish, the Thunder have now etched themselves into the league's record books, as they've become the youngest team in NBA history (average age of 23.9 years) to clinch the top slot in the conference standings.

Thunder become youngest team in NBA history to secure No. 1 seed

Along with this, they're also the youngest team to secure 55 or more wins in a regular season, with the previous holder of such a record ironically being the 2010-11 OKC Thunder, as per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

From their top-ranked long-range shooting percentage (38.9) to their second-best net rating (7.3) in the entire association, heading into their first postseason excursion as a complete collective, this Oklahoma City squad has the potential to do some serious damage.

Though some may be worried about their inexperience under the bright lights of the playoffs, superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander believes their lack of familiarity could wind up benefiting them in the long run, as he noted following Sunday's win over Dallas: "I think we can use our inexperience to help us, not knowing what it's going to be so we'll just play free."

Hopefully he's right as the young Thunder gear up to embark on the uncharted territory that is the NBA Playoffs.