Thunder’s Mark Daigneault is the run-away favorite to win Coach of the Year in 2023-24

Mark Diagneault Thunder pic
Mark Diagneault Thunder pic

Heading into the final day of the 2023-24 regular season, a lot had yet to be determined for playoff seeding. The Western Conference did not have their #1 seed locked in yet. Additionally, play-in spots were filled after a thrilling day of basketball. Going 7-3 in their final 10 games were the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

They finished with a 57-25 record this season. Tied with the Nuggets for the best record in the West. However, the Thunder had the season-series tiebreak and finished first in the Western Conference. Head coach Mark Diagneault has slowly but surely helped build this team and make them contenders in the West. Diagneault is the run-away favorite to win Coach of the Year in 2023-24. It would be a well-deserved honor for the 39-year-old head coach.

How far can the Thunder make it in the playoffs with Mark Diagneault as their head coach?

In 2023-24, the Oklahoma City Thunder had the second-youngest team by average age. The median age on their team this season was (24.12) years old. Despite having a young squad, head coach Mark Diagneault got the most out of his players and the team flourished. During each of his first three seasons, Diagneault had a long record with OKC. Last season the team finished 40-42 and just narrowly missed out on the postseason. He knew his team was capable of more and the Thunder took it to a new level in 2023-24.

The addition of Chet Holmgren into the starting lineup is another reason for OKC’s success. Holmgren missed the entire 2022-23 season due to injury but was 100 percent for 2023-24. As a rookie, he played and started in all 82 games. Along with Holmgren, the Thunder had continuity with the players they returned this season. Oklahoma City saw how close they were in 2022-23 and knew they had a chance to be special this season. The team cashed in on their opportunity and is now the #1 seed in the 2024 playoffs. Credit is due to head coach Mark Diagneault for getting the Thunder to this point.

It’s been a special season for the Thunder and they’ll look to carry that momentum into the postseason. The only knock you can give the team is their inexperience in the postseason. This is the team’s first playoff appearance since 2019-20 and their first under head coach Mark Diagneault. For now, the Thunder have to wait for the play-in tournament to happen. Then they’ll find out who is the #8 seed and their opponent in the first round. Playoffs begin on April 20, this coming Saturday. How far will Mark Diagneault and the Thunder be able to make it in the 2024 postseason?

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