The Denver Nuggets haven't been playing their best basketball of late. The team has a mediocre 5-5 record over its last ten games and lost four in a row in early March. But Denver's recent play aside, the 2022-23 regular season has gone as swimmingly as Nuggets fans could have realistically hoped for.

With a 49-24 record, the Nuggets own a commanding 3.5-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the best record in the Western Conference with nine games remaining on their schedule. And the primary reason for the Nuggets' regular-season success has been the team's ability to take care of business on their home floor.

Denver has long held a reputation for being a difficult place for opponents to play at. Even when the Nuggets weren't contenders, they were a tough out at home thanks to the altitude, as it can throw opposing players off their rhythm. But the 2022-23 Nuggets haven't just been formidable at home — they've been flat-out dominant. Their 30-6 home record is the second-best in the NBA, behind only the Grizzlies, who are 31-5 at home.

With all that said, let's take a look at the Nuggets' dream seeding scenario and playoff matchup for the 2023 NBA playoffs:

Nuggets' dream seeding scenario and playoff matchup

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

It goes without saying that the Nuggets' dream seeding scenario is that they end up with the top spot in the Western Conference standings, which they will, barring a late-season collapse. The Grizzlies would likely have to win out to catch the Nuggets in the standings at this juncture, and even that maybe wouldn't be enough.

So who would the Nuggets like to see in the first round? They would have a clear advantage against any of the West's lower seeds, not named the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors. But the Oklahoma City Thunder stand out as a particularly favorable first-round matchup for the Nuggets for several reasons.

Firstly, the Nuggets saw a lot of success in their regular season series against the Thunder. They're 3-1 against the Thunder this year with an average margin of victory of 7.3 points in their three wins. The sole game the Nuggets lost against the Thunder this season was back on January 22nd, and they only lost by two points, 101-99, behind 34 points from Shai-Gilgeous Alexander.

Another reason why the Thunder are an ideal first-round matchup is their lack of size. Without Chet Holmgren in the lineup — who has sat out the entire season due to injury — the Thunder have little to no big man depth. Who the Thunder would even assign to guard Jokic is somewhat of a mystery. Lu Dort probably would have the best chance of getting the assignment, and he's a terrific defender and a dark horse candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award. But Dort stands at just 6'3″, a whole eight inches shorter than Jokic.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a talented, up-and-coming team, but the Nuggets would have no problem beating them in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The Nuggets winning the series in five games seems like the most likely scenario should these two teams meet in the postseason, but a Nuggets sweep shouldn't be ruled out, either. And the momentum the Nuggets would receive from the emphatic first-round series win could help get them to where they ultimately want to get to, and that's the NBA Finals.