After Thursday's victory over the Grizzlies, the Timberwolves reached the halfway point of their season 30-11.

Easy math tells you that if the Wolves do this again in the next 41 games, they will be 60-22. If the Wolves do that, they will join 78 teams who have reached 60 victories in an NBA season, and they will beat the franchise record for victories, 58, set in 2003-04.

The first half of the season could not have played out much better for the Wolves, who sit atop the Western Conference with a two-game lead over Saturday's opponent, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"Honestly, I haven't even thought about it, but 60 would be a good number," point guard Mike Conley said. "If we can get there, that'd be a feat in itself, but this team has been where we're at right now just because we take it a game at a time and don't look too far ahead. But the big goal is you want to be playing at the end of June, whenever the Finals is, so hopefully we give ourselves a chance at doing that."

Getting the top seed would be a considerable boost for their chances of reaching that NBA Finals end goal, which is more realistic now than at any point since that 2004 Western Conference finals run.

Here are two reasons why the Wolves might finish as the season's top seed and one thing they'll have to improve if they want to get there:

Rebounding, transition defense have improved from last season

The Wolves have the No. 1-rated defense in the league and have for most of the season. They have one of the stingiest halfcourt defenses in the league, and if they can force opponents to play slower in that end of the court while cleaning up possessions after one shot, their defense is set up to dominate.

One reason for their success this season is that they have significantly improved in team rebounding. They ranked eighth in defensive rebounding percentage after Thursday's game at 72.1% of opponents' shots rebounded. That's up from 26th a season ago.

The Wolves, for being such a big team, also have done a commendable job of limiting transition opportunities. They are allowing 12.3 fast-break points per game, good for fourth in the league. That's an improvement over 20th at 14.4 a season ago.

"It's just the emphasis we placed on it that caused that sense of urgency to get back," Conley said. "It was kind of foreign to a lot of us. We were just trying to worry about the offensive end, but I think defensively, our defense is predicated on getting back and stopping the ball first. Now, we've done a better job of just communicating that."

The Wolves are cracking down on the ways opponents can get around scoring in the halfcourt against them, and that has been to their benefit.

They defeated almost all of the teams they should have

The Wolves have a 13-2 mark against teams that were .500 or worse entering Friday's games. They lost two of their first three, against Toronto and Atlanta, but since have won 13 straight against teams .500 or worse, including two victories over the 21-21 Lakers.

When the schedule has presented them with chances to bank victories, they have taken it almost every time. This more mature approach night in and night out is one of the biggest improvements made from a season ago and has given them a margin for error when playing tough opponents or when the schedule causes fatigue.

Their offense is imperfect but improving

The Wolves' offensive rating is 19th in the league. It's possible to win a championship without an elite offense, at least in terms of regular-season offensive rating. The Warriors were 16th when they won the title in 2022, and the Lakers were 11th in 2020. But more often than not, it helps to have an offense that ranks in the top five. Every other title winner in the past 10 years has had an offense that ranked top five or better in offensive efficiency.

Because the Wolves play strong defense, they can afford to not have a top-of-the-line offense, but they should hope to rise a few notches in those rankings the rest of the season. Turnovers (they are 28th in turnover rate) and lack of ball movement have been the bugaboos for them this season. But the good news is, they are playing better on offense. The advanced statistical website Cleaning the Glass, which factors out garbage time minutes in its calculations, says the Wolves have the seventh most efficient offense over the past two weeks. Keep that up and 60 victories is well within range.