OKC Thunder: 3 improvements Kenrich Williams needs to make

OKC Thunder Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

When the OKC Thunder traded Steven Adams to the New Orleans Pelicans, no one could have expected just how much of a fan favorite Kenrich Williams would become. Due to his hustle play, he has become the spiritual leader of the Thunder. If he hits the floor often enough and loses enough blood, he could be in line to be the next Nick Collison.

Williams never seemed to fit into the Pelicans offense, especially after the arrival of superstar Zion Williamson. A lot of the points that we see Williams’ score off his hustle were gone, Williamson became the focal point of the offense and Williams’ game suffered.

It took Aleksej Pokusevski going to the G-League bubble for Williams to earn himself a regular spot in the rotation. After Pokusevski came back, Williams did not give up his rotation minutes. Instead, the Thunder shut down Al Horford and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished his season due to injury.

How the OKC Thunder benefit from Kenrich Williams hustle and skill

Defensively the Thunder are a better unit when Williams is on the floor. When Hamidou Diallo was traded to the Detroit Pistons, the defender who took the toughest defensive assignment when Luguentz Dort was off the floor was often Williams. What he may have lacked in skill, he made up for in effort.

Williams was always the first on the floor to contest for a loose ball. As they are in rebuilding mode, the Thunder want to set the right example for the new players coming in. Sacrificing your body to get a loose ball sends a good message.

Now, let’s take a look at the three areas of improvement for Kenrich Williams.