3 Thunder players who must step up to stave off elimination in Game 6

Mar 24, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) during
Mar 24, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) during / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 4

Jalen Williams

The most obvious and talked about player on the Thunder who drastically needs to improve is Jalen Williams.

Coming into this matchup, many believed the budding star forward would play a crucial role if the Thunder were to thwart the Mavericks' run to the NBA Finals. However, he has not been as impactful as many had hoped.

In the series, Williams is averaging just 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Though these aren't awful stats by any stretch of the word, simply put, they haven't been good enough, especially when you take a look at his efficiency.

He is shooting just 40.8 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from distance, both of which are far cries from his regular season numbers and first-round matchup against the Pelicans.

When comparing these stats to the previous round, Williams has dropped by five points on average and roughly one rebound per game while maintaining a similar assist per game number.

Additionally, he dropped almost 13 percentage points from the field percentage department and almost eight percentage points from behind the arc -- neither of these are what the Thunder want, and will hope for a major turnaround in Game 6.

The other area where Williams has seemingly dropped is self-confidence. This isn't a counting stat, but rather an eye test.

There have been too many times where he has pump-faked an open shot or second-guessed his decisions and it doesn't help anyone but the Mavs when he does this.

If OKC is going to win this next game on Saturday, Jalen Williams needs to be one of the catalysts for the Thunder offense. It cannot solely rely on SGA if they want a chance at all against the Mavs. OKC is at its best when both Williams and Gilgeous-Alexander are their most confident selves and only one of those is showing it.