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Beyond the Box Score: Thunder’s Kenrich Williams Was Extremely Efficient in Breakout Season

Kenrich Williams had a breakout year with the Thunder last season, but is his shooting sustainable?

In his first season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kenrich Williams had a breakout year. The 6-foot-6 wing was acquired as a player that had very little expectations, but quickly became one of the most efficient players on the entire roster.

Williams is known for his hustle and effort, which usually results him him being a guy that makes winning plays. He will never become a star in the NBA, but is starting to establish himself as a key role player for the Thunder.

The jump in efficiency he made between years two and three of his professional career was outstanding. This was a result of him knowing his role on the team and taking good shots within himself as a player.

For starters, his overall field goal percentage jumped from 34.7 percent to 53.3 percent last season. It's very rare to ever see an NBA player shoot nearly 20 percent better from the floor from one season to the next. 

What made this even more impressive was the fact that he took nearly double the amount of shots last season as he saw this spike in shooting efficiency. During the 2019-20 season, Williams attempted 3.3 shots per game, followed by 6.2 per contest last season. 

What contributed to this jump was his 3-point shooting, which was an area of his game where the most improvement was shown. In the 2020-21 season, his 3-point efficiency went from 25.8 percent to 44.4 percent year-over-year. Again, nearly a 20 percent jump in the amount of threes that were converted on.

While Williams isn't a great free throw shooter, he also saw his percentage from the line increase from 34.6 percent to 57.1 percent last season. This isn't where he ultimately needs to be as a free throw shooter, but he showed improvement nonetheless on low volume.

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Williams' increased shooting splits payed off in the scoring department, as he increased his points per game from 3.5 to 8.0 last season. 

Perhaps the most impressive part of his 2020-21 season was the fact that he made all of these jumps without having to play more minutes. In fact, Williams played 21.3 minutes in his second season and 21.6 minutes in his third year. He was able to double his point totals and make a drastically bigger impact in a similar role from the year prior.

When you're a role player, it's all about efficiency. Williams was one of the best players on the team when it came down to his contributions per minute. 

With all of this in mind, is this production sustainable? With such an exponential jump in these categories, you have to wonder if he'll be able to keep it up going forward.

Either way, Williams is a 26-year-old on a non-guaranteed deal that is one of the most respected players in the entire locker room. If he is able to continue this success, he will be one of the more attractive trade pieces for OKC in the upcoming season. 

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