Jalen Williams scores 21 for OKC Thunder Thursday

Jalen Williams started for the OKC Thunder on Tuesday. Does that show that OKC have confidence in the rookie?

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Jalen Williams, the rookie for the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in a preseason game on Tuesday for the first time. Mark Daigneault seems to like what he sees out of his rookie. Williams started again on Thursday and once again, he performed well. It seems that the OKC Thunder are not approaching this player as bench support any longer.

Jalen Williams scored 21 against San Antonio

Williams logged 31 minutes against San Antonio, the most of any player on Thursday for either team. He scored 21 points on an efficient shooting night. Williams went 7 for 8 from the field and 6 for 7 from the line. He hit the only three-pointer that he shot. However, Williams was flat in other categories as he had just 1 rebound and 2 assists.

Earlier this week, Williams had an impressive game. On Tuesday night he scored 16 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and had an impressive 3 steals against Detroit. Furthermore, Williams led both teams in plus/minus at +20. The OKC Thunder won the preseason game by a score of 115-99 against the Detroit Pistons, a game that Detroit hosted. With the win on Thursday, the Thunder finished the preseason at 5-1.

Williams was 33 to 1 (bet365) to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award a couple of days ago. However, he seems to be catching on as a relevant player in this market. As of late Thursday night, Williams is now 28 to 1. That means that he either took in some bets or the oddsmakers with the firm wanted to guard against betting value on this player.

This is a market where Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic is the favorite. Keegan Murray is our pick to win the award. We tipped him at 11 to 2 not long ago but he is currently 5 to 1.

Thunderous start for OKC?

The Thunder enjoyed a good preseason. However, two of the wins in their 5-1 record were against non-NBA teams. Furthermore, preseason game results are often taken with a grain of salt. They are best used to gauge some individual performers, to see if unknown players are up to par or not. From that point of view, Williams seems to be a player that’s capable of starting on a non-contender. The Thunder, despite some preseason wins, still have a low win total projection with bet365 (22.5).