Here’s Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault on what has surprised him about rookie Jalen Williams.
(via Oklahoma City Thunder):
“Just how quickly he’s picked everything up. I remember we were getting ready to play Boston in Boston at the beginning of the season. It was early, it was November. We weren’t starting him every night at that point. We were really shuffling the starting lineup, and we needed a Jaylen Brown matchup and we were kicking around the idea of starting him there. We ended up doing it, and the mentality was just like, ‘Alright. Let’s just see how he does. If we’re gonna get here eventually, let’s do it immediately.’ And he kinda answered that bell. If you look at who he’s guarded since then, after Dort, he’s the next guy, and the best teams have two guys. That’s probably been the most surprising is his ability to handle those types of matchups defensively, doing what he’s doing offensively, playing the minutes he’s playing, and doing it at a high level throughout every minute every night is loud to me. He’s obviously talented, but that shows a level of durability and toughness. He’s a dude.”