LAS VEGAS – He didn’t get the chance to take part in a summer league a year ago to grow his skills before his rookie year with the Bulls. The COVID-19 pandemic, like many things in 2020, denied Patrick Williams that opportunity.
The forward still made major contributions in his first year with the Bulls, doing so a majority of the time as a starter, but the franchise gave him the chance to continue growing his game in Las Vegas over the next few weeks.
So far, Williams is taking full advantage.
In two games, the soon-to-be second year player has been the best of the Bulls, scoring a combined 45 points with 19 rebounds.
Williams’ best performance was the second contest, where he led the Bulls with 30 points that included four three-pointers and seven rebounds. Those contributions helped the team erase a 22-point first half deficit against the Spurs to win it 92-89 in Las Vegas.
This followed a 15-point, 12 rebound performance, most of which came in the first half against the Pelicans in a defeat on Monday.
Seeing Williams put up these numbers is certainly encouraging for Arturas Karnisovas and the rest of the Bulls’ staff as he looks to improve in his second year. Williams will likely be part of a starting group that has two All-Stars from 2021 – Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic – while also adding four-time All-Star Demar DeRozan along with point guard Lonzo Ball.
The forward will be looking to find his role in that chemistry while also taking this summer to bring out the strengths in his own game which can aid the Bulls once the regular season begins.
“Getting reps. Just being aggressive, trying to be aggressive, as aggressive as I can,” said Williams of his summer league goals. “During the game…the game has a life of it’s own, so you never know when it will be your time to make plays and the ball will be in your hand.”
That time is now for Williams in Las Vegas as the summer league continues.