Chicago Bulls: Billy Donovan praises rookie Patrick Williams in debut

The first-round pick went out and proved he could hang in his Chicago Bulls debut.

In their first preseason game of the 2020-2021 season, the Chicago Bulls looked anything but competent as a team. But, that’s why it’s the preseason. If you are a die-hard fan of the Bulls, this was not an easy game to watch. If you’re one who treats preseason games like the regular season, you may have wanted to skip this one.

But, taken into context, this was just a preseason game after all. The Bulls hadn’t played since March, and they’re playing for a brand-new coach, implementing brand-new schemes. The fact that Chicago lost 125-104 to the Houston Rockets isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

Now, what really mattered, is the fact that fans got to see the Bulls’ no. 4 overall pick in action. Rookie forward Patrick Williams, out of Florida State, played 25 minutes against the Rockets in his first NBA game and looked comfortable.

Williams shot 5-for-9 from the field (he missed both three-point attempts) and scored 12 points while pulling in three rebounds. He also made both his free throw attempts.

https://twitter.com/nbcsbulls/status/1337587259730747399?s=21

Williams’ first NBA bucket saw him bringing the ball down the floor from the opposite end, and pull up for a mid-range jumper — smooth. He sunk it.

In the above video, you can see the drive and post game on display with a pretty move turning around and sinking a tough shot.

After the game, head coach Billy Donovan had nothing but praise for his rookie (h/t NBCS Chicago)

“He has a really good feel for the game. He very, very rarely forces shots. He makes good decisions, he’s a good passer. We tried to put him in some pick-and-roll situations.”

This speaks to a big reason why the Bulls took him where they did in this year’s draft. He not only fills a big need on the wing, but he is such a smart player. Williams is not going to try too hard on offense, but rather let the opportunities come to him. He’s calculated.

People may forget the fact that rookies didn’t get the normal offseason this year. From the time they were drafted, they had just a few weeks before they saw their first NBA action. All things considered, Williams played an excellent game.

“He is really, really good when he gets into that elbow, paint area where he can shoot those one-handed lean-in shots, he’s very good at that,” Donovan said. “I thought he played very, very well considering the fact that there was no real Summer League or build up to training camp, and he had to kind of come here after the draft and kind of get started. I thought he did a really nice job tonight.’’

The Bulls have another opportunity against these Same Rockets on Sunday. Hopefully, they have a chance to look at some film and adjust a few things for the rematch. We’ll look for Williams to continue his solid play as well in his second pro game.