Patrick Williams was drafted as a “project” when the Chicago Bulls selected him 4th overall in the 2020 NBA draft. His length and athleticism have always been there, but he has always needed to improve on the offensive side of the ball. Yesterday’s game showed that he has taken a step in the right direction.
The Bulls hosted a red-hot Brooklyn Nets team on Wednesday, who were riding a 12-game win streak. This game had shootout written all over it, as both teams have multiple talented scorers, and have had their struggles on the defensive end.
Many would’ve predicted the bulk of the scoring to come from either Demar DeRozan or Zach LaVine, the teams two leading scorers. However, it was Patrick Williams who played the best game.
Williams scored 22 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and tallied 2 assists and 2 steals in the massive 121-112 win. This bests his previous season high of 16. Williams was showing flashes on both ends of the court against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Patrick Williams showed major improvement in all areas of his game last night, leading the Chicago Bulls in both points and steals against one of the best teams in the East.
What’s even more impressive than the fact that he registered 22 points, was the way that he did it. Williams is far from a volume scorer for the Bulls. With three All-star caliber players in the starting lineup, it is hard to consistently get your own shot.
This didn’t stop Williams though, as he made 6 of his 8 shots from the field. Of his 8 shots, 4 of them were from deep, where Williams connected on 3 of them. He also showed improvement in his shot creating, creating open jumpers for himself off the dribble, and getting to the rim at a high rate.
In his first two seasons, Williams had struggled from the free throw line, making only 73% of his shots. This season has been a different story, as he is shooting 92.9%. This proved valuable on Wednesday, as Williams went 7/7 from the stripe.
When a team’s young players can put up performances like this, without taking shots away from their volume shooters, big things start to happen, like they did yesterday evening.
There is no saying that Williams will continue to keep posting these kinds of numbers, but when you compare what he was doing yesterday to what we saw from him in his first two seasons, there has been major improvement.