This last game between Wolves and Bulls was not of great interest. Indeed, on the Chicago side, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic were not playing. Opposite, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell were also absent.
As elsewhere, in Denver for Austin Reaves and the Lakers for example, these absences have allowed other players to shine. For Chicago, it’s patrick williams who benefited the most from these exceptional circumstances.
The strong winger thus scored 35 points at 10/21 in shooting and 3/4 at 3-pts, with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 41 minutes. He had never played, shot and scored so much in a match in two seasons.
“I did not know, until the end of the match, that I was at 35 points”he explains to The Athletic. “I just played. As I’ve been saying for two years now, I’m doing whatever it takes for the team to win. The team wanted me to be aggressive, because that’s how I help them. I’ve been asked this for two years. It’s up to me, I have the confidence to do it. I proved it, not only in this meeting, but also before and last season. »
“When he is with DeRozan and LaVine, or even Vucevic, he has to choose his positions to be aggressive”
This aggressiveness also results in lost balls (5), but as the number 4 of the 2020 Draft is still coming back from injury, this is not the main thing to remember from his performance. The important thing is his ability to score, to hurt the defense since before this match, since his return, he was only averaging 7.7 points.
“I kept telling him to continue”says Zach LaVine. “I wanted to see him shoot 30 times in this game. He won’t always be able to shoot as much, but we need him to play like that. Having a game like that at the end of the season is not only a way to show off, but it’s also a way to demonstrate what he is capable of doing. It’s good for us and for his confidence. »
With such a match before serious things, can Patrick Williams be the spark that the Bulls have been missing for a few weeks, for the first round of the playoffs against Milwaukee? He still has to keep this level with the holders…
“When he’s with DeRozan and LaVine, or even Vucevic, he has to choose his positions to be aggressive,” analyzes Billy Donovan. “There are opportunities for him to do that and, in this encounter, I gave him several actions for that. It started very well. Even after missed shots, lost balls, he was not passive or gave up. He maintained his level of aggression. »