On October 29th, Patrick Williams tore a ligament in his wrist against the Knicks, which sidelined the second-year pro for 65 games. During this time, the Bulls could not wait for Patrick Williams return.
That did not work either as Mckinnie was released and Hill is on a two-way, no longer in the rotation.
With Patrick’s return, you would think it’d be smooth sailing, but it was anything but.
A Rough Start
In Patrick Williams return to the lineup on March 21st, he struggled to finding ways to help the team.
He tends to sit in the corner and wait for players to get him involved. The problem with this is that the offense becomes stagnant.
Ayo Dosunmu is a great example of what Williams needed to do more of. Ayo cuts without the ball, looks to score out of DHOs, and plays with confidence.
This lack of production led to Billy Donovan calling out Patrick Williams publicly. Donavon wanted Williams to be more aggressive, try to find ways to add value, and needed to earn his minutes.
Patrick Williams then had a very mature response, admitting he needed to play better and knew Donavon had the team’s best interest in mind.
Williams Turns it Around
He responded by playing 24 minutes (most since his injury at the time) against the Wizards and made some plays as he had 6 points, 7 rebounds, and was active as a rim protector.
Unfortunately, his return has not been a steady climb as he was then late to shoot-around against the Clippers.
He revealed he was fined for his tardiness, but it luckily did not seem to affect his play.
In Thursday’s matchup, Patrick Williams played a season-high 36 minutes.
He earned those minutes by being incredibly active with 10 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal.
Williams made big plays late altering shots defensively, cutting, and the meanest dunk of his career.
I don’t expect this to mean Patrick Williams is going to be a great role player every night the rest of the year, but this was a huge step in the right direction for the Paw and a night he and the Bulls desperately needed.