Bulls’ Patrick Williams has a breakout playoff showing in Game 4 loss

It wasn’t “Minnesota Pat.”

Then again, the Bulls don’t need Patrick Williams to be the player that scored a career-high 35 in the season finale against the Timberwolves a few weeks back.

The guy that scored just one point in Game 3, however? That can’t happen.

That’s why there had to be some small sigh of relief with Williams’ Sunday performance, in which the No. 4 overall pick from the 2020 draft had seven first-half points on 3-for-7 shooting, and stayed aggressive to finish with an impressive 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Game 4 loss.

“When you have [teammates] telling you that you work too hard to hang your head or stop shooting, it just means the world to know that those guys have your back,” Williams said of the turnaround.

Does that mean he can be counted on for Game 5? Not exactly, as coach Billy Donovan admitted that he’s a player they definitely have to stay on about aggressiveness and decision making when it comes to his shot. And not just a few times a week, but daily.

“[This is] probably in a lot of ways a lot different than he’s played his whole entire life,” Donovan said of Williams. “That’s not to sit there and say that a certain points and time in his life that he wasn’t physical and dominant, a really good player, but he wasn’t a guy that as a freshman at Florida State was getting 25 every night, and the ball was being just directed to him and he was doing all that stuff. This is part of his evolution, this is part of his development, and it’s something that’s probably new for him.

“So does he need constant encouragement, dialogue, film? All the time. But I’m fine with it because he’s a great guy and he wants to get better, he wants to improve. I think that’s the hardest part for him – finding when and where all those opportunities are and how do I attack? And he sees it more after the moment more so than in the moment.”

The best example of how effective he actually can be in this offense came in the third, when the Bulls started to make a run at the Bucks. Williams was aggressive both with a pull-up jumper and from long range – which Milwaukee has given the 20-year-old the entire series.

His eight third-quarter points helped turn a 22-point deficit into just eight at one point.

And while it would make life easier for the organization if Williams’ latest performance would resonate with him and carry forward, that’s just not his make-up. A characteristic Donovan admitted that the organization knew when they drafted him.

“Obviously the size, the physicality, the athleticism, we all understood there would be a process for him,” Donovan said. “That he wasn’t just going to come onto the scene and take over. That this was going to be a development thing for him. But I don’t think that from the information that I had gotten before the draft even took place that after being with him going on two years, that there is anything at all that’s surprised me. From all the intel and the work, we knew exactly what we were getting.”

Caru-Show cancelled

Alex Caruso left the game in the second quarter after taking an unintentional blow to the face from Jevon Carter, and did not return.

According to Donovan, he was still being tested in the concussion protocol at the conclusion of the loss, but since he was begging to try to get back into the game after the injury, the coach was hoping it wasn’t too serious.

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