Friday, March 24 2023

How Williams can build off season-best performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Patrick Williams finished with a season-high 12 points and seven rebounds in the Chicago Bulls’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night.

To which head coach Billy Donovan basically said: Do it again.

“With a guy being in his third year, it has to come from within. There was no dialogue by me about, ‘Hey, be aggressive.’ There was none of that. He was physical on defense. He got to the glass. He had some drives. He had some tough pull-ups. You felt him on both ends of the floor,” Donovan said. “Regardless of whether he scored or not, he deflected a couple passes. He got into some passing lanes.

“He has to make a decision that this is the kind of player that I want to be, that I know I can be. It’s not like we’re putting him in a box and saying, ‘Hey, your job is to play defense and pass the ball to people.’ He has to take advantage of his opportunities. And I thought (Tuesday) it came from within.”

Indeed, Williams played with noticeable aggressiveness and decisiveness. He drove the ball with force. He defended Kevin Durant with physicality, even if Durant, one of the world’s best scorers, still got his points.

In all, Tuesday marked yet another step in Williams’ progression from a slow start to the season. Beyond the points, he played with purpose.

And the film will provide concrete evidence of what happens when Williams chooses to do this.

“With Patrick, and I’ve said this before, he’s such a good person and good team guy that he thinks less about himself and more about how he can help the team. Sometimes he can get lost in that and he doesn’t even realize that he’s not bringing as much force as he’s thinking about the team,” Donovan said. “I think you have to talk to him and show him, ‘This is how you can get into the game. There’s no play-call here. This was a rebound. This was you running in transition. This is you getting over screens and being in the right place defensively. This is you using your hands.’ He needs to keep building.”

Wednesday night’s home game against the Charlotte Hornets offers another opportunity.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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