Some thought Arturas Karnisovas reached when he selected Patrick Williams with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and while there is still a lot of basketball to be played, Williams is proving those folks wrong thus far.
Despite zero summer league play and only a little over one month of offseason preparation, the youngest NCAA prospect in the 2020 draft has looked like one of the most comfortable rookies on the court. The guy is averaging 9.6 points (44.6 FG%, 38.5 sPT%) and 3.3 rebounds over his first seven games of NBA action. And while I know that stat-line may not look the sexiest, it has been backed up with the eye-test time and again, specifically on the defensive end.
The 19-year-old has flashed the defensive versatility his front office and head coach raved about after the draft. He may still need to work on getting around screens and limiting his fouls, but to step onto the court this raw and look this reliable is pretty damn impressive. I mean, the guy switched onto Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal with ease, and he has sneakily blocked several guys already this season.
So, yeah, that’s really the point of this post. PAT WILL BLOCK PARTY!
• Don’t bring that weak sauce, Willie.
• HE’S ALWAYS LURKING!
Nice block from Patrick Williams. Help side defense already on display pic.twitter.com/HM8PlSWDeW
— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) December 24, 2020
• You know better than to let Pat Will sneak up behind you.
Patrick Williams block pic.twitter.com/fCBYcQm6M0
— Gustavo (@iamvega1982) December 28, 2020
• Preseason but still YESSSSS …
• This man will even block shots that don’t count.
Can Patrick Williams stop Davante Adams? pic.twitter.com/G0eefDG7PN
— Scott Koral (@sdkoral) December 30, 2020
• Not a block but same “embarrassing the opponent” energy …
This blocking ability, specifically, is worth a big tip of the hat. Through his first seven games, Williams ranks second among rookies in blocks with 8, behind only James Wiseman (*ahem* the 7-footer) who has 10. Expand the pool to the entire league, and Williams is still tied for 16th in block with names like Deandre Ayton, Daniel Theis, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay, and Serge Ibaka. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Again, as I should write in every post, we are only seven games into the season. We shouldn’t read too much into these specific numbers, but we can be encouraged by the fact that something this organization thought could translate to the floor immediately actually has. We can also just rewatch and enjoy all of the blocks because we’re fans that like to get way too hyped, gosh damn it!