Patrick Williams Just Reminded Everyone Who the Bulls Drafted (and Other Bulls Bullets)

Patrick Williams of the Chicago Bulls blocks Ivica Zubac.

I died and came back to life around 18 times during last night’s game.

We may have back-to-back buzzer-beaters to look back on this season, but I’m not even sure those two wins top what we saw last night. Against a rejuvenated Clippers team that stormed back from a 25-point deficit to beat the Utah Jazz earlier this week, the Chicago Bulls broke the heart of the heartbreaker. DeMar DeRozan and Co. erased an 11-point margin with under 5 minutes to go behind arguably the team’s most clutch two-way play all season long. It was a thing of chaotic beauty.

•   While DeRozan stole the show with a combined 27 points in the 4th quarter and overtime, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Patrick Williams all added key buckets down the stretch. In the meantime, Alex Caruso was filling every gap he could. The Bulls’ offense shot 60 percent in the final frame and overtime, including a 50 percent performance from downtown. As for the Clippers, all their surprisingly hot offense could muster was a 39 percent effort from the field.

•   I got to be honest, I was comfortable declaring the night donezo midway through the 3rd quarter. I didn’t particularly mind the way the Bulls were playing, but it felt like every punch the Bulls landed was countered with a knockout blow. Heck, Reggie Jackson – a 32.0 percent 3-point shooter – went on to sink six of his nine attempts from downtown. Marcus Morris also looked like he chugged some of Kawhi Leonard’s Secret Stuff before the game, scoring 20 points and knocking down six of his nine midrange shots. I thought it just wasn’t the Bulls’ night, but then I remembered what all those PBS Kids shows taught me back in the day: You never give up!  

•   All things considered, the Chicago Bulls continue to be one of the best clutch teams in the NBA. They hold the league’s 2nd-highest Net Rating in clutch situations behind only the Phoenix Suns, and they hold the 3rd-most wins, per NBA Stats. Again, a lot of that is because they have the NBA’s leading 4th-quarter bucket-getter in DeMar DeRozan, but it’s also thanks to a promising mindset to play until the final buzzer. And Patrick Williams was a perfect demonstration of that last night.

•   Williams had one of his best games of the season (and maybe of his career). The second-year forward scored 10 points with 12 rebounds in a two-way effort that had a real impact on the Bulls’ success. We talked about how something may have clicked for Williams against the Washington Wizards earlier this week, and I now only believe that more.

“The guys just challenged me. DeMar challenged me. Tristan challenged me. AC. From the top all the way down,” Williams told reporters after the game. “Coach Billy challenged me at halftime to be more aggressive. When I get the ball, because they were trapping DeMar and trapping Zach, just be aggressive, put the ball on the floor, getting downhill, and making the right play from there. So they showed trust in me, so I kind of just had to trust myself in those situations.”

•   Whatever words were said to Williams this week must keep being said. His decision-making on both sides of the ball last night was significantly improved, and we especially saw this on both of his crucial 3-pointers. For a team that already shoots the fewest attempts from downtown each game, they need Williams to be confident enough to let it fly. After all, the opportunities are bound to only increase as the playoffs near and opponents attempt to trap Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan at an increasing rate.

•   Now, the 3-point shooting we saw glimpses of last season, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen him attack the basket in the way he did against Isaiah Hartenstein. The man plowed right through the seven-footer with baffling ease, reminding all of us how physically gifted the Bulls’ 2020 No. 4 pick already is in his second year. Then, his awareness to cut hard to the basket and help the Bulls take advantage of the Clippers’ trap was spot on. Both were additional examples of decisive decision-making that the entire team benefited from.

•   We all know how stout Williams’ defense can be thanks to his rookie campaign, and he recorded two huge blocks and a steal on the Clippers. But what we’ve also been waiting to see is a more active presence on the glass, and he surely checked that box last night. Almost every time the ball was headed off the rim, Williams was somewhere in sight. He kept his eyes locked on the basketball, and it resulted in a couple of crucial late-game boards. His ability to impact this column of the box score is essential for a team that averages the 3rd-fewest rebounds per game, but it’s also a good way to convince head coach Billy Donovan to keep him on the floor.

•   Williams played all but 8 seconds of the 4th quarter and all but 5 seconds of OT. He’s only going to see more of this if he continues to leave this kind of mark on both ends, and it sure sounds like he wants more opportunities:

Those types of games, everybody wants to be in. Everybody wants to make an impact in those types of games. Those are the types of games we work for. Those are the games all your hard work kind of pays off. The blowouts are cool, but the down to the wire gritty games, those are the games that mean the most.

•   Guys like Zach LaVine and Thaddeus Young repeatedly said last season that Williams didn’t understand how abnormally talented and athletic he can be. Young had easily the best quote when he stated: “Some of the sh*t he does, he thinks he’s just doing it, and we’re like ‘this sh*t is amazing!'” I hope that these past couple of games can show the 20-year-old how special his toolbox can be and how much he can offer his team to finish out the season.

•   DeMar DeRozan has wasted no time etching his name in the Bulls history books. What a freakin’ stud muffin.

•   The vibes around this team are trending back in the right direction.

•   “So you’re telling me there is a chance?” – Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber – Me

•   Ok, if Giannis is hitting this shot, we might have to call the season. Dear lord.

•   Zach-DeMar bromance >>>> Fields-Mooney bromance

•   Cool. Cool. Cool.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

Chicago Sky’s Kamilla Cardoso Might Make Her Debut At the Perfect Time

The Chicago Sky are about to get their top draft pick back. Kamilla Cardoso – who was selected No. 3 overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft – has yet to make her professional debut due to a shoulder injury. The...

Can the Chicago Bulls Find Their Future Center in the 2024 NBA Draft?

The big man is coming back in style, and the Chicago Bulls better keep that in mind this summer. Whether it be Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokonmpo, Victor Wembanyama, or Minnesota's towering frontcourt, size is becoming a priority for...

Angel Reese is Now the Co-Owner of a Professional Sports Team

It's been quite a couple of months for Angel Reese! On April 15th, the LSU national champion was drafted 7th overall by the Chicago Sky in the WNBA Draft. On May 7th, she became the first WNBA rookie to attend...

Alex Caruso Earns All-Defensive Second Team Honors (But Totally Deserved First Team)

Alex Caruso has made his second-straight All-Defensive Team. But the case can be made that he was still snubbed. The Chicago Bulls' defensive guard earned a Second Team honor one year after cracking the First Team. Due to the league's...

ECF Drought, FAs I’m Scared the Bulls Would Sign, What’s DeRozan’s Market? And Other Bulls Bullets

The Eastern Conference Finals will begin tonight, officially marking a 13-year drought for the Chicago Bulls. Of course, the last time they made it that far came in 2010-11 when they lost in five games to the juggernaut Miami Heat....

Caitlin Clark Joins Michael Jordan with Latest Off-Court Milestone

Caitlin Clark and Michael Jordan. That's it. That's the list. On Tuesday, it was announced that Clark has signed a multi-year deal with Wilson that will net the guard her own signature basketball collection, per Boardroom. In addition to her...

The Chicago Bulls’ Assistant Coaching Changes Better Be Just the Beginning …

The Chicago Bulls know that asking Adrian Wojnarowski to tweet out a couple of assistant coaching hires isn't enough, right? Perhaps I've already reached that point in the offseason where I’m overthinking things, but this organization also doesn't deserve the...

Final NBA Awards, Thibs’ Winning Culture, Newest Coaching Hire, and Other Bulls Bullets

Think about the Chicago Bulls' missing the playoffs this way – at least we didn't have to see them lose a Game 7 in crushing fashion at home! The final round of NBA end-of-season honors is coming our way this...

NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Schedule, Odds, Stats, X-Factors, More

We're down to the final four in the NBA Playoffs and a pair of conference finals series that should be a lot of fun. In the East, the Pacers knocked off the Knicks in Game 7 to advance to the...

KAT & Anthony Edwards Had One of the Funniest Press Conference Moments I’ve Seen

I don't feel bad loving everything about this Minnesota Timberwolves. A Western Conference squad with one of the worst playoff resumes of this century, they have never felt like a team that stands in the way of the Chicago Bulls....

Latest News

The Charles Schwab Challenge Betting Odds, Streaming Live, TV Channel – Round 1

Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, TX is the site of the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge from May 23-26 ($9.1M purse), with Scottie Scheffler the favorite (+280) and Emiliano Grillo the most recent winner.Xander Schauffele shot -21 at Valhalla Golf...

PCA Optioned to Triple-A, PCA Immediately Hits a Bomb

The Chicago Cubs made a handful of roster moves on Monday, which surprisingly included optioning Pete Crow-Armstrong back to Triple-A. The standout prospect was sent down alongside Miles Mastrobuoni to make room for Dansby Swanson and fellow intriguing prospect Luis Vazquez....

Braves vs. Cubs: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Wednesday at 7:40 PM ET, Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves (27-17) play Christopher Morel and the Chicago Cubs (26-22) at Wrigley Field.The article below will provide you with everything you need to watch Atlanta take on Chicago.When is...

Padres vs. Reds: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Wednesday at 6:40 PM ET, Jurickson Profar and the San Diego Padres (25-25) face Elly De La Cruz and the Cincinnati Reds (19-28) at Great American Ball Park.The article below will give you everything you need to know to...

How to Watch Pirates vs. Giants: Live Stream or on TV

The Pittsburgh Pirates (22-26), led by Bryan Reynolds, host Thairo Estrada and the San Francisco Giants (23-25) on Wednesday at 6:40 PM ET.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for the Pittsburgh-San Francisco...

How to Watch Brewers vs. Marlins: Live Stream or on TV

Freddy Peralta will take the ball for the Milwaukee Brewers (27-20) when they visit starter Jesus Luzardo and the Miami Marlins (16-33) on Wednesday, with first pitch at 6:40 PM ET and the Marlins going for a series sweep.If you're...

How to Watch Blue Jays vs. White Sox: Live Stream or on TV

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (21-25) host Gavin Sheets and the Chicago White Sox (14-34) on Wednesday, with first pitch at 7:07 PM ET.Keep reading to see how to watch the Toronto-Chicago matchup in the article below.When...

Yankees vs. Mariners: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Wednesday, Nestor Cortes Jr. will take the mound for the New York Yankees (33-16) versus Bryce Miller and the Seattle Mariners (26-22), with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM ET at Yankee Stadium.Keep reading to find out how to...

Vic Fangio Got Sniped By One of His Ex-Players

Vic Fangio is one of the most revered assistant coaches in football. Chicago Bears fans hold Fangio in high regards because of his time with the team from 2015-18. Fangio was the Bears' defensive coordinator under two different head coaches...

How to Watch Twins vs. Nationals: Live Stream or on TV

The Minnesota Twins (24-23), led by Ryan Jeffers, visit C.J. Abrams and the Washington Nationals (21-25) on Wednesday at 1:05 PM ET.If you're trying to watch this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for the Minnesota-Washington matchup.When is...

more bulls news