Patrick Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo Both Wear Pants

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Patrick Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo Both Wear Pants

Chicago Bulls

From adjusting to an entirely new roster of teammates to missing 65 regular-season games due to a wrist injury, Patrick Williams has been dealt a tough hand in his second season of NBA action. And his first taste of the playoff basketball has been no exception.

Williams had just 12 regular-season games to get back into a groove before facing arguably the East’s toughest first-round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks. Even more challenging, he would be the one tagged with guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The 20-year-old forward spent more minutes than any of his teammates matched up with the reigning MVP in Game 1, according to the NBA’s matchup data. Chances are we’re bound to see that happen again in Game 2, and Williams couldn’t sound more prepared.

“Same as you get ready for anybody else,” Williams told Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago on Wednesday. “First of all, don’t be scared. I feel like a lot of people in this league are scared of or nervous to guard guys like that … He puts his pants on the same way I do. He’s good, but he’s not God.”

First things first, good to know both Williams and Antetokounmpo wear pants. 

Second things second, I’d like to hire someone to ensure that Antetokounmpo does not see that quote. The last thing we need is for the Greek Freak to have bulletin board material.


Standing at 6’8″ with a muscular lower body and a set of defensive instincts that initially vaulted him up the draft board, Williams carries a set of tools worthy of taking on this challenge. And he clearly knows it.

Indeed, this is the exact kind of off-court demeanor we want a player of Williams’ potential to carry. The more nervous he is to go up against the two-time MVP and fail, the less he’s learning and the less productive he is bound to be. Now, the only question is whether or not this off-court mindset can start to have an on-court influence.

I don’t expect anyone to stop Antetokounmpo, especially a 20-year-old who missed more than half the season. But there is no question we could still see Williams have an increasing impact on this current series. Not only can he use his help instincts and wide frame to further wreak havoc on the defensive end, but there is real room for him to attack his spots on offense. Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic will draw the bulk of the Bucks’ effort, and we saw the kind of inefficient night that could lead to in Game 1. Williams can make life that much easier on everyone if he can draw his own bucket-getting attention. We talked more about that here, for what it’s worth.

At the end of the day, a comment like this just feels like another step in Williams’ exciting development. The more confident he is in his own abilities, the more comfortable he should be expressing that on the court. So let’s hope we see him send a similar message tonight when Game 2 tips off at 8:30 p.m. CT.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.