3 players the Bulls need to show up in NBA play-in tournament

Zach LaVine, Injury Report Update, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine, Injury Report Update, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Williams, Jerami Grant, Chicago Bulls
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

2. Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams has seen his role shift after the insertion of Patrick Beverley into the starting lineup. This move displaced the 21-year-old, shifting him to the bench. This decision seems to have a weight lifted off of Williams, as he’s now playing more fluidly on both sides of the floor.

In the 23 games that Williams has played since Beverley came to the Bulls, he is averaging 10.2 PPG on 48.1% shooting from the field and 46.5% from deep. Williams is starting to implement his strengths when it comes to scoring, and it is becoming more apparent as the days go by.

Williams has even shown plays on offense that Bulls fans may have never imagined, including a stepback three in crunch time.


These offensive plays are making the Bulls’ front office look better, as Williams is actually coming into his own on that side of the ball. However, this is not even the most important part of his game. Most of Pat’s value lies on defense, where he is the main stopper against the top forwards in the league. His defense has been excellent this year, particularly in isolation, where he ranks 91st percentile among players that have played at least 60 games this season (0.74 points per possession), and this is all while guarding each team’s best player.

The way that Williams is able to track some of the best scorers in the league like Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram, while also having the range to guard top PGs like Jalen Brunson or big men like Julius Randle shows that he is able to handle any defensive assignment that comes his way. This is incredibly important for the play-in game on Wednesday, as Williams will likely have to guard Pascal Siakam, the top scorer on the Raptors. It is vital that Pat steps up to the challenge and limits the Toronto forward, as this is a main key to success for the team.