Fresh off defeating the Detroit Pistons 119-108, the Chicago Bulls travelled to Milwaukee to hopefully put concerns over this roster to rest by beating the Bucks on the second leg of Chicago’s back-to-back. Unfortunately, luck would not be on the Bulls side this team, as they’d lose 109-118 as Giannis Antetokounmpo made things look easy to the tune of 35 points and 11 rebounds. Despite the loss, there was an important silver lining worth taking home to Chicago, as Patrick Williams rose to the occasion and did everything he could to help keep last night’s game close.
Although he continued to serve a reserve role off the bench, Williams cobbled together the best performance of his season to date. He contributed 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, as well as 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists. On top of all that, he didn’t commit a single turnover. It was truly a perfectly well-rounded performance that would have given Chicago a real chance to win against a lesser team.
Williams may be far from the offensive juggernaut we fans had hoped he’d develop into by now, but the defensive load he and teammate Alex Caruso have been tasked to carry might just be single-handedly keeping this team afloat.
Patrick Williams looked the best he has all season in the Bulls’ loss to the Bucks last night.
Unfortunately for Bulls beat reporter and The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry, this great showing from Williams couldn’t have come at a more unfortunate time. That’s because he took to X (formerly Twitter) to share an article he penned ahead of yesterday’s game, heavily advocating for the Bulls to move on from the fourth-year forward.
I understand the sentiment behind Mayberry’s opinion given Williams’ disappointing previous performances, but the Bulls may have their hands tied here. For a team already starved for young talent, throwing the towel in so early on Chicago’s top prized prospect is an admission of failure that I doubt the front office will be willing to make.
This is the version of Pat the Bulls will need if they want to consistently win games, so if he can manage that, I’m sure he’ll secure the big payday he’s reportedly looking for. Even if he doesn’t consistently reach those heights, it will only serve to bring his price tag down in the offseason, thus making it even harder to let him walk.
Ultimately, this season will be an 82-game test that decides whether Williams’ future involves being a quality role player, or a genuine starting-caliber player with star potential. Either way, that future should probably be spent with the Bulls. Williams’ next chance to impress will come in a pair of games against the Orlando Magic at home on Wednesday and Friday.