Patrick Williams notches double-double, Bulls fall to Timberwolves in Summer League

Patrick Williams can shoot and he can score; he can handle the ball, if not always efficiently but with flair. He's shown that averaging 21 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Summer League Bulls, who Thursday lost 78-59 to the Minnesota Timberwolves team.

And Williams probably had shown enough.

With Williams wearing an ice pack on his right knee after an early fall in the game—though he declared himself fully healthy—there seems a good possibility the Bulls receptive youngster has passed his summer school and that it's time for a break.

"I'm actually not sure (about playing the last two games starting Sunday)," Williams responded to a question post game. "I have to talk to the front office and coaching staff. I'm not sure now. Trying to help us win these last two games. Just trying to help these guys win whether I am on the court or off the court.

"I definitely I think I achieved a lot getting the reps," Williams said. "I think I still have a long way to go; sure turnovers these last games. The ball is in my hands more. I have to be (careful) with what I do with it. Playing this role, so I know what I need to get better at. There is always learning to do. I'm not sure if I'm playing with them or if I'm on the bench cheering them on, but I'm still with the guys and want to see us win."

Patrick Williams finished with 18 points and ten rebounds against Minnesota in Summer League action.

One could say the Bulls shot themselves in the foot with their play Thursday, but it's more likely they missed their feet if they were trying.

It was a crooked attempt as the Bulls shot 18 of 72 overall and 15.6 percent on threes. Williams led with 18 points and shot a team best 40 percent. It didn't help that primary playmaker Devon Dotson went out in the first half with a sprained ankle. There was no update on his condition. The Bulls are 1-2.

But after an awkward start and Dotson's departure, this game became material for a remake on the old crime comedy spoof movie, the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Marko Simonovic was the only other Bull to score in double figures with 10 points, though he shot one of eight. Simonovic did bang his way inside for eight free throws. Ayo Dosunmu had two points on one of seven shooting. Dotson played 11 minutes with four points.

"When you take out a guy who's been running the one for us this whole time it's disruptive," said Summer League coach Damian Cotter. "The lesson for the young fellas is you are going to have to deal with adversity and you saw what happened. We just didn't have as much cohesion, guys lost confidence and started forcing shots. Young fellas have to be more resilient than that; didn't respond well to that adversity."

Though while Summer League generally is an opportunity for rookies and free agents to find a place in the NBA or the basketball universe, this week for the Bulls has been Training Day for Williams, the precocious 19-year-old forward who figures to start at power forward in the Bulls new veteran remix.

Rookie Williams last season looked like an adult but often played like, well, a rookie, hesitant to shoot and drive to the basket despite size advantages. So the Bulls this summer were determined to force fed him the ball and the mentality. He's responded.

Williams looked at times like a pumped up version of Scottie Pippen, taking the ball off the backboard and racing full court. While the pace often was impressive, the consequence wasn't always as Williams averaged almost five turnovers per game, almost double his assists average.

"I for sure have to go back and watch the film," the 6-8 Williams said. "For sure turnovers, had five and six (Thursday). Make good passes and be aware (of pressure). Also getting other guys involved; definitely want to see the assists go up. It's all just go back and watch the film and go back and talk to the coaches."

Though Williams isn't going to be called upon much to be the playmaker with the additions of Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. But it's good to be prepared.

Williams will be asked more to play in the post with as many mismatches as he'll get the way teams play switching defenses. He did more of that in Tuesday's win, but without Dotson the Bulls had more difficulty finding Williams.

"Excited to add that to my arsenal," Williams said. "That can be a spot for me going forward; I feel comfortable there. And learning more from the guys we have playing that spot."

But overall it's been a success for Williams, who shot the ball smoothly from three at 44 percent in the three games averaging almost 20/10. He also averaged five free throws per game and shot 80 percent from the line.

If this is to be his farewell to the UNLV basketball courts, Williams leaves ahead and the Bulls gamble has paid off.

"For sure (my offense is better)," Williams said. "Everyone feels confident when you get more reps; it builds confidence and trust in yourself. I have done so much with the coaching staff this summer; it's been super productive for me. Coming out here I have no choice but to be aggressive and confident with so many reps.

"(I'll be) more assertive," Williams said. "I don't think assertive means scoring more. I think it means taking opportunities and being able to play off guys and play with the ball in my hands. Also, I'll do a lot of what I did defensively and a little bit more. Of course, having a year under my belt, being able to handle the ball and play all over the floor, more assertive and more aggressive. This has been a great experience for me getting those reps. No matter how much work you do, nothing matches game reps. It's a good prerequisite to training camp and the regular season."

Can't wait.