Bulls forward Patrick Williams needs to carry over aggressive attitude
Williams was a high-volume shooter in three Summer League games, and while the Bulls will have plenty of scoring once the regular season begins, “Passive Pat” is hopefully a name of the past.
Zach LaVine rarely has needed convincing to take a shot.
The same can be said for “Green Light’’ Coby White.
That’s just how the two Bulls guards are wired.
Then there’s the player who needs a nudge to be aggressive with the ball. Or, in the case of forward Patrick Williams, a forceful shove.
That’s the main takeaway from the just-completed NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Williams seemingly started to understand that his aggressiveness on offense might be the difference between the Bulls hosting a low-seeded team in the first round of the playoffs or being that low-seeded team.
Williams was a high-volume shooter in three summer games, and while the Bulls will have plenty of scoring once the regular season begins, “Passive Pat” is hopefully a name of the past.
“I think that just speaks to this team and how much they trust me,’’ Williams said of his expanding role. “They’re constantly telling me to shoot more still. I feel like it’s not in my personality to be super aggressive and to just do this. But that’s why I’m out here, to kind of help mold that into my game, forever.’’
His time in Vegas was a great start.
In the Bulls’ first three games, before he called it a week and got out healthy, Williams averaged 21 points and 9.7 rebounds. Though he shot a head-scratching 38% from the field, it was more important that he put up 58 shots.
As a rookie last season, Williams shot 48.3%. So call it a byproduct of him over-correcting his shooting volume. There were going to be some growing pains going from 7.4 shots per game in 71 regular-season games to 19.3 in three summer games, especially for a player who won’t turn 20 until Aug. 26.
What mattered was he worked on taking shots from spots on the floor where he eventually can exploit defenses with his skills, specifically in the post.
“That was a big thing I worked on this summer,’’ Williams said. “Just my size, my strength, my athleticism, being able to get to my spot and also having a spot. A lot of guys that I modeled my game after and I watch a lot, they get to that spot and they’re able to play through that spot and make plays in that spot, whether its scoring, passing, whatever. So just adding that to my game.’’
That’s great to hear from Williams, but it won’t mean anything if it’s talk with no action once camp starts in late September.
This isn’t the first time the first-round pick out of Florida State has talked about being more aggressive on offense. The problem has been doing it, and not just for a game or two after Billy Donovan sat down with him in the film room or a vet got on him about it.
There’s no reason for Williams to be inconsistent after playing with Team USA on the Select Team and then playing a shortened Summer League season. He’s built to be a 20-and-10 player, but he’s stuck at 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.
“I try not to listen too much to what other people say besides guys on my team and coaching staff, but for sure going back and watching film from last season, just picking my spots,’’ Williams said of a newfound aggressiveness. “Of course, the regular season is not going to be like [Summer League], where the ball is in my hands all the time. We’ve got great guys on the team. So just being able to pick your spots.’’
And hopefully picking more.