It starts with Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams being more aggressive. So says his head coach Billy Donovan, who says Williams needs to “take another step” as a player next season.
Williams has said the same of himself, adding that being consistent is key for him.
“I definitely think I’ll make a leap this season,” said Williams.
For that to happen, both Donovan and Williams must work together to ensure the latter is able to make the kind of impact that’s expected of him now after two years of the Blitzes. Those streaks include a 35-point breakout late in the regular season and a 20-point double-double with 10 rebounds in the playoffs.
The Bulls’ offense is changing
One of the hopes of many outsiders is that Williams will get more opportunities on the ball. Those are the moments he’s felt most comfortable in, including that 35-point blast that left many of his teammates resting for the postseason or simply injured.
With everyone healthy, Williams has struggled to hold his own under a trio of top scorers in DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.
That should be less of an issue this season if they stick with their current activity.
“So far, in the workouts, the offense has kind of changed to being positionless,” Williams said of the team’s off-the-ball scheme in their plans. “So I think I’ll be in different areas and different opportunities to make a game… There are different distances to make games this year. So I definitely think with my skills, my size, my ability to be able to play in any area or whatever aspect, I think the offense this year is a lot more open and creative in that way.
Williams’ time with DeRozan is one thing. And the support from his teammates is another. But the bulls need it to be realized
Williams feels no pressure
“I wouldn’t say I feel any pressure. It’s exciting for me to have people in your corner. Having people behind you who want to see that you are okay. It’s exciting for me. It’s definitely a challenge. It would be a challenge for anyone. But in order for me to be the player I want to be and for us to be the team we know we can be, I think I will contribute to that. Just like everyone else on the team. But I’m looking forward to it.”
That was William’s opening response to a question about the increased expectations placed on him in this critical third season.
Williams noted that he doesn’t think this year is any different than any other.
“I see every year as a make-or-break year. I saw my rookie year like this. My second year like this. This year it’s like that… At the end of the day, it’s basketball. There is no need to put extra pressure on yourself or get upset and do something like this. Just go out and play basketball.”
Williams said there are always things players want to work on and that development is part of every summer and he was no different.
“I’ve been working on my game this summer and I’m ready to show what I’ve been working on.”
Appreciation for DeRozan
Williams spent the early part of his summer in Los Angeles with DeRozan. He spoke enthusiastically of the experience upon his return. Williams reiterated how mentally draining the entire process — including the workouts that start at 5 a.m. sharp — was and how important it was to DeRozan’s success.
He also spoke of how grateful he is that DeRozan took the time to share the knowledge he’s accumulated over his 13-year career.
“I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me this off-season. The only thanks he wanted from me is that he later does the same for another player when I’m in his position. Well, I can’t say enough about this guy.”
DeRozan also helped influence the league’s special attention to mental health.
Williams did not go into too much detail in describing the entire workout. But he reiterated that he has come to appreciate the veteran’s approach more and will try to apply it in his own way.
https://heavy.com/sports/chicago-bulls/demar-derozan-major-change-patrick-williams/ Bulls News: Patrick Williams listens to offensive changes