Bulls Notes: Williams, Caruso, Inconsistent Output

The play of 21-year-old Bulls starting power forward Patrick Williams has steadily improved month-over-month this season, and the 6’7″ forward out of FSU registered his excitement about that growth, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

As Johnson observes, Williams averaged 7.1 PPG and 2.0 RPG while shooting 35.3% on 2.4 threes per game in October. He is putting up 11.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG thus far in November, while connecting on 50% of his 3.3 long-range looks a night this month.

“I think I’m still figuring it out,” Williams said of his play. “But I’m 100 percent locked in on being the player that I want to be… I always felt I had what it took to be a really good player in this league. But now I’m starting to feel like I have what it takes to be a star and a superstar in this league. I’m kind of trying to take that role on and build on it day-by-day… Kind of trying to take it in my own mind now and show that on the court.”

There’s more out of Chicago:

  • Bulls reserve guard Alex Caruso sprained his right ankle during Chicago’s overtime loss to the Thunder on Friday. He sat out the contact components of a team practice Sunday due to the injury, and is now questionable to play for Chicago against the Jazz on Monday, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “I just know there was a point in regulation where I could tell his foot was bothering him,” head coach Billy Donovan said regarding the timing of the injury. “The last 2 minutes of overtime, it looked like he planted and I could tell he winced pretty severely. He said, ‘You gotta take me out.’ He didn’t feel like he could move well enough.”
  • The 8-11 Bulls have had an up-and-down season thus far. Chicago is continuing to strive for steadier output this season, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley notes that the team’s middling record belies some of its more impressive performances, including a pair of victories over the Celtics and wins over the Bucks, Raptors and Heat. Losing several close games in 2022/23 has cost Chicago. “I think that’s just where we are,” All-Star small forward DeMar DeRozan said. “Kind of went through so many emotions already 20 games into the season. Sometimes you’ve got to soak in that hurt and kind of generate that to being competitors, and that’s where I think we are now.’’ The team is hoping to stack up some wins on the remaining four games of its road trip, but will have to do so against several postseason-contending Western Conference clubs in the Jazz, Suns, Warriors, and Kings.
  • In case you missed it, All-Star Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine was initially upset at being benched late in the fourth quarter last week, during an eventual 108-107 loss to the Magic. LaVine later clarified that he holds no ill will toward Donovan for the benching.
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