Bulls Notes: Williams, Terry, Carter, Phillips, LaVine

The right ankle pain that has been affecting Bulls forward Patrick Williams might linger for the rest of the season, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Soreness in the ankle has forced Williams to sit out a couple of recent games, and there’s no indication that it’s getting better. Williams talked to Cowley about his condition after playing nearly 27 minutes in tonight’s win over Memphis.

‘‘To be honest, I haven’t had many good days,’’ Williams said. ‘‘It’s just more of, ‘Can I play through it? Is this a feeling that I can play through or not? Can I cut? Can I jump?’ That’s pretty much the feel I’m trying to get, whether it’s pregame, practice or whatever the case may be. ‘Can I cut? Can I move?’ Hopefully the answer is always yes, but there’s times where [it’s], ‘Ah, I can’t really move and cut and jump the way I’m used to.’’’

Williams is getting used to managing an injury again after playing in all 82 games last season. Cowley observes that Williams sometimes doesn’t have his usual explosiveness, which is the result of limitations from the ankle. Cowley adds that next month’s All-Star break should provide some relief, but the ankle pain could be something Williams will have to deal with as long as the Bulls’ season lasts.

There’s more from Chicago:

  • With Zach LaVine sidelined for another week or two with an ankle sprain, Dalen Terry and Jevon Carter both saw an increased role in Saturday’s game, Cowley adds. Terry recently surpassed Carter in the rotation, but it appears coach Billy Donovan will be leaning on both of them until LaVine returns. ‘‘During the course of an NBA season, you’re going to have guys out,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘It gives an opportunity for someone that hadn’t had those number of minutes. The injuries are just a part of it. I think our guys should have confidence. Not every guy is going to be in the rotation when we’re whole. I’m pleased with the way the group has responded with injuries. I think we’ve responded well. It’s not to say we’ve always won, but I think the guys that have gotten the opportunity have kept themselves ready when it was time to play.’’ Rookie forward Julian Phillips was recalled from the G League and could join the rotation if Donovan wants to expand it to 10 players, Cowley notes.
  • Imaging on LaVine’s right ankle revealed swelling, but he will accompany the team on a three-game Western trip next week, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Tonight’s win improved the Bulls to 11-7 without LaVine in the lineup as they’re learning to adjust without one of their main offensive weapons, Cowley states in a separate story. “I think naturally it’s a next-guy-up mentality with this team,” Williams said. “We’ve shown that really over the years, but especially this year. We’ve done a good job of knowing what works, and I think that’s the sign of a good team.”
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