Bulls' Williams may focus on academics while rehabbing wrist

Patrick Williams will have plenty of free time on his hands while he recovers from left wrist surgery. Bulls coach Billy Donovan suggested the second-year forward might keep himself busy with some online classes through Florida State.

"I know he's talked a little bit about trying to enroll in some classes at Florida State and doing some different things academically," Donovan said before Monday's game. "I think that will be important for him as he works toward his degree, that's something he's interested in doing. With the semester ending in college, I think there's some hope he can maybe enroll in some classes. I think things like that are important."

Williams has been out since hitting the floor hard after a flagrant foul against the Knicks on Oct. 28. He is likely to miss the season, though the team has said there's a chance he could return if the Bulls reach the playoffs.

According to his Florida State profile, Williams, 20, was a sports management major during his one year at the school.

"I think Patrick's doing well. He's around, he's around the team," Donovan said. "I think the biggest thing for him is going to end up being, once he leaves the facility, picking up other things to do for himself and being productive. But when he's been around our team, I think he's been in good spirits."

Ball game, Part 3:

Lonzo Ball has played against his younger brother LaMelo twice before in the NBA, early and late last season.

Roughly two weeks into his NBA career, LaMelo posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists off the bench as Charlotte won at New Orleans 118-110 on Jan. 8. Lonzo had 5 points, 3 assists and hit just 1 of 7 3-pointers for the Pelicans.

In the rematch on May 9, LaMelo scored 22 points on his way to clinching Rookie of the Year. Lonzo scored 12 points and the visiting Pelicans won 112-110.

They were teammates for one year at Chino Hills (Calif.) High School, when Lonzo was a senior, LaMelo a freshman and brother LiAngelo a junior.

"A lot of fun. A lot of backyard battles," Lonzo said at the Bulls morning shootaround. "Most of the time, we (were) on the same team. We played together for a long time, both of my brothers."

Vuc finding form:

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic has played reasonably well since returning from a seven-game COVID absence, but he's still working to build chemistry with new teammates.

"I think we all have got to help him a little bit more find his rhythm," coach Billy Donovan said. "We've got to make it easier for him, especially in pick-and-roll situations where I think guys are cognizant of getting the ball to him, but I think sometimes we've got to manipulate things a little bit better to allow him to get his feet set.

"He's a very prideful guy. I think he takes it hard with the way maybe he's shot the ball (26.3% from 3). I think he's finding his way. I think the hard part for him is being out, missing seven games and trying to find his way back."

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