Williams a full-go for Bulls opener, but still getting settled

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Bulls forward Patrick Williams, left, watches as Pistons forward Jerami Grant drives alongside Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during Wednesday's first half in Detroit.

    Bulls forward Patrick Williams, left, watches as Pistons forward Jerami Grant drives alongside Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during Wednesday's first half in Detroit. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/20/2021 7:24 PM

DETROIT -- Patrick Williams was sidelined for about a month with a sprained left ankle, but Bulls coach Billy Donovan said the medical staff put no restrictions on the second-year forward for Wednesday's season opener.

"I think we probably feel pretty good about where he is physically right now," Donovan said. "There's nothing saying, 'We can only play him this many minutes.' But just based on what he's missed, I still think he's gathering, getting back to the condition he was in."

 

Williams was in the starting lineup, along with Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. The first substitution at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter saw Alex Caruso, Troy Brown Jr. and Javonte Green going in for Williams, Ball and DeRozan. Alize Johnson checked in a short time later for Vucevic.

Williams recorded a couple of early dunks -- one off a cut and pass from Vucevic, one on a fast-break lob from Ball.

Donovan talked about how it might take some time for Williams to find his way with the new group.

"DeMar's been a primary scorer for the majority of his career, so has Zach, so has Vuc," Donovan said. "Lonzo's been a point guard where the ball's been in his hands. So he has to figure out how he's going to play off those guys. I do think athletically, for him, there's way's he can impact the game -- getting out in transition, getting to the offensive glass."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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