Williams good to go despite hurting shoulder

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) is defended by Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams, left, and Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Detroit.

    Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9) is defended by Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams, left, and Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Detroit.

 
 
Updated 10/22/2021 7:43 PM

Patrick Williams injured his left shoulder during Wednesday's win in Detroit but was healthy enough to start Friday's home opener.

"The play was a loose ball. I dove on it and somebody (Pistons guard Killian Hayes) fell on my shoulder," Williams said at Friday's shootaround. "It was kind of hurt for a little bit. But I think that was third quarter and I ended up finishing the game. It was a little sore when I came in yesterday. But I'm young. I'm giving my body time to recover, which is when I sleep or rest. So I feel good."

 

The play happened about 90 seconds into the third quarter. Hayes missed a shot, Williams tried to secure the defensive rebound, but it was knocked away. As Williams dove for the ball in the lane, Hayes landed on the left shoulder. It wasn't as bad as Baker Mayfield last week, but the potential for injury was pretty clear.

"They tried to show (the video) to me," Williams said. "But from what I've heard, I got lucky, honestly. I got blessed. It could've been so much worse from what they're saying. The fact that I just have a little soreness and a bruise, that's good for the situation I was in."

Williams scored 2 early baskets in the season opener, but he finished with just 6 points and 1 rebound in 28 minutes. The second-year forward missed most of training camp after suffering a sprained left ankle during a workout Sept. 15.

"He had a really good summer, but I think missing the opportunity to play with those guys and figuring out where his niche is and where he can play to impact the team," Donovan said. "I would agree there's more to him than just being a floor runner and an offensive rebounder, and we've got to find ways to get him in some of those situations where he's a little more active playing to his strengths."

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For his part, Williams didn't complain about his role or having to fit in with more accomplished scorers.

"The first practice, the first meeting that we had as a team last year, the front office was there, coach Donovan said, 'We're not here to take it slow. We're here to win,' " Williams said. "And I wouldn't want it any other way."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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