The Chicago Bulls played a basketball game on Monday that people were actually excited for. Yes, even though it was a Summer League game, Bulls fans were anxious to watch Patrick Williams along with newcomers Marko Simonović and Ayo Dosunmu. Beyond these young guys, there's renewed excitement surrounding the Bulls with Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan joining the team. Of course, the Bulls are still the Bulls. The Bulls getting blown out by the Pelicans 94-77 is truly poetic.
Right away, the Bulls started running the floor and Williams and Simonović showed out offensively. Regarding Williams, he had the ball in his hands often as he led the offense. The 6-foot-8 forward had some nice passes and showed off a more aggressive offensive game in the first half. As for Simonović, the 6-foot-11 big man looked pretty smooth running the floor and finishing around the rim.
At the end of the first half, Williams already posted a stat line of 14 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. As a result, Bulls fans were feeling great about what the second-year forward is ready to do during the regular season. However, as the second half got underway, things started going poorly for Williams and the Bulls. The Pelicans started applying more defensive pressure and ran away with things.
By the end of the game, it was clear that Williams still has some work to do as a ball handler and offensive initiator. He ended with just 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting, 12 boards, three assists, and five turnovers. As the defense pestered him, Williams seemed flustered, and that led to the plethora of turnovers.
Fighting for a spot on the NBA bench, Devon Dotson looked solid. For the game, Dotson posted 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Additionally, Dotson saw the floor well and played an unselfish game.
Marko Simonović had 13 points and five boards in just 15 minutes. His shot looked ugly from outside, but he played well in the pick-and-roll and in transition. Overall, it seems like Simonović could be ready to play at the end of the NBA rotation, especially if he can start, you know, playing defense.
Of course, the aforementioned Patrick Williams was the key performer for the Bulls. Despite his poor second half, Williams was more aggressive than we saw last season, and he kept pushing to be an initiator even when the Pelicans got him flustered.
The Bulls are back in action on Tuesday against the Spurs' Summer League team. It'll be a great opportunity for this young group to get their first win of the Summer League.