The Bulls wrappped up their preseason 3-1 in a 127-104 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. With DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine both out resting, Patrick Williams broke out for 22 points, five rebounds and five assists and the Bulls have tapped into the pace and randomness with which they wish to play, particularly in transition.
Williams finally got loose, largely as a result of his not three, not four, but five dunks. He had two in transition and the rest off of easy cuts to the basket and going up with the mentality of finishing above the rim.
“He’s gotten a lot of different things into the game,” Billy Donovan said. “I think sometimes, with the aggressiveness part, it wasn’t always about him putting the ball on the floor or shooting jump shots or driving. He had some of those things. But it was screens and rolls to the basket. It was quick post ups, we found him. It was getting to the offensive glass. He got out in transition.”
Regardless of who he is playing with, Williams should have this same mentality every time he is on the court. Obviously. But this fun and gun style of play seems most conducive to his success and development. At the very least, he’s out of his head playing this way.
“I try not to really think too much,” Williams said. “I think when I think a lot out there is kind of when I don’t play too well. I kind of overthink the little things of the game that just come natural to us. So just kind of going out there and playing off instinct.”
Transition baskets come from good defense, but the Bulls aren’t even turning opponents over *that* much. Milwaukee only turned the ball over 13 times, but the Bulls were still able to punish them running off makes and misses.
The Bulls were out in transition on 26.2 percent (98th percentile) of their possessions and on 46.3 percent (94th percentile) of live rebounds. Those numbers are outrageous.
Last year, they were in transition on 13.7 percent of plays and only 25.7 percent of live ball rebounds. They’re almost doubling up in both categories which is letting them thrive.
All of this juices up their scoring efficiency and allowed them to get away with their low-volume shooting approach.
This explosive fastbreak game is a great sign for the Bulls who are desperate for easy offense. But it remains to be seen whether the Bulls can pull this off against real NBA teams (all due respect to the Wisconsin Herd). And the even bigger question is whether they will be able to blend this type of attack into a game when DeRozan and LaVine are playing.
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