One concerning stat for each Chicago Bulls starter vs Milwaukee Bucks

Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton. Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams, Zach LaVine
Jan 1, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Patrick Williams will likely get the Giannis Antetokounmpo assignment and it hasn’t gone well for him

There have been rumblings or suggestions that Billy Donovan will start Tristan Thompson in place of Patrick Williams to add some size to the Bulls’ frontcourt against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, but I see them starting Williams at least to begin the series.

Williams missed 65 games this season due to injury but made it back for the Bulls’ stretch run to help provide some extra defensive toughness and versatility. At 6’7″ and 215 pounds, that immediately jumps off the page as being around the size of Khris Middleton. You wouldn’t typically expect Middleton to defend Antetokounmpo if they were on different teams.

That doesn’t give enough credit to how strong and mobile Williams is, though. He was drafted with the fourth overall pick in 2020 due in large part to how he defends now but also what he projects to be going forward.

Williams has matched up against Antetokounmpo three times in his career. Once last season and twice this year. Things haven’t gone great for the 20-year-old.

Antetokounmpo has shot 10-of-19 overall but has gone 9-of-14 on 2s, picked up three shooting fouls against Williams, and dished out 13 assists. Williams did force three turnovers in the two games this season, but the positives certainly outweigh the negatives for Antetokounmpo.

He’s certainly better than the alternative though as Antetokounmpo has dominated Thompson, shooting 10-of-14 on 2s, and has drawn seven shooting fouls in under eight minutes of matchup time.

Williams has a ton of potential, but right now, he’s not going to offer a ton of resistance against Antetokounmpo. If you’re a Bulls fan (or a general basketball appreciator), Williams will have a couple of nice moments and that will be encouraging after what looked like it could be a lost season for a promising young player.