LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers came out on top of a hard-fought game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. The final score was 117-115 Lake Show.
James led the Anthony-Davis-less Lakers with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, and the Bulls were paced by a 38-point performance from Zach LaVine who missed a fallaway jump shot with 10 seconds left that would have given the Bulls the lead. As good as both teams’ best players were on Friday, a lot of the talk was centered around the Bulls’ 19-year-old rookie Patrick Williams.
The No. 4 pick overall drew the tough assignment of guarding James most of the night. While James obviously proved he was the master, Williams hung tough and earned an all-time great’s respect with his effort, frame, and performance.
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James: “Chicago Has a Good One”
James got the better of Williams on almost every possession that the rookie was matched up against him.
However, Williams made him work for the buckets. James had his fade-away jump shot working like a well-oiled machine, and later in the game, he simply bullied his way to the basket for a series of clutch finishes.
Still, once the game was over, he had this to say about the Bulls’ young core player.
“I think he’s going to be an exceptional talent. Long arms. He has Kawhi-type hands that I noticed out on the floor, so I knew I couldn’t play with the ball much. You could tell he’s laser-sharp on just trying to get better. He didn’t say much at all. I don’t say much at all on the court when I’m competing vs. individuals unless things are said to me. He just stayed sharp on the gameplan. I think he’s going to continue to get better and better. He has a great in-between game, but you notice his hands, Kawhi-type hands. That’s going to benefit him a lot throughout the course of this season and his career. Chicago has a good one. He just has to continue to get better and improve, and see what happens.”
You can hear the entire answer and question in the video below. It’s the final question from James’ post-game session.
Williams: “I Got Better Tonight”
As James mentioned, Williams has proven to be a man of few words. When he was asked about his experience guarding James, Willaims simply said, “I got better tonight.
Patrick Williams on guarding LeBron James: "I got better tonight."
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 9, 2021
Williams did expound on the experience, but it was much of the same as his attitude continues to be just as positive as the signs we’re seeing from his game on the court. He didn’t shoot the ball well, but he worked hard on the glass and defensively.
Williams’ line at the end of the game was 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals. Williams was a little too hesitant to take open jump shots, but these are things you’ll accept when much of what he brought on Friday was strong.
Williams’ play and presence is just another reason to be excited about this current Bulls team.
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