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Bulls vs. Pelicans final score: Patrick Williams starts hot but fades in 94-77 loss to start Summer League

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it got ugly late

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

It was a tale of two halves for Patrick Williams and the Bulls to start their run at Las Vegas Summer League. Williams looked like a Summer League MVP candidate in the first half against the Pelicans, only to fade in the second half in a 94-77 loss.

Williams had 14 points (6-of-13 shooting), nine rebounds and three assists in a dominant first half. He showed off an impressive off-the-dribble game and an ability to score for himself and find others for good looks. He was pushing hard off rebounds and took a few ambitious shots, which I didn’t mind because it showed an aggressive mindset. He even buried an off-the-dribble 3-pointer:

However, the second half was a total disaster. After his hot start, he finished with 15 points (6-of-20 shooting), 12 rebounds, three assists and five turnovers. He was a team-worst minus-24 in 35 minutes as the Pelicans used a 23-2 fourth-quarter run to turn a competitive game into a laugher.

The Pelicans threw a lot of lengthy bodies at Williams in the second half, and he seemed to get worn down and flustered. He’s not used to this type of offensive load, and it really showed as he struggled to get free. That’s not all that surprising, but it’s something he’ll have to adjust to as the marquee player on this Summer League roster.

Other notes:

  • 2020 second-round pick Marko Simonovic was active running the floor and aggressive going to the basket. He tried and failed on at least three dunk attempts (two were fouls and another was a putback try), so he’s doing a great job replacing (likely) Lauri Markkanen already. He finished with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three turnovers in his 15 minutes. Going 5-of-6 from the foul line was nice to see.
  • 2021 second-round pick Ayo Dosunmu had a rather nondescript Summer League debut with six points, six rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 27 minutes. He went just 2-of-8 from the field as he struggled to convert on his drives, though he did have one nifty finish.
  • Devon Dotson had a nice game with 16 points (5-of-11 shooting), seven rebounds, four assists and just one turnover in 32 minutes. Dotson showed off his speed in the open floor and got to the charity stripe six times, making five of them. Dotson’s ability to pressure the rim could be an asset as a deep bench guy.
  • Ethan Thompson was the only other Bull in double figures with 11 points off the bench. He did go 3-of-5 on 3-pointers. The rest of the team was 2-of-16.
  • 2020 second-round pick Tyler Bey didn’t impress in his nine minutes.
  • Troy Baxter Jr. almost had one of the best highlights of the day with a sick block, but it was goaltending. Still, that man can fly.
  • The next Summer League game is Tuesday against the Spurs.