Summer League: Williams scores 18, Timberwolves beat Bulls


The Chicago Bulls dropped their third game of Summer League Thursday afternoon with a 78-59 loss to the Timberwolves.

The Bulls led for much of the first half, but Minnesota pulled away in a third quarter they won 28-15, and didn't look back. The Summer Bulls, who shot 25.4 percent for the game, are now 1-2.

Here are three observations from the contest:

Marko Simonović's outside shot is still coming around

The early returns of Simonović's game have been positive relative to second-round expectations. He fights on the glass, runs the floor hard in transition and embraces contact on at-the-rim attempts (see: eight free-throw attempts without a miss in this one).

The jump shot, though, still appears to be a work in progress. Simonović was no elite marksman abroad (he shot 32.2 percent from deep on 4.3 attempts per game with KK Mega Bemax last season), but given his volume and occasional hot stretches, it looked at least a reasonably projectable skill at the NBA level.

It still can be, but he's clearly still adjusting to the slightly longer 3-point distance at the NBA level than Europe. Simonović missed all four of his 3-point attempts for the game, with the first two falling well short and on a low-arcing line. He's 0-for-5 from distance in three Summer League games so far.

The bright side: On multiple occasions, Simonović used pump fakes to draw defenders off their feet and create separation driving closeouts. He's certainly an intriguing ball-handler, especially in transition. In the third quarter, he turned a dribble drive into a kick-out assist to Ayo Dosunmu for a corner 3-pointer.


Simonović's final line: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, but with a 1-for-8 shooting line, in 22 minutes, which is around the amount of playing time he's averaged in Summer League play thus far.

Patrick Williams' good week continues

A poke-away steal and thunderous slam in the game's opening minutes. A catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. An emphatic put-back in transition. In-your-jersey, ball-pressuring defense on opponents.

With 9 points (3-for-7 shooting), 5 rebounds, 2 assists (without a turnover) and a steal, Williams provided a lot of positives — and showed off his hops on multiple occasions — in this game's first half.

The second half was less impressive, but not unproductive. In the third quarter, he added a couple trips to the foul line on strong drives, but committed four turnovers (finishing the contest with six). Then, he notched seven points in the fourth to finish with 18 (6-for-15 shooting, 2-for-4 from deep).

That's not 30-spot, and this loss didn't feature the clutch-time flashes Williams showed against the Spurs. But his overall stat line, which also featured 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal and block apiece, continues a good week for the 19-year-old.

Devon Dotson injured

Dotson, who's had a productive week in his own right, exited the game at halftime with a right ankle injury. Bulls coach Damian Cotter said the team isn't yet sure the extent of the injury, and that he's unsure of Dotson's status moving forward. He notched 2 points, 4 rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes.

Without him, the Bulls' offense struggled mightily. And in related back court news, so did Dosunmu, who finished the game 1-for-7 from the field.

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