Everything You Need To Know About Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams is a nearly perfect mold for the modern power forward. His combination of shooting, athleticism, and defense will make him difficult to pass on in the lottery.

Patrick Williams bolsters Florida State's recent success in producing versatile athletes who will produce in the NBA. Despite being one of the youngest players in the 2020 NBA Draft, Williams already has an NBA ready body and a frame that can add more muscle.

At 6'8 and 225 pounds, Williams will likely spend most of his time playing power forward. Any roster will welcome his size, athleticism, and versatility. Williams is a player who doesn't outright shock you with any individual skill, but he is well-rounded and helps produce winning basketball.

On offense, Williams's unselfishness and ability to execute the little things makes him undeniably valuable. As he continues to refine his skills, Williams can be more involved in the offense. He is a quality passer and sees the floor well for his age and position; however, Williams struggled with his ball-handling this season as he had an assist-to-turnover ratio of just 0.58.

In the below clip, we see a typical example of Williams committing an unnecessary turnover. As Williams receives the ball on the wing, he nearly travels before he drives. Williams then recklessly barrels into the lane to commit the unwarranted charge.

Most of Williams's turnovers this season consisted of plays like this. While this proves he has some work to do on his ball-handling, his high turnover numbers are not an indictment on his passing ability.

We see more and more NBA big men show off their passing competence. The fact that Williams is already an adept passer is encouraging for his projection on how he will affect his team's offensive flow.

In the below clip, we see Williams's floor vision and awareness on full display. The play starts with Williams receiving a screen from his big man. Williams decides to drive baseline instead and has his drive cut off by the rotating weakside defender. Instead of barreling forward or taking a bad shot, Williams throws an incredibly accurate live dribble one-handed pass with his weak hand to the opposite corner. As the ball rotates around the perimeter, Williams relocates back to the corner to knock down the open three.

This ability to drive-and-kick and find open shooters is fantastic for a player as young as Williams. He won't ever be a point-forward type of player, but he will be able to make the extra pass and keep the offense flowing.

At the start of that clip, we saw Williams run the pick-and-roll. While this isn't a typical action for power forwards to run, Williams did so on nearly ten percent of his possessions this season and experienced success. Per Synergy, Williams scored 0.962 points per possession (PPP) (90th percentile) when he ran the pick-and-roll.

Here, we can see Williams's knack for scoring out of the pick-and-roll. As Williams dribbles off the screen, he does a great job of hesitating and then dribbling to his left. This move forces the defense to switch, and Williams gets the advantageous matchup against the center. Williams then drives into the body of his defender before pulling up for the jumper. By getting into the defender's body, Williams eliminates his ability to elevate and earns the open jumper.

Williams's success when shooting off the dribble is somewhat surprising as he has performed a significant reshaping of his shooting form since high school. Players who do this typically see improved success when shooting off the catch while slowly improving off the dribble. Williams is the opposite, though, as he scored 0.86 PPP (70th percentile) when shooting off the dribble as opposed to 0.758 PPP (32nd percentile) when spotting up.

In those clips, Williams showed how he punishes opponents off the dribble in the mid-range. He has a broad, stable base, elevates well, and finishes it off with a high, smooth release.

Williams doesn't overthink his form when he shoots off the dribble, unlike when he is spotting up. Williams's overall shooting success suggests he should be a useful spot-up shooter, but his release slows down, and his lower body mechanics are a mess.

In the below clip, we can see how Williams overthinks his shooting form. Williams receives a good pass but still dips the ball down to his waist. As he raises the ball, there is a slight pause before he jumps once the ball gets above his eyes. Once he finally elevates, Williams's knees buckle in instead of staying shoulder width. The combination of all of these results in a bad miss. Williams's shooting form is segmented, and the timing of his release is off.

While the off-ball shooting results for Williams may be inconsistent early in his career, I believe that he will significantly improve that aspect of his game as he gets more comfortable with his revised form. This inconsistent off-ball shooting doesn't mean that Williams won't be an off-ball threat either. In the below clip, we see how capable Williams can be when attacking closeouts. His shooting ability requires defenses to closeout, and when done poorly, Williams is more than capable of attacking the rim and finishing with power or finesse.

Another off-ball area that Williams found success at was cutting as he scored 1.217 PPP (63rd percentile). His floor awareness is useful in these situations because whenever you can get Williams around the rim with the ball, good things tend to happen.

Here, Williams is initially spotting up in the corner. Once his teammate begins to drive, and he sees the defense in disarray, Williams cuts hard. He slides in behind the rotating defender and finishes with the strong dunk.

The athleticism and mobility of Williams are always on display. It helps his at rim finishing and rebounding but also suggests that he should improve his overall defense.

Williams is a quality defender, but the results have been a mixed bag when he switches on the perimeter. His footwork is brutish, and his lateral movement is rigid. There are times when he shows flashes, but generally, Williams is slow to react on the perimeter.

Here, Williams gets beaten off the dribble far too quickly. Williams initially positions himself poorly, which gives his man an open path to the lane. As his man drives, Williams is slow to turn his hips and aggressively crosses his feet instead of sliding them. Luckily for Williams, his man inexplicably throws the ball off the bottom of the backboard, but this should have resulted in two points.

Williams's success in defending the perimeter is sporadic, but he is an incredibly impressive interior defender. He times his rotations well; he has an excellent grasp of staying vertical; and uses his explosiveness to deny shots.

Here, Williams exhibits his defensive awareness and explosiveness. As the screener slips the screen, Williams's teammate too eagerly switches. Recognizing this in the nick of time, Williams quickly switches to the roll-man and blocks the lob. Williams then has the awareness and second-jump ability to deny the put-back attempt.

Williams' rim protection is also destructive when he is playing off-ball. He is a tremendous weakside shot-blocker as he times his rotations exquisitely, as we can see below. Williams is defending his man on the block in the dunker's spot. His teammate gives little resistance on the drive, but Williams delays his rotation to ensure his man isn't open for an easy drop pass. Once the ball-handler commits to the shot, Williams leaves his man and denies the shot. He then reorients himself and shows off his exceptional second jump ability again. Knowing that he won't be able to elevate as much as he did on the first block, Williams puts on a clinic on how to stay vertical when protecting the rim.

The immediate defensive impact that Williams will have will be around the rim. His rotations are pristine, and his explosiveness and timing make him an intimidating shot blocker.

In a league that switches relentlessly, Williams must improve his perimeter footwork and hip mobility. With more coaching and repetitions, I expect this to develop slowly, but early on, experienced guards will take full advantage of Williams.

Going forward, Patrick Williams is going to produce in the NBA for a long time. He may never reach All-Star levels of play, but he should develop into a quality starter. His basketball IQ, athleticism, and defense are too good not to translate. If Williams can improve his spot-up shooting and his perimeter footwork, he will make a lot of teams regret passing on him.

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