Craig admitted that the Bulls are one of the quietest teams he’s ever been on, but he's ready to take on that leadership role.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan made it clear that he prefers to start forward Patrick Williams in the power forward position at the start of the season. However, new Bulls forward Torrey Craig continued to show promise as a viable option if Donovan decides to pivot directions through his effort in doing the intangible things and being a strong communicator.
In the Bulls 106-102 loss against the Raptors, Craig played 26 minutes, 5 minutes more than Williams, while also running more time with the team’s Big 3 in Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Craig’s play led to serious game time in pivotal stretches that led to necessary comebacks to keep the game close in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Unlike Craig, Williams’ theme of inconsistency continued, especially in being aggressive offensively early in the game. To help turn that around, Craig’s expertise will be needed.
“If you look at [Torrey], he does a lot of things with great intensity, emotion and passion,” Donovan told The Bigs . “That is hard to do, and most players don’t want to do that. I think Patrick wants to do those things but [he needs to be] way more aggressive in some of those areas.”
Though Williams struggled, he received constant encouragement that not only uplifted his aggressive play in the fourth quarter but uplifted the team as a whole to rally them toward positive runs.
“[Craig] has been talking to me on the side and telling me how to pick my spots,” Williams said. “Telling me to stay confident in my shot. If I pass one up, he’s one of the first guys to come over to me and say that I should’ve shot it. He knows my game and everybody on the team’s game. He’s good at telling you what you need to see out there.”
Playing on previous teams with great players such as Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul, Craig knows that not just for Williams’ growth, but the team overall, communication and encouragement is a top priority toward progression. He admitted that the Bulls are one of the quietest teams he’s ever been on, but is ready to take on that leadership role.
“What I learned from being on good teams is communications,” Craig said. “They communicate on a high level and that is what makes everything that much easier, especially on defense. The more vocal we are as a team, the better we’ll be.”