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NBA - US Sports: Williams boost for slumping Bulls

Patrick Williams is set to return to the Chicago line-up for the visit of Toronto Raptors on Monday, with the Bulls hoping to end a three-game losing streak.

Chicago can be backed at 4/7 to win in the Money Line and the Raptors are priced at 31/20, with Williams having been missing since the end of October with a wrist injury that required surgery.

The Bulls managed to adapt to a variation of a small ball line-up in the absence of the second-year forward, but recently their form has tailed off.

Bulls need to end recent slump

Chicago were battling it out with Miami Heat for the top seed in the East not too long ago, but they have lost each of their last three games and have eight defeats in their last 10.

The Bulls are now just a game-and-a-half ahead of Toronto in seventh spot and Monday's game is a key clash in their bid to claim one of the six automatic play-off spots available.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan is aware it may take Williams some time to find his rhythm and the team may well have to alter their tactics overall to accommodate the returning forward, but with 12 regular-season games remaining, they still have time to hit their stride again before the post-season begins.

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"He certainly helps our team, he makes our team better, and there'll probably be some growing pains so to speak of him finding a rhythm," Donovan told reporters, via NBC Sports.

"With Patrick the biggest thing is going to be how he fits into a rotation and what is a realistic number of minutes look like for him to at least build up some tolerance for this."

Key games coming up for Bulls

The Bulls are entering a key period as they also take on Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, who sit sixth in the East, this week.

Donovan has confirmed he will be limiting Williams' minutes, but suggested he won't be skipping any games as the Bulls look to get the 20-year-old back in form ahead of the play-offs.

He added: "Physically, he feels good. He knows, I think, the timing part is going to take a little bit of time. But I think just how he feels and where he's at mentally, he wants to come back and play."

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