Chat with Nick Friedell
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, Nick Friedell stops by to chat about the NBA season as well as the Chicago Bulls.
Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Friday at 1 CT/2 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:01 PM)
What's going on, everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...
anthony (saginaw michigan)
hi nick why didnt the bulls make a trade for a shooting guard
Nick Friedell (2:03 PM)
They feel like Rip Hamilton is still the answer. The fan base doesn't want to hear that -- but management believes it to be true. They think once he gets back from this injury he will be OK. Plus, the Bulls didn't want to give up any of their young assets to get another player who they didn't think would make that much of a difference.
Ronnie and Kyle seem to be playing much better as of late. They both seem to play better with extended minutes and I hope they can keep their level of play up when Rip comes back. How do you see the bulls most scrutinized position playing out in the playoffs?
Nick Friedell (2:06 PM)
If Rip is healthy, he is going to get the bulk of the minutes. Tom has been happy with the way both Brewer and Korver have been playing lately, but if Rip is ready to go -- he is going to be the one getting the major time at the end.
Steve T (Ukrainian Village)
Nick! A frequently made argument against the Bulls beating the Heat in the playoffs is that the Bulls' biggest strength (besides DRose) is the depth they have with the Bench Mob, and they won't play as many minutes. Considering the kind of spark they provide -- Brewer's energy/intangibles, The Turkish Wall of Asik, Gibson's Reboundsanity -- do you think Thibs should play the reserves at a similar pace come playoff time? I do.
Nick Friedell (2:10 PM)
I don't think he will. The rotations shrink in the playoffs. The key for the Bulls will be health. If Hamilton is healthy, Korver and Brewer's minutes shrink a little. Jimmy Butler won't see the floor as long as Luol Deng's wrist holds up. The starters are going to play 40+ minutes a night and then we'll see Taj and Omer late on the defensive end. Rose will likely play almost the entire game which means Watson's minutes shrink. Thibs will play the starters even more because he trusts them the most.
The wrist, the toe, the ankle, the back, and now the groin. Is the MVP breaking down at 23?
Nick Friedell (2:14 PM)
I don't think Derrick's breaking down, but the Bulls need to make sure his body is right for the postseason drive. In the grand scheme of things, the regular seasons games just don't mean much right now. The issue for Derrick is that one injury seems to have led to a few of the others. He admitted this a few weeks back while explaining how the toe injury helped cause the back problems. With the way Derrick plays, it's hard to tell him to slow down -- but the Bulls have to figure out how to keep him healthy or else their chances of winning in the next few years are gone.
I am still in disbelief that the Bulls beat the heat with no Derrick Rose and with Boozer scoring 4 points. Do you think the heat took this one lightly because of no D Rose? Or did they just flat out get beat by a hungry Bulls team?
Nick Friedell (2:17 PM)
It's a combination of both. I think the Heat figured they would crush the Bulls without Derrick in the lineup. Once the Bulls started building the lead, the Heat started playing harder and by that time it wasn't enough. It's a credit to the system Tom Thibodeau has put into place that the Bulls were able to win that game. No matter who goes down, Thibodeau has instilled the confidence in his team that they can win.
Do you think Jimmy B will come back next year with a better J?
Nick Friedell (2:18 PM)
Yes, I do. I think Jimmy is going to spend a lot of time working on his jumper in the off-season. He's got to get a little more arc under the ball. He's a hard worker -- he'll figure it out.
Josh (Jefferson Park)
Did Kurt Thomas leave Chicago on a bad note or do you think he's still friendly with our players? I remember seeing our starters talking and joking with Keith Bogans before he was injured, and I remember Thomas being a sort of mentor for Asik.
Nick Friedell (2:20 PM)
Kurt Thomas is still liked and respected in the Bulls' locker room. The difference was that Portland gave him another year on his deal.
Scott (Lake Zurich)
Is it just me or has korver's D improved a ton this year?
Nick Friedell (2:22 PM)
It has. Thibs talks about that a lot. Kyle spent a lot of time working on his lateral quickness in the summer and that hard work has paid off. Thibs trusts him more on the floor and that trust is based on the fact that Korver is a better defender than he was a year ago.
I'll bite on the obligitory Boozer question - you mentioned you think starters will play more minutes in the playoffs - does this include Boozington? His lack of assertiveness against the Heat was shocking/frustrating.
Nick Friedell (2:24 PM)
Let me amend that statement by saying this: Unless Boozer imposes himself more on the offensive end -- we're going to see a whole lot of Taj Gibson down the stretch in the playoffs.
Nick, best record in the league, always playing well, yet we alwways want to nit pick and try and take this team apart as to why they wont win the ecf...aren't bulls fans being a little nuts?
Nick Friedell (2:27 PM)
It all comes back to Miami, Wayne. The Bulls are a great team. They play hard together and they genuinely seem to like one another, especially compared to other teams around the league. The problem is that for all that goodwill, fans saw what happened when the Bulls played the Heat last spring. They didn't have enough. So all the excitement within the fan base this year is tempered by the fact that Miami is still going to be waiting in the Eastern Conference finals again. The reason Bulls' fans are feeling like they are is because every game they play this year is viewed through the prism of: Can this team beat the Miami Heat?
Why waste time talking about a game that will be a blowout? I want some Bears' free agency news, get on it Nick.
Nick Friedell (2:28 PM)
This sums up the mind of a Chicago fan quite nicely, I think. I do like the addition of Brandon Marshall. He is a UCF guy who will really help Cutler. Now he just has to stay out of trouble.
It appears Lucas has the ability to score but he just seems to dribble too much and that causes turnovers. Will he turnovers keep him out of the game come playoff time?
Nick Friedell (2:29 PM)
The Bulls respect JL3's work ethic, but barring injuries, the only two point guards you'll see in the playoffs are Rose and Watson.
Mike (New York)
Nick Friedell (2:30 PM)
What he said.
Any update on the status of Rose for tonights Game?
Nick Friedell (2:30 PM)
I'd be surprised if Derrick plays tonight or tomorrow.
Thoughts on the trades this week? Anything shock you? Other than Orlando, any big winners?
Nick Friedell (2:31 PM)
Orlando is a runaway winner. Nobody thought that Howard would still be with the Magic after the deadline.
Colby (Rhode Island)
Do you think Bulls teammates are becoming annoyed that Rose is missing so many games with minor injuries? There's guys out there battling through worse on this team.
Nick Friedell (2:33 PM)
Nobody is annoyed with Derrick. Everybody loves Derrick in that locker room.
Nick, I feel like this team could be better than last years, but I also feel like this team will still struggle against the heat offensively. Rose can't do it alone and while Rip is an upgrade, he still isn't enough. So why didn't the bulls go after Nick Young? Washington pretty much gave him away for nothing and he is a young scorer that could've helped the bench mob out. thanks brother.
Nick Friedell (2:37 PM)
I think the Bulls were concerned that Young doesn't seem all that interested in playing defense all the time. Plus, as I said, they are still convinced Hamilton will help them. Having said all that, I was surprised they didn't push harder for him -- especially given all the issues Rip has had this year.
Will Woodson remain head coach of the Knicks?
Nick Friedell (2:38 PM)
I seriously doubt it.
will resting deng be good for him or resting wont help his wrist ?
Nick Friedell (2:39 PM)
He thinks it will in spurts, so that's just what the Bulls will have to do for now. The problem is that every time he falls on it, the pain comes back and it really bothers him.
Since you follow the Bulls, are YOU convinced that Hamilton will help the team in the playoffs?
Nick Friedell (2:40 PM)
No, I would be very worried if I were Gar and Pax. Rip is 34 and it seems like his body is breaking down on him.
Isn't the bottom line here (in regards to beating Heat in ECF), whether Boozer shows up? Yes, Rip is a great addition if he's healthy then, but if Bosh has a similar series as last year, Taj may be great defensively, but it's really inside where we'll need some easy offense to compete, Boozer in theory is the only real guy to do that. He's definitely played better this year (on 1 end of the floor anyway, no expectations on the other end), but I don't get why he falls so in love with the rainbow 17-18 footer, even when it's falling. post up down low!! and dunk the dang ball every once and a while!!
Nick Friedell (2:42 PM)
Don, I've been saying this for a year and a half. Charles Barkley said it a few weeks ago on Waddle and Silvy -- if the Bulls want to beat the Heat, Boozer is going to have to string together a great game every night.
jnizzle (san diego)
How is CJ's ankle feeling? Bulls are going to need him to keep the 1 seed especially if Rose keeps missing time
Nick Friedell (2:45 PM)
I think it's really bothering him. Like a lot of his teammates, C.J. has gutted it out recently, but the ankle is really hurting him.
Hey, Nick! Were you still looking for an intern? :)
Nick Friedell (2:46 PM)
I don't think I'm going to get one this year. Maybe next season though.
Whose the next big threat to the Bulls, aside from Miami? Orlando?
Nick Friedell (2:48 PM)
Yep. If Orlando gets into a groove they could give the Bulls some major problems in a seven game series. I would still take the Bulls, but I think that series would go all seven. Dwight Howard has always had a lot of success against the Bulls.
Sean (Crystal Lake)
Who on the Bulls do you think will get a long term contract extension?
Nick Friedell (2:50 PM)
The Bulls would like to lock up Taj and Omer, but I think Omer is going to draw a lot of interest in the summer. It all depends on how much the Bulls want to spend in order to keep him since he will be restricted.
To go with the last question, can Orlando make a run at Miami in the playoffs? If Chicago hits the ECF (THEY WILL) do you think it be possible to see a Bulls/Magic ECF series?
Nick Friedell (2:50 PM)
Possible? Yes. Likely? No.
How many games would you say the Bulls would need with all 5 starters in to get a grove going in to the playoffs? 5? 10?
Nick Friedell (2:53 PM)
Ideally, the Bulls would like to have all five starters play together for the entire month of April before heading into the postseason. With the way this season has been though, that seems like a stretch.
Nick Friedell (2:54 PM)
All right everybody, I am out of here. Come over and say hello if you come to a game this week. Talk to you next week from the Berto Center.