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 noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (1:02 PM)
Hello from the United Center everybody -- let's get this chat rolling ...
Steve (The Grove)
is it too early to panic? is management the least bit concerned? offense seems abysmal
Nick Friedell (1:05 PM)
Why is everybody panicking so much? Aside from the second half collapse in Philly, what has happened that was so unexpected? The Bulls struggle against the Heat and they rarely play well in Indy. Sure, the offense doesn't look great right now -- but this group hasn't played much together and Rose is shaking off some rust still. The Bulls are still going to rack up 50+ wins. Everybody just needs to relax.
Braeden Lear (Saint Joseph MI)
How long do you think it will take for the Bulls to start playing better basketball
Nick Friedell (1:06 PM)
I'd expect them to start playing better soon -- maybe even tonight -- against a bad team like the Jazz. Rose played much better in the first half against Indy. His time is coming.
Hey Nick! Big fan of your work. Do you think Derrick is forcing things too much? Sometimes I wonder if he tried getting everyone else involved earlier, it may help him settle in and the game may come a little easier to him. If feel like he's trying so hard to "get back" to where he was pre-injury. I have no doubts that he will get there, it just seems like he is trying to do too much in the early going. Thanks!
Nick Friedell (1:08 PM)
Tom, there's no doubt he's pressing right now. He admitted as much after the Sixers game last weekend. I think he will turn things around soon, though. He has put too much work into his game to think that he won't be the same player he was before the injury. In another couple weeks, if not sooner, I expect Rose to be back at the same high level.
Stuart (On Vacay Houston TX)
Nick, what are the chances the Bulls are tanking to get a good draft pick?
Nick Friedell (1:08 PM)
Zero. Does anyone really believe a Tom Thibodeau coached team could do that?
Hi Nick. You think the NBA is getting a bit carried away with their choice of rule enforcement? Rose and Watson got tangled up on a long pass the last game and they called a clear path. Between clear path calls like this and the delay of game calls, where is the common sense? Silly FTs add up. Thanks
Nick Friedell (1:10 PM)
Mark, I agree. The games are longer than they should be. I think refs are just being extra cautious early in the year because of things they want to emphasize. Things usually came down midway through the season with the ticky-tack stuff.
I know the emphasis in the offseason was to get to more shooting from beyond the arc so I'm assuming that's what is causing all of the jump shots. At what point will the emphasis on offense become more attacking from multiple angles?
Nick Friedell (1:13 PM)
Rip, That's what Thibs wants. He wants them to play inside out and move the ball around like the Spurs do -- but right now he would just be happy if they could start scoring more. The key for the Bulls is to get Rose going -- once he starts attacking more I believe everything else will fall into place.
What do the players think of Paul George's comments?
Nick Friedell (1:14 PM)
Noah just kind of laughed it off -- but all players see those kinds of things. I promise you that Thibs will remind them of that next time they play the Pacers.
Boozer is stepping up. Could he avoid amnesty if he keeps it up? Or do you think management made the decision a while ago?
Nick Friedell (1:16 PM)
I've always thought that the odds were very high that the Bulls would amnesty the final year of Boozer's deal. But there remains a chance that they keep him if they don't think they can improve themselves on the free agent market next summer. It all depends on which players become available and what kind of money they have left.
John (Chicago) [via mobile]
Rose & Westbrook returned in great game shape. Why can't Noah after missing much less time?
Nick Friedell (1:17 PM)
I think Noah is in fine shape -- his offensive game just hasn't turned around the way he would like. He's the type of player that needs to play a lot to get back into an offensive rhythm. It will take him a few more weeks to feel comfortable on that end of the floor.
So Nick I have jumped on your bandwagon of not thinking the Bulls have enough to get by Miami. So I am looking long term here. I am loving evrything I have heard about mirotic and think he is going to be a awesome addition to this team taking Boozer's spot. But we are going to have to address a scoring wing. Looking at the potential Free Agents it does not appear outside of Melo, LBJ, and Wade there does not seem to be anyone out there who can really help us. Pretty sure someone like Rudy Gay is not the answer. So at what point is Paxson and Gar finally going to have to bite the bullet and trade some of our numerous assets into another star. I have kind of come the conclusion this is the only way as free agency for some unknown reason doesn't work for Chicago.
Nick Friedell (1:20 PM)
If Gar and Pax thought there was a move to make that would put them closer to a title I think they would do it. Look at the realistic targets, though. Which player is readily available in a trade that would give the Bulls a better chance against Miami? I always thought the guy was Kevin Love but it is clear that Flip Saunders doesn't want to deal him.
What's up with Jimmy Butler? He looked way too passive on offense the other night. The Bulls need him to be aggressive.
Nick Friedell (1:21 PM)
I just think Jimmy is trying to figure out the best way to play alongside Rose. It will take time -- but as I've said numerous times, I think Jimmy is still better suited as a 3, not a 2 in the long term.
What's up Nick..love you theme song...lol But let's be honest with ourselves..Do you really think honestly now...that our bench is good enough to win 50+ games and make the playoffs?
Nick Friedell (1:24 PM)
I think the bench will be fine -- at least Dunleavy, Hinrich and Gibson. The Bulls are not as deep -- top to bottom -- as they have been in years past. But when it comes to the playoffs, only three or four guys off the bench usually play anyway. The key for them will be to stay healthy -- which is a tough sell given what has happened in recent years.
Matt (Nashville, TN) [via mobile]
Will Thibs tinker with the starting line-up to fix any chemistry issues?
Nick Friedell (1:25 PM)
No. Which player(s) would you switch out?
Tony (Los Angeles)
I am a big fan of Noah, but sometimes I question his work ethic as an offensive threat. Great passer, yes, but it would really help if he developed a post game worth savoring. Thoughts?
Nick Friedell (1:27 PM)
Noah has put a lot of work into his offensive game over the past few summers -- he just doesn't seem as confident in it once the regular season begins. I don't think you'll ever seem him develop a consistent back to the basket post-up game but he could become more of an offensive force if he used his jumper more.
Dunleavy. Conundrum or is he having a difficult time adjusting to the additonal effort/ energy required under Thibbs and is that contributing to the lack of life in his legs on the offensive end?
Nick Friedell (1:28 PM)
He's going through the same adjustment period that Korver and Belinelli went through. The question is can he become a better defender under Thibs? He hasn't looked good so far but there is still a lot of time left in the season.
Seems to me this team in current roster, is past its prime. The core is not capable of playing the whole year without breaking down. Thoughts ?
Nick Friedell (1:31 PM)
Only time will tell. I'd say this though -- the Bulls haven't lost confidence in themselves. They still believe they can win a title this year despite the slow start.
I actually think the team is run better with Hinrich at the point. Hinrich should start. Also, I wish they'd play like last season as if Rose wasn't there and Rose is gravy.
Nick Friedell (1:33 PM)
So you want Rose at the two? That would be one of the shortest backcourts in the league. Rose is going to get better, everybody. Relax.
Adam [via mobile]
Wouldn't Beleneli fit in with this team better as he can create his own shot more so than Dunleavy?
Nick Friedell (1:35 PM)
Have people forgotten how poorly Belinelli played through the first couple months of last season? Give it some time. Also, the way people talk about him now Belinelli created his shot whenever he wanted. That's not the case -- he hit some big shots during his time in Chicago but it wasn't like he was running the lane and knocking down shots all the time.
Everybody needs to relax a little, it's early. That being said..Is there anyone out there the bulls can find/trade for to provide that "instant offense" role? Not only is Dunleavy stuggling, but he looks slow
Nick Friedell (1:38 PM)
I don't think the Bulls are going to make any kind of major deal. Who is out there right now that would even make that much of a difference?
Nick, part of my problem with your Bulls analysis is you always say we need another scorer to put us over the top but then never give any tangible ideas of players the Bulls could possibly get. I see you say Kevin Love above.. Getting to my question: Who else would seriously vault Bulls into an 'instant' title contender status besides K Love?
Nick Friedell (1:40 PM)
Mickey, what I always say is I don't think there is another guy out there right now -- given the Bulls cap situation -- that does put them over the top. That's why for three years I've been saying they are in basketball hell.
Jay (San Francisco)
It seems that there's not much plays going for Jimmy Butler, I think he's a legitimate second scoring option, why are they not putting the ball to his hands more?
Nick Friedell (1:40 PM)
Because right now he's not a legitimate second scoring option.
Why dont we play Teague more often? Sadly he is our 2nd best shot creator...This team need creators not jump shooters...
Nick Friedell (1:41 PM)
Well, he would play more if he was a better jump shooter and ran the offense better.
If this team struggles and by the trade deadline we are .500 team. Any chance we trade Deng? For whom?
Nick Friedell (1:44 PM)
I don't think Deng is going anywhere this year. If the Bulls moved him it would be an admission that this group, as currently constructed, isn't good enough to win a title. As an organization, the Bulls don't believe that right now.
Raj (Durham, NC)
Nick, loved the article about the biggest issue. It is so true, things just aren't clicking for the Bulls. Do you think the Bulls will be a team that gets hot at the end, while Indiana may tail off? I find it hard to believe that this year's team will be significantly worse than the Pacers, who lack a true star.
Nick Friedell (1:46 PM)
The Pacers are a very good team -- but I still believe the Bulls would beat them in a seven game series. George appears to be even better than he was last year but once Rose knocks all of the rust off he will be back to his old self. The problem for both of these teams is that Miami is still in the way.
Nick Friedell (1:48 PM)
All right everybody -- I am out of here. I will talk to you guys next week. If you're at a game come over and say hello.
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