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March 18, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

What's going on, everybody? Everybody should be in a good mood. Nobody's bracket is ruined right now. The Bulls have a much needed day off. The locker room last night (and for the last week) has been a quiet place. Everyone is unhappy and understandably so ... What else can you say when you've lost nine straight?

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

In the meantime, let's dip into some of the questions and get this thing rolling ...

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How can the Bulls get out of this downward spiral?

Nick Friedell
  (1:07 PM)

Vinny, is this you?The only thing the Bulls can do is to get healthy. The bottom line is that they don't have enough talent to compete every night right now. Until they at least get Rose and either Noah or Deng back they won't be able to win much, if at all.

mike (Chicago)

So whats the latest Nick? Is rose out for friday? I'm guessing Deng and Noah are out

Nick Friedell
  (1:10 PM)

Mike, The guess here is that Deng and Noah are definitely out. Deng is struggling a lot of with the calf strain and I'm not sure if he'll be back any time in the next week or two. His limp has become more noticeable over the last few days. Noah is definitely more active in practice, but I think he's still a few days away still. Rose will probably be back tomorrow, but I don't know that for sure. I think he has gained a lot of mobility back in his wrist. He's ready to get back on the floor.

John (Chicago)

hos is vinny handling this?

Nick Friedell
  (1:12 PM)

To Vinny's credit, he has handled this situation about as well as you could. Obviously, he's not happy, but what else can he do right now? His team is hurt, his best players are out. It's worth noting that the Bulls have played all 48 minutes in almost every game during this stretch. That is a very positive sign for the organization and reflects well on VDN and his staff.

mike (madison)

Nick, the way the Bulls are going could this hurt landing a big name free agent this summer ?

Nick Friedell
  (1:13 PM)

Not at all, Mike. I don't think free agents really care that much how prospective teams finish out the year. Especially when you consider how banged up the Bulls are right now.

Bill (Chicago)

Have you noticed morale in the locker room being deflated? Is is different?

Nick Friedell
  (1:15 PM)

Absolutely, the morale has been deflated. These guys are human. If you were losing every night you went out there you'd be pretty upset, too. The team hasn't given up, but even they'll tell you that if they don't get Rose and co. back soon it isn't going to matter because the playoffs will be out of reach.

JR (Alaska)

any talk of the bulls just sand bagging the season and trying to get a lottery pick and a big name FA? with the schedule and the injuries, to fight back up, only to meet the cavs in round 1 seems not worth it.

Nick Friedell
  (1:17 PM)

I don't think that's the case at all. VDN wouldn't allow that to happen. I think the organization wants Rose and Noah to get as much playoff experience as they can.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which College Basketball player that is Currently playing in College would be a perfect fit for the Chicago Bulls?

Nick Friedell
  (1:19 PM)

Like Wilbon mentioned earlier this week, I think Evan Turner would be a nice fit with the Bulls. I also think, if he an develop more of a consistent outside shot, that Wes Johnson would be a good fit as well. Problem is, those guys aren't going to be around when the Bulls make their pick.

JKT (California)

Am I the only one that wants to see more of Joe Alexander and less of Murray and Pargo? Why not see what (if anything) Alexander can do? Look how well Acie Law has represented himself this week.

Nick Friedell
  (1:21 PM)

JKT, You're not the only one. But, what exactly has Alexander shown during any point in his short NBA career that would lead you to believe he can be a player in this league. The knock on him was that he looked a little skittish on the floor. In the short time I've seen him play, that's exactly how he looks now.

Adam (Upland, IN)

Are you doing this chat while watching the games? I'm going with yes...

Nick Friedell
  (1:22 PM)

Of course. The first Thursday/Friday of the NCAA Tourney are the best two days of the year in my mind.

Nick (CHI)

Do you think the Bulls have a chance in making the playoffs this year?

Nick Friedell
  (1:24 PM)

Nick, I think they still have a shot, especially with how poorly Toronto has played lately. But, that's only if they get healthy. The need Rose and Noah back desperately. If those guys don't come back then they've got no shot.

Brett (Chicago)

Ya Turner may be a fit style wise, but him and Derrick don't like each other all that well.

Nick Friedell
  (1:26 PM)

I've heard that a few times ... If push came to shove though, I think the Bulls would convince D. Rose that he and Turner could find a way to get along. That would be one heck of a backcourt.

Bill (Illinois)

Is it just me or would Cole Aldrich be a nice fit playing along side of Noah? He might still be around when we pick. if we can't get Bosh of course.

Nick Friedell
  (1:27 PM)

Bill, I think Aldrich would be a nice fit. He has a back to the basket game that the Bulls need. Having said that, I don't think he'll be around when the team is ready to pick.

Sean (Chicago)

Do you think that the Bulls will make a run at a big name coach this summer? Vinny hasn't done that poorly with all the injuries and the progression of D-Rose, but would a D-Wade or, gulp, Lebron James consider playing for such a tutor?

Nick Friedell
  (1:30 PM)

That is the biggest question that's facing the franchise besides the obvious free agent one. I really have no idea. Like I've said before, the organization has had countless chances to come out and say "Vinny's our guy," but they haven't done that. There's no doubt he still has a lot of room to improve as a coach, but I think he has improved a lot since the beginning of the year. What coach could win with this roster right now, anyway?

Tenisha LC (CHICAGO)

I feel like the fans care more about the Bulls losing than THEY actually do.

Nick Friedell
  (1:32 PM)

The Bulls care that they're losing. The frustration is written all over the players' faces after each game. The problem is that there is no way for the team to turn things around until everybody gets healthy.

Chris (wheaton)

I know people love to bash Vinny, but come on, look at the team he has had to trot out there the last couple games. At least they play hard for him even when Pargo does his best to get him fired.

Nick Friedell
  (1:35 PM)

Agreed, Chris. Although, I will say I've haven't seen too many players in the league take as many bad shots as Pargo does. Jannero seems like a really good guy off the floor, but if I were his teammates it would drive me crazy playing with him. He takes more off-balance/contested shots than anybody else on the team.

Fred (Chicago)

What is Kirk's problem these days?

Nick Friedell
  (1:37 PM)

Pure and simple, it's frustration. Like most players, Hinrich hates losing. The difference is that he seems to internalize the losses a little more. I think all the losing has affected his game a little bit and is the major reason why he bumped the ref last week in Miami and got suspended.

Trader (S Side)

Think Joe Johnson is realistic? I know he loved playing for D'Antoni and NY, although they stink, can offer him as much dough as we can.

Nick Friedell
  (1:39 PM)

I've been saying all year that I think there is a legitimate chance Johnson ends up here. If the money is the same why would Johnson go to NYC when he can come to Chicago and play with Derrick Rose?

Nick Friedell
  (1:41 PM)

All right, everybody. Good questions as usual. Good luck with the brackets. I will talk to you guys next week.