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April 22, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (1:37 PM)

What's going on, everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...

Jerel C. (Gary,IN)

How much does Rose go for tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (1:38 PM)

I think Derrick is going to have a big game tonight. I expect 30 points and a few big shots down the stretch in a close Bulls win.

Joe (Evergreen Park)

Hey Nick,I'll be at the game tonight spreading the red, I think the madhouse on madision will be rockin but do you think Hakeem Warrick sees any playing time tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (1:39 PM)

Joe, I think he may see a little time. But he has clearly fallen out of favor in Vinny's rotation so unless he shows something early on he's going to be right back on the bench.

Corey (Chicago)

Nick, watching Deng guard Lebron is just painful. Even a healthy Deng is no match for the biggest mismatch in the NBA. I think the Bulls should put Heinrich on him to start the game, as he is the grittier, tougher defender and willing to get into Lebron's grill. If Lebron is going to get 40 he will have a heck of a time getting it with Heinrich on him. Deng just needs to focus more on producing at the offensive end.

Nick Friedell
  (1:41 PM)

Corey, I see what you're saying but LeBron has a major height advantage on Hinrich. No doubt Hinrich is a better defender but I'm sure VDN is worried that LeBron would just pull up on Hinrich every time down the floor. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised to see Hinrich get at least a few more minutes against LBJ tonight.

BIGRAY (HUMBOLDT PARK)

Hello Nick now that Dwayne Wade stated his heart is with miami and it looks like king james will stay with the cavs it looks like the bulls could wind up with bosh or joe johnson who would you preffer.

Nick Friedell
  (1:43 PM)

I've had this argument with several people lately. I'd still take Bosh because I believe he is more talented and the Bulls could find a way to make things work with him and Noah down low, but Johnson may be the best fit. The Bulls biggest need is a perimeter scorer and Johnson would provide that instantly.

Dave (Novato)

Hi Nick, do you think that the Bulls should play Miller more in the beginning of games since Shaq probably wouldn't guard him out in the perimeter?

Nick Friedell
  (1:45 PM)

Dave, That's a fair point and I think it could work, but I still think VDN would like to keep Noah and Gibson on the floor early to set a tone. If they push the pace early, Shaq will probably be taken out of the game anyway because he is so winded.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

Hello Nick, what do you think of the job VDN has done so far in the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (1:48 PM)

Candy, I think VDN has done a solid job up to this point. I think his only big mistake, at least in Game 2, was that he didn't go to Flip Mirray earlier when he was hot and left him in too long when he started getting cold. He could have tried to get his guys to run more during Game 1, but on the whole he's done about as well as he could do given that the Cavs simply have more talent (see: LeBron) than the Bulls do.

Nafis (SF)

Hi Nick, some have argued that the Bulls recent behind the scenes troubles will hurt them in their search for a possible new head coach. Do you agree?

Nick Friedell
  (1:50 PM)

No, I don't. I don't think the front office squabbles will have any impact on free agents as long as the Bulls clean up all their problems before July 1. If the Bulls are intent on bringing in a new coach, as it appears that they are, then they should line up the new staff as soon as they can after the season ends.

bob (chi)

Why is Johnson guarding LBJ? I think Warrick would do a better job on him.

Nick Friedell
  (1:53 PM)

Bob, the guess here is that VDN likes the fact that Johnson is more physical than Warrick. Like I said, I do think Warrick will get a few more minutes tonight, but I don't think the James matchup is a particularly good one for him because LeBron will just bully him down low.

Christian (Chicago)

Nobody has brought this up, but do you think the reason why Luol stepped up in game 2 was because he saw a Rookie (JJ) play Lebron physically, and that may have sparked him?

Nick Friedell
  (1:55 PM)

No, I don't. I think the reason Luol finally stepped up in Game 2 was that he saw LeBron's monster dunk on Johnson and saw him screaming afterwards and realized that it was time to at least attempt to slow down LBJ. I think that play got Deng fired up, as fired up as I've seen him on the floor in a while.

Mike (NYC)

The last 12 games the Cavs have played in the first round and second round of the playoffs have resulted in the Cavs winning by double digits. What makes you think that trend ends tonight? Also, are you worried that the bulls gave the cavs their best shot, and the Cavs still won by 10?

Nick Friedell
  (1:57 PM)

Two reasons: I think the Bulls will feed off of the crowd at the UC tonight and play with a little extra energy because of it. And I don't think that LeBron can hit all the same shots that he did in Game 2. It was like watching NBA Jam. He was on fire. Did anyone think he was going to miss at the end?

Greg (Philly)

I do agree Deng needs to continue to play Lebron tough with a sprinkle of Hinrich. If the bulls want to come away with a least a home victory I think Hinrich needs to step his game up thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (1:58 PM)

The Bulls won't win unless Hinrich starts shooting better. Period. The Bulls don't have enough talent to overcome another terrible shooting night from Hinrich.

Reese (Indianapolis)

Hey Nick, see that the Bulls have been competitive with the Cavs, do you see the Cavs advancing to the finals and winning the championship? Cause me personally I don't

Nick Friedell
  (2:01 PM)

I've thought since the beginning of the season that the Magic would still be the team that comes out of the East and this series hasn't changed my mind. The Cavs have talent, but I still don't think they can beat the Magic in a seven game series.

Sean (Skokie)

Nick tell people to give Vinny props for throwing JJ on LeBron. Look at the Bulls, the only person who come REMOTELY close to matching LeBron in size and athleticism is JJ. That dunk aside if the Bulls plan on seeing LeBron and Co. a lot in the playoffs in coming years than JJ will likely be a huge part of defending him.

Nick Friedell
  (2:02 PM)

I don't know if I'd say huge part just yet, Sean. But I see what you're saying. If JJ dedicates himself to improving in the off-season, then yes. If not, I don't think he will be seeing the floor that much more than he has this season.

Adam (Upland,IN)

Quickly, give a grade of you how think Deng has done on the defensive end guarding LeBron?

Nick Friedell
  (2:03 PM)

C-. But when LeBron is draining 28 footers consistently, nobody can stop him.

Bryan (Chicago)

Nick - It's tough to argue with the effort the Bulls put forth last game, and I think mores times than not, that effort will result in wins against this Cavs team. However, what would you think about starting Miller over Gibson (essentially matching Miller's minutes up with Shaq's) and starting Murray over Kirk? Murray stretches the floor a bit more, and since Kirk is too small to guard LeBron anyway, we live with Derrick checking Mo Williams and Murray getting Parker. This would create more room for Derrick to operate, and would allow Kirk to man our second unit. If Kirk can't provide any offense, and he isnt guarding anyone of consequence, why not add the offense?

Nick Friedell
  (2:06 PM)

Solid points -- and like I said I think VDN may choose to go this route tonight especially as it pertains to Flip. But I don't think he is going to switch up the starting lineup now. If Noah and Gibson run early they will wear Shaq out. If Kirk isn't shooting well again I do think Flip will make a quicker appearance on the floor.

George (Jamaica)

Do you think the media baited Joakim into talking badly about Cleveland because they knew he would give an honest answer? It seems to me that the only reason he made "headlines" is because the media blew it up in the first place.

Nick Friedell
  (2:08 PM)

The media definitely blew it up, but Noah knew exactly what he was saying. He is very honest, but he is also very media savvy. He didn't have to say what he said, but I'm convinced he did because he wanted to take a little pressure off his teammates. Obviously, he doesn't really like the city much either though.

Erick (Chicago)

Do you think Lebron will sign with Chicago? He said that he loves Chicago and he wants to change his jersey number to number 6 because of MJ. He can win multiple championships with Rose, Noah, Deng, and Hinrich with him along with Gibson and Johnson.

Nick Friedell
  (2:09 PM)

Like I've said all year, I don't think he's leaving Cleveland.

Marc (Chicago)

Nick, what do you think of Lebron's maturity level and how he handles being a star. He seems to showboat, be a sore loser, and talk a lot of smack for someone who is the face of the league. Any thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

His personality during the regular season and his personality during the post-season are definitely different. He is much more focused during the playoffs. From my brief experience around him over the past few years I think he handles himself well for the most part. The only problem I really had is that he didn't shake hands with the Magic at the end of the Eastern Conference Finals last season. I think that's what professionals should do, but obviously, he had his reasons.

Joseph (Milwaukee)

Hi Nick, I think in order for the Bulls to get Bosh, they would have to give up too much meaning Noah or Gibson. What other option do you think it would take in order to get Bosh?

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

Why would they have to give up anybody? They could just convince him to come to Chicago and sign him outright.

Mike (Akron)

Hey Nick, I saw what you said about the game tonight and I gotta ask. You're right, Bron may not hit those shots, but do you think the Bulls will ONLY have 4 turnovers? Do you think the Bulls will have the same point differential in the paint? Also, do you think Shaq and Jamison are as ineffective as they were? Also, and I hate to bring it up, but Bron plays better when he is told he is not very good. You no longer have to worry about the Bulls bench but fans sitting court side.

Nick Friedell
  (2:15 PM)

Granted, the Bulls played very well on Monday and I definitely think they will have more than four turnovers. But even in the loss I think they gained confidence that they can beat the Cavs. Rose admitted as much after the game. They know that they did everything they could and were only beaten by LeBron at the end. Do I think the Bulls will win the series? No. But I do think they will win tonight.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hey Nick, is it me or does Lebron seem to genuinely not like the Bulls?

Nick Friedell
  (2:17 PM)

I don't think he dislikes the Bulls. I don't think he particularly likes Noah, but I think he likes other players on the team -- including D. Rose.

Matt (Madrid)

Hey nick, I know most fan bases complain about their players not getting any calls, but it seems like DRose truly gets hosed. How can a player who drives that often only have 6 FT attempts in two games, especially when the other team sometimes commits 2 or 3 players to stop him?

Nick Friedell
  (2:19 PM)

Good question and one that VDN has continually asked. Over time, I think Rose gets those calls. But for whatever reason I don't think he has built up enough of a reputation for himself just yet. If he keeps driving and doesn't shy away from the contact I think the whistle will eventually blow in his favor though.

Tony (Peru, IL )

I know you hate the question and you keep saying there's no way, but come on Nick, the Heat are a joke. When you as an NBA player have 4 other people on the court other than yourself and you're making up for 1/3 of your points in a game, you know you want to come home. D-Wade belongs in Chicago regardless of the extra money he gets to stay in Miami, trust me the man has enough money. So now that I have made my statement, with the downsize play of the Heat, do you think Dwayne is having good thoughts about going elsewhere?

Nick Friedell
  (2:21 PM)

No, I don't. Wade loves Miami and he will try to lure another free agent to come play with him down there. I appreciate your persistence though. You sound like Silvy.

Peter (Chicago)

Some NBA experts say Rose doesn't get calls because he decides to do floaters instead of drawing body contact. What you think of this?

Nick Friedell
  (2:23 PM)

I think Rose draws plenty of contact during games, but I do think he settles for that floater a lot. Over time, he will find a way to balance both. When we talk next year I really do think Rose will have started getting more calls.

Nathan (Phoenix)

Hey Nick! If the Bulls decide to part ways with Vinney this summer, do you see them looking for a replacement that has NBA head coaching experience or do you think they take their chances on another rookie coach? Thanks.

Nick Friedell
  (2:24 PM)

Nathan, the guess is that they go with a guy who has coached before. I don't think they want to "break in" another rookie head coach on the job.

Craig Sager (United Center)

Can I catch you at the game wearing a great looking suit like me?

Nick Friedell
  (2:26 PM)

No chance, Craig. Sorry. Although, I would appreciate it if you could introduce me to some of the LuvaBulls.

John (LA)

If Cavs win tonight, do they bring the brooms on Sunday?

Nick Friedell
  (2:27 PM)

Yep.

Chris (Yorkville, IL)

Nick, do you really truly believe that there is an available head coach out there who is going to be that much of a step up from Del Negro? Vinny knows his players well and has done a commendable job getting the most out of them that he can considering their talent pool. Avery Johnson, meanwhile, is a guy who choked away a first round series with a superior team to an inferior team when he coached Dallas...

Nick Friedell
  (2:28 PM)

Chris, I'm not sure who is out there who would be a gigantic step ahead, but I think Vinny's time here has run its course. In my mind, the franchise decided a while back that they were going to head in a different direction.

Joe (The Madhouse on Madison)

Dear Vinny,Please don't let Pargo see a second of playing time cause its an automatic tournover, stupid shot, or a burn on defense.

Nick Friedell
  (2:30 PM)

You should probably put that on a sign, Joe.

Nick Friedell
  (2:31 PM)

I'm out of here, guys. Great chat as usual. Talk to you next week. Does anyone think this series will still be going on?