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December 3, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (12:00 PM)

What's going on, everybody? Greetings from the press room at TD Garden in Boston. Let's get this chat rolling ...

Patrick (Atlanta)

Hey Nick, it was apparent that there was little to no chemistry on the court this past Wednesday against the Magic. I think it's reasonable to expect this on some level but are you concerned at all how much time this will take and if in fact Boozer will fit in well with the Bull's core and with Thibodeau's schemes? Thanks Nick.

Nick Friedell
  (12:02 PM)

Thibs repeatedly has said there won't be much of an adjustment period. I disagree. I think it will take the Bulls at least a few weeks to learn how to play with Boozer. Over time, I think they will all figure it out and Boozer will fit in fine with Rose and Noah. But I think the team will struggle a little in the meantime. You can't add a player like Boozer and expect everything to look great from the start.

John (Chicago)

It seems we always start the first and third quarter slow. What baffles me is that coach Thibs isn't even considering a lineup change. What is so good about Bogans that is keeping him in the lineup?

Nick Friedell
  (12:04 PM)

Bogans hasn't even been playing that much lately. I think he's just comfortable having him in to start the game, but I don't think Bogans is going to end up getting any kind of serious minutes in crunch time. He hasn't consistently hit that open three since the preseason. Brewer and Korver will continue to get the minutes down the stretch, I think.

Howie S (CUSE)

Nick - whaaaat up?! Does Rose have the midrange jumper for the pick and roll w/ Boozer? Where do you see 'cuse winding up when all is said and done - Scoop gonna lead the way?

Nick Friedell
  (12:05 PM)

He does -- and I think you will see him hit that a lot more as the season progresses ... as for the Cuse, you know they're going all the way this year.

Austin B. (Chicago)

Hey Nick:Question for you regarding the Denver game. What do you think about Thibbs decision to put in John Lucas III in the last seconds of the 4th Quarter, having played no minutes prior? Obviously, he is a professional, so he should be ready when called on no matter what. However, I feel like there were several players that could have been inserted who had been in the game and developed some type of rhythm (Keith Bogans, perhaps)? Thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (12:08 PM)

I wouldn't have put Lucas in that kind of situation. He had already worked out for several hours during the day and was sitting at a Wing Stop when the Bulls called. I would have stuck a player on the floor who had been with me all year. But Thibs gets the big money to make those kinds of decisions. To his credit, he hasn't backed off his decision after being second guessed repeatedly. Like it or not, I think he would do the same thing if the situation presented itself again.

Jay (Chicago)

Why in the world did Thibs start Boozer coming off of that injury? Why not been him off the bench until he gets his timing back? I like coach Thibs, but his decisions have lost a couple of games for us this year already.

Nick Friedell
  (12:09 PM)

I think it's tough to bring a player of Boozer's caliber off the bench. Stan Van Gundy even said after the game that he would have done the same thing Thibodeau did. Boozer is one of your centerpieces and starters, you might as well get him into the flow of things as soon as you can.

Brian (Ann Arbor)

Hey Nick,I know that the game against the Magic was mainly due to coming off a long road trip and working Boozer into the lineup. What I want to know is how the team responded? Another beatdown from the magic...I can't see Joakim or anyone else taking that loss lightly. What can we expect in Boston tonight? A team hungry for a W or more lackluster effort and confusion.

Nick Friedell
  (12:11 PM)

They seemed pretty relaxed and ready at shootaround. The Bulls know they can't let the Celtics manhandle them early or the game will be over by the 3rd quarter, just as the Orlando game was. I'd look for them to come out hungrier and with a lot more fire tonight.

Tony (Peru, IL )

What do we see in Asik, I dislike everything about him - He's like a rookie Noah, bulk up for heavens sake and be physical! Your thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (12:13 PM)

Asik is fine for 8-10 minutes a game. Yes, he needs to bulk up, but that will happen over time. He still looks a little unsure sometimes on the floor, but that's to be expected considering this is his first year in the NBA. I think the Bulls like what they have in Asik.

Will..I..AM (Chi City )

Do you see James Johnson starting at the 2? Keith Bogans is not helping Rose in any way he plays D but So does James and at the very least you get bring up his trade value

Nick Friedell
  (12:13 PM)


Adam (Chicago)

Is Orlando in the Bulls' heads? It's like watching the Globetrotters and the Generals. The Bulls generally have lost the game well before halftime.

Nick Friedell
  (12:15 PM)

No doubt the Magic have gotten into the Bulls' heads. You can see it in the way they play against them. Noah isn't as aggressive against Howard and is continually frustrated by his size. In many ways, the Magic are the worst possible matchup for the Bulls because of the matchup problems they create.

Mike (Riverwoods, IL)

Nick, I'm starting to become frustrated now that its been a month and Thibodeau's subbing rotations are terrible. You can see the frustration on rose and noah's face on the bench. He's terrible on the offensive end as a coach. Do you think he'll get better at all? or will it be like this for the rest of the year?

Nick Friedell
  (12:18 PM)

Is this you, Silvy? I'll admit there are some substitution patterns that leave you scratching your head sometimes from Thibs, but I think he is still learning. He is trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. Rest assured, when the game is on the line in April and May, Rose and Noah will be on the floor.

Dhruv (Chicago)

Hey Nick, what has drose been saying about his defense? Jameer Nelson really outplayed him on Wednesday, I know he has a stiff neck, but he needs to stop penetration better. Did Thibodeau emphasize this to him in the last practice?

Nick Friedell
  (12:22 PM)

Derrick's defense has gotten a little better this year, but it's still not where it could be. Thibs is constantly going over schemes with him, I think it's just a matter of time before everything clicks for Derrick. He is focusing on his offense a lot right now -- Thibs will push to focus more on defense as the playoffs get closer.

Ryan (Moline, IL)

Nick, what's up with Noah getting no boards the other night? The dude is second in the league in rebounding. I understand the Magic shot lights out, but you would think he could have snagged at least one with all the bricks the Bulls threw up!

Nick Friedell
  (12:24 PM)

Like I said, I think Noah is a little psyched out by Howard at the moment. He tries so hard to slow him down that he forgets what makes him so successful. If it makes you feel any better, the entire locker room was stunned that Noah didn't get a rebound. They couldn't believe it, either.

steverba (NJ)

OMG I can't believe all of the Thibodeau hate!! He's the best coach Chicago has had since Jackson. Yes, I like him more than Skiles. Great defensive schemes, tremendous motivator, and has the bulls playing unselfish on the offensive end. Thoughts? Front-runner for COY?

Nick Friedell
  (12:31 PM)

The key is that the players absolutely love Thibodeau. Will he be the coach of the year? It's too early to tell, but Bulls fans should love the fact that the players would run through a wall for this guy at the moment. He is going to struggle a little bit at times, but as long as the players keep playing hard, the fans shouldn't be that concerned.

deacon (west town)

what was your favorite place to visit on the circus trip?

Nick Friedell
  (12:33 PM)

LA. It's really the only place we were able to enjoy for more than a day. I like the atmosphere out there. Plus, there is nothing like going to a Lakers game. Anyone who has gone out to Staples to see Kobe and Co. play will tell you it's a little different. Especially when you compare it to a Clips game ...


I just wanted to extend a personal thank you to Chicago for taking Boozer off our hands and making it possible for us to bring in Al Jefferson. Also, I like the ways the Bulls have tried to become the Chicago Jazz. Boozer, Korver, and Brewer all in the same summer. Ha Ha!

Nick Friedell
  (12:34 PM)

It's amazing how much anti-Boozer passion there is around the league already. Like everyone else, I am curious to see how he fits in with the Bulls this year.

Dhruv (Chicago)

Just wanted to send out a kudos for finally calling out the quality of the LuvaBulls. I guess when you are on the circus trip and see what all the other cities are offering up, you really get some perspective, been saying it for years.

Nick Friedell
  (12:35 PM)

Sometimes the truth hurts.

Jorge (Portugal)

How many minutes Boozer could earn tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (12:36 PM)

If the game is close, I think Boozer will go over 30 minutes. Thibs will see how he feels after that.

Adam (Chicago)

I'd like to thank the state of Utah for being so utterly boring that JR has time to make silly jokes in a Bulls chat. Chicago wants to thank Utah for putting Byron Russell on MJ.

Nick Friedell
  (12:36 PM)


John (Quincy, IL)

Nick, please tell me that Boozer will get better on his help defense? He seemed to just give token pressure when he came to help and then would bail back to his man leaving wide open lanes to the basket, or am I just missing something?

Nick Friedell
  (12:38 PM)

Boozer has never been known as a solid defender. But I think over time, in Thibs' system, he will be much better than he showed on Wednesday night. Playing with Noah can't hurt, either.

TP (Chicago)

Do you think the bulls will make it out of the second round of the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (12:39 PM)


Mikey (Elgin)

Hey Nick I know it's December but I feel this game is important for the Bulls. While we have yet to be blown out (sans Orlando) we still havn't won against a top team (except Dallas). We've been close in most of our losses and had the excuse of Boozer not playing yet to comfort the loss. Well, Boozers here now, so let's start winning against the elite teams and let's start tonight in Boston.

Nick Friedell
  (12:41 PM)

Mikey, I see your point, but I still think it's way too early. The Bulls earned a nice win over Portland and like you said -- they've been in pretty much every game. To borrow a line from Thibs, as long as they continue to improve, they will be fine. When push comes to shove, the players know that they really have to get ready for the games in April and May ... the ones in December just aren't as important.

mitchell (WI)

i wish they would've really tried to get joe johnson wouldn't he be a great fit? or spend some money on rudy gay

Nick Friedell
  (12:42 PM)

I'm not saying the Boozer contract is going to look good in a couple years -- it won't. But would you really want Johnson or Gay's contracts right now?

Dan (Lemont)

Its clear to make any noise in the playoffs that the bulls have to upgrade at 2guard. However, we dont have anythign to offer in a trade that will bring back a 2 guard of value without trading a piece of our core? Do you think gar/pax will stand pat?

Nick Friedell
  (12:46 PM)

GarPax will make a move if they think it gets them closer to a title. That's the best answer anyone can give right now. I think the Bulls would love to pick up Melo still, but they'll have to wait and see. I keep hearing the name Mayo bounced around, but if the Grizz ever shop him around, what would the Bulls have to give up to get him? Would they give up Taj, Asik and a couple picks? Only time will tell. It's still going to be difficult for the Bulls to get Deng's contract off the books, though.

Tony (Peru, IL )

Alright give me 3 good reason's they can't make it through the second round of the playoffs? Seems every Chicago analyst that does our sports has no faith in our teams! John Jurkovic with Chicago, proved wrong, you with the bulls and I truly hope they prove you wrong. I think your one of the brightest ones out of the group, but why not fate man?

Nick Friedell
  (12:47 PM)

Tony, I love the optimism. But here are your three reasons, in my opinion ... Orlando, Boston and Miami. I think they're all better and I think they would beat the Bulls in a seven game series.

Eddie (Chicago)

Nick, do you think DRose will follow Kobe, Lebron and DHoward and commit to USA Basketball for 2010 Olympics? I think he should be the starting point guard. Your thoughts

Nick Friedell
  (12:48 PM)

Derrick would love to play on the team in 2012. He would commit right now if he could. He still has to make it, though.

bob (chicago)

i see you only resond to b.s. questions. thanks

Nick Friedell
  (12:48 PM)

I didn't see a question there, Bob. How can I help you?

Bergs (Chicago)

Hey Nick just wanted to tell you I enjoy these chats a ton! Anyways.. Do you know the reason behind all of the Boston players after they get fouled, score a hard shot, drive to the paint, etc give a look of complete pain and helplessness like they are carrying the whole world on their shoulders? Is life or the NBA really that tough? I see plenty of players go through the motions of a regular game and not make it look like they are enduring World War 2. It's really amazing to watch as it constantly looks like someone is smelling something foul after the play, depending on who had the ball. Any thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (12:50 PM)

Appreciate the compliment, Bergs. As for Boston, I'm not sure. They complain a lot, but then again so does almost every player in the league. I don't think Dwight Howard or Tim Duncan believe they have ever actually committed a foul.

Ron (champaign,IL)

Forget Melo not gonna happen. What about Chauncy Billups he can play the 2 shoot the 3 and playes excellent D. Look at how Detroit fell apart after they traded him. He played well alongside Rose in the world games as well.

Nick Friedell
  (12:52 PM)

Chauncey is not close to being the player he used to be. Plus, he wants to stay in Denver.

Marlon (Chicago)

Do you think there will be a lockout next season?

Nick Friedell
  (12:53 PM)


Ross (Bernardi)

Why do you continue to hate on Luol and his contract? He's played well this year and he's not nearly as overpaid as a lot of contracts signed even this summer. I'd rather have Lu at his money than Rashard Lewis or Joe Johnson at theirs. I think you need to cut him a break.

Nick Friedell
  (12:55 PM)

Deng has played very well and is a very good player. My point with the contract has always been that it is a massive albatross around the Bulls' neck. It has hampered them any time they have thought about making a move. It's not his fault -- I just don't think he'll ever play to the level of that deal.

Tony (Peru, IL )

I enjoy these chats like crazy myself, get's me through the work day! I love ESPN - I'm saying the Bulls beat Boston tonight 113 - 87. How's that for optimism my friend? Have a good weekend everyone - Go Bulls, Bears, Hawks and R.I.P Ron Santo - GEE WHIZZZ!!

Nick Friedell
  (12:56 PM)

Now, there's some optimism. I'm out of here, everybody. Talk to you guys next week.

Nick Friedell
  (12:56 PM)

RIP Ronnie.