Morning everyone. Nick is working his way through the Newark airport on his way to Indianapolis for tonight's game against the Pacers. He will be along in a few minutes to answer your questions so keep them coming.
Welcome from Newark airport. Let's go.
What do you think will be the greatest x-factor for the playoffs this year? Home court? Bigs? Star power? Team unity? Something else?
Home court. These guys are 30-4 at the United Center, and they play with a different confidence at home. If they get the No. 1 seed, they don't feel anybody in the East can beat themin a seven-game series.
I believe the Bulls have a championship calibur defense. My question to you is... Do you believe their offense is capable enough to win a championship [this year]? Not asking if the Bulls WILL win but if their offense is good enough to win.
If Derrick stays hot throughout the playoffs, then yes. If Derrick gets shut down at any point, then the Bulls are in trouble, because they don't have a backcourt mate for him to take off offensive pressure.
Hey Nick, Really appreciate your work. Is Derrick Rose wearing down? His shooting percentage is starting to worry me as well as the fact he settles for more 3's? Also, I'm a college freshman, do you know if the Bulls have any summer intern opportunities?
The Bulls are keeping an eye on it, because his minutes have been up all year. But at 22, they feel Derrick will still be fine for the stretch drive.
will thibs use rasual butler down the stretch
Hi Nick. Nice to talk to you! I am a huge fan from Portugal... I have recentlty started to read your posts and I apreciate the way you cover the bulls. How many wins do you think the bulls need to grab 1st seed? Do you think they will get a better record than the lakers? Go Bulls!!!
I think if the Bulls get to 61, that will get them a No. 1 seed.
it should be pretty obvious that the reason that the bulls are in the position (1st in the East) they are in not only because of Rose's stellar MVP-caliber play but also because of the coaching of rookie head coach Thibs. What are his chances of getting Coach of the Year? Has a coach ever won COY his first year coaching? How good is Thibs first coaching season compared to other rookie coaches in NBA history?
I think they get better every day. It's a 3-coach race between Thibs, Popovich and Doug Collins. I think if the Bulls land the No. 1 seed, and Derrick is the MVP, Thibodeau very well could be the coach of the yeear.
As long as Boozer remains injury-prone, do you think it will be a concern for the rest of the team going into the play-offs?
Yes. Boozer has shown an innate ability to get hurt the last few years. I do think it's a concern for the oganization, but they knew that when they signed him. Having said that, the training staff is keeping a close ey on his ankle. Both Boozer and Thibodeau beleive he'll be ready to go in the next week or two.
Come on Nick! You watch the Bulls play each and every night....you still dont think they can beat Boston or Miami in a 7-game series?? With the way they are playing defense, they can beat anyone....especially if they get the #1 seed
They can beat anybody, but if you gave me money, and told me to bet on those 3 teams and put them in order, I'd still put Boston and Miami ahead of the Bulls right now.
What do you think the Bulls chances are of making the NBA finals this year?
I still think they're one scorer away in the backcourt. The Bulls' future is extremely bright, but I don't think they'll get to the Finals this year.
Nick, today is my birthday and I havent recieved your call yet! I will be waiting by the phone. I was wondering if you think I will get any playing time tonight in honor of my birthday? Put in a good word for me with Thibs!
Scal, the call is on the way. I'll try to tell Tom to get you in there, and I do think you'll get some playing time tonight.
Who has a higher ceiling: Noah or Asik?
I still think it's Noah, because I think he has a more consistent ability to at some point in the next year or two score 15 or 16 ppg and grab 12-13 rpg. Asik can do that in certain games, but he doesn't have that consistency now. Noah is a much more confident offensive player, therefore his numbers will always be higher than Omer's.
Hey Nick,Congrats on the Caddyshack quiz, and Goonies is the best movie ever.I was wondering, what makes Tom Thibodeau's defense so great? Is it just that he preaches tough defense? or are there things that the defensive scheme does that helps take the defense to a new level?hope that makes sense.also,daaaa bulls
First and foremost, I think he's gotten all the players to buy into his system, which is gigantic. These players trust Thibodeau will pt them in position to win every night. His scheme is contingent upon help side defense and aggression, and I think that's why you've seen so much early success with this particular squad.
During the off season especially the draft what type player in what position do you think we need to aquire to pretty much start a run like the 90's? I do believe we are very close
2-guard, 2-guard, 2-guard. The Bulls will be looking for a shooter who isn't afraid to play defense. If they can fill that need in the draft, Gar Forman will be doing backflips at the Berto Center.
Nick, do you think the Bulls can lock this #1 seed up, or is this coming down to the showdown down with you-know-who at the UC?
I think it's coming down to the showdown with you know who at the UC on April 7. If the Bulls can beat Boston that day, I think that could go a long way toward locking up the No. 1 seed in the East.
What will the Bulls playoff rotation look like? Will Kurt Thomas be part of it and if so how much time will he get? Especially considering Omer Asik is looking real good.
I still think Thomas will play a role in the playoff rotation. Thibodeau trusts him, and has repeatedly said he's one of the team's best interior defeners. Asik will play, but Thomas has been through the playoff battles before, and I think Thibs will use him behind Noah in certain situations.
Did the recent acquisition of Jeff Green and the departure of Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson help or hurt the chances of the Bulls in the possible Bulls vs. Celtics match-up in the Eastern Conference playoffs?
I think they helped the Bulls, because Perkins was a guy teams feared defensively in the post. With him out of the way, the Bulls' depth with Noah, Asik, Thomas and Gibson should pay big dividends if and when they play in a 7 game series.
Any chance Boozer plays tonight?
Seriously doubtful. I think the Bulls are going to wait as long as they can to bring Boozer back because they know they don't need him to win right now.
I keep hearing that D-Rose is not a good defender. How does he stack up against the other elite point guards defensively?
He's definitely improved since he's been under Thibodeau. There's no doubt he'll have room to grow, but each night it seems he's getting more confident at the defensive end. For example, last night, Deron Williams went 1-for-12 from the field and Derrick's defense was a major reason.
How can you still say that the Bulls cannot win it all this year, or have little chance? What are they 10-0 against the elite teams since they lost the first two games with Boozer back? The league's best record against winning teams? They have won with Boozer out and with Noah out, and are currently the first seed in the East and yet you still question them. Yes they were not expected to do as well as they are doing, but your expectations have to change with results don't they? If the weatherman tells you it is going to rain tomorrow, and tomorrow comes without a drop of rain, you still believe the weatherman?
The Bulls' future is extremely bright, and gets brighter every day. I still just don't think they've had enough experience in the playoffs to warrant them winning the title this season. I still think they're one piece away offensively.
Nick, great job with these chats i really look forward to them. I was wondering what you think of Carlos's defense? I personally feel that he is a less than stellar defender and that we are overall a better defensive team even with someone like 'Big Sexy' out there pestering the other bigs, and 'Los on the bench. I am strong believer that he is the least defensive big of ours.
Well you're right. Boozer was never known as a great defender and he has lived up to that reputation in Chicago. But the Bulls know they need him on the floor in playoff time, because he has the ability to dominate offensively in the post and drop 25 whenever he wants to. That's just the reality of his situation.
More likely: DRose MVP or Thibodeau COY? Thibs is gaining steam.
D-Rose as MVP.
I've noticed that in games that we're up by 15 or 20 points, Thibs keeps the starters in at the end of the games. Why not play the bench guys when theres 3 minutes left in a game that we're up by 20?
I agree. Tom has a pedal to the medal mentality about everything. He's more confident leaving the starters in late. If somebody were to get hurt in the final 3 minutes of a blowout, he would never hear the end of it.
hey nick love what your doing man quick question i was watching the game yesterday and it seems like derrick was real tired should we be concerned with this i mean coach thibs has been playing him extra do you think he will be ok come playoff time???
I think he'll be fine in the playoffs because he has the ability to push away any serious pain he's felt all season. Thibs and the training staff are going to keep a close eye on him. But I don't think any injury will keep Derrick out of the lineup down the stretch.
Nick - give me a better future 1-2 punch at Center than Noah - Asik? Both are young, tireless workers that play within a team concept.
I don't think there is one. I think both will improve and they enjoy playing with each other.
How bad would Tmac be if we signed him in the offseason? After his interview with Hoopshype, I feel like he would have just destroyed this team
There's a reason Gar and John Paxson didn't sign him, even after he pledged his allegiance to the Bulls.
After the Bulls honor Scottie Pippen with a bust insidce the UC, Derrick Rose seems like the best bet to be the next player so honored (assuming his career continues on its current path). But that won't be for another 20 or so years. What are the chances that we see a bust of the White Mamba before then?
Scal, is this you? Go enjoy your birthday.
With two draft picks at the very end of the first round, should we be expecting more Omer Asik's - European's we can hide overseas for a season or two - or do the Bulls take the best shooting guard available just based on need?
I think the Bulls will look to take the best player available to package any and all of their picks in a deal to land them a more seasoned shooting guard.
I'm a bulls fan as much as the next fan so I would love to see us win the gold this year. What scares me is how much we turn over the ball ESPECIALLY Rose. They give away possesions and you just can not do that in the playoffs. Ask Iverson, or more recently Lebron. Teams the Spurs and Lakers who FEED on opponents mistakes on turnovers
Agreed. Thibs has made it a point to discuss cutting down turnovers, but as we all know, playoffs are a different game. It will be interesting to see how Derrick and his teammates respond in that situation.
I refuse to listen to anybody say D Rose plays average "D" at best anymore. Let's ask D Will how he thinks Rose's "D" is after getting absolutely shut down for a second time this year. Open your eyes!!
I think Derrick opened a lot of eyes with a repeat performance against Williams. No doubt Thibs felt pride watching Derrick work him defensively the way he did. That's one thing the pair discussed more than anything this season.
Should there be any concern with the amount of threes that Derrick Rose is jacking up?
The Bulls as a team seem to be falling in love with the 3, and Derrick is confident his shot will start to go down. Don't be surprised to see him keep shooting it.
Nick, what do you think of the nickname The Turkish Thunder for Omer Asik? I know Stacy has been calling him The Turkish Hammer which is awful in my opinion.
I was always partial to the Turkish Delight, but I heard Stacey threw a new one out there last night in Asik And Destroy, and I like that one a lot.
Nick, Scott Skiles seemed to be in the same mold as Thibodeau in terms of having a no-nonsense approach to coaching and being defensive-minded. But after a few years the players seemed to quit on him. Do you have any worry about that happening with Thibs down the road?
I think it could be a concern a few years from now, because players seem to get tired of hearing the same voice. But if they're very successful, I don't think you'll hear players complaining at all.
Some in the national media like to point to the Bull's 17th ranked offense as the reason not to give DRose the MVP... Do they not understand they'd most likely be ranked dead last in the league without him? or that he has been the 17th ranked offense by himself for most of the season? Sheesh. And now all of a sudden everyone talks about the Bulls having the best bench....were they saying that in Nov, Dec, Jan....NO. The bench has been playing well lately but it seems like some number crunchers (cough, Hollinger, cough cough) is just dying for a reason not to give it to him. I'd love to see Rose's numbers if he had Wade and Bosh all season....or Durant....how quickly everyone forgets he played without Noah and Boozer for most of the season and he single-handedly put them in position to land the top spot in the east once everyone got healthy. Rose for M-V-P!
The Bulls' defense has been phenomenal all year, but anyone who thinks the Bulls would be as successful as they are without Derrick playing as well as he has, is crazy. If he stays healthy and continues to play this way, he's the MVP.
Nick, what is your favorite Stacy King quote?
I always loved "Stop it, Stop it, Stop it" from the Dragac dunk.
I'm not a Bogans hater like many others, but there has to be some accountability for the missed WIDE OPEN 3s, right? Korver would sink 60% of those looks Bogans gets.
Yep, you're right, and that's why the Bulls will be looking to upgrade at the 2-guard position this summer and at next year's trade deadline.
Nick. It's exciting to think of the Bulls as Champs this year, but obviously they are poised to be good for many years. Who do you see as number 1 on their shooting-guard wish list in the off-season? J Richardson if he's willing to sign a reasonable contract?
The two guys right now would be Jason Richardson and Jamal Crawford, but it all depends on how the CBA shakes out, and if those two are willing to sign a deal that would get them under the Bulls' cap.
Nick-do you have a favorite guy to work with / interview on the team?
Noah and Derrick are always accessible and are pretty hilarious when they want to be.
Hey Nick, can you tell Keith Bogans that fans are finally beginning to appreciate him in the starting line up
Love to work, nick. Keep it up - Lets say that the new collective bargaining agreement has a mid level exception like the one currently in place. I believe then bulls would qualify for using it this offseason. First, do you see Reinsdorf spending the money on an MLE player and going above the cap? Second, does a player like Jason Richardson fit nicely if Orlando wont match the MLE offer?
Reinsdorf will be willing to spend whatever it takes because he knows this team has the ability to win titles. After all, he's the one who said recently there's a chance the Bulls can win four if they stay healthy. As for Richardson, he would be a great fit.
Nobody talks about Deng but where would the Bulls be without him?
They wouldn't be close to the No. 1 seed, I can promise you that. There's a reason why Thibs routinely calls Deng the glue of the team. He does all the little things it takes for the Bulls to continue to pile up the wins.
Hey nick, you think the Bulls are going to step it up to a different level come playoff time? They've seemed like theyve been at their best without their 2 big guys all season including now.
I think it all hinges on Derrick. If he can raise his game another level or two, the Bulls will be able to accomplish al lthe things they want in the playoffs.
How do you see a potential second round Chicago-Orlando matchup shaking out?
That will be a tough matchup for the Bulls, because they always had problems with Howard.
Alright everybody, great chat as usual. I will talk to you guys next week. If you're at one of the games, come over and say hello.