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April 29, 12:30 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

ESPNChicago.com
  (12:34 PM)

Guys, Nick said he'll be on in a couple of minutes. Traffic to the Berto Center was worse than usual.

ESPNChicago.com
  (12:35 PM)

In the meantime, we just posted a story on Kirk Hinrich going for an MRI on his hamstring today. If he can't go in Game 1, another former Bull - Jamal Crawford - will draw the defensive assignment on Derrick Rose.

Nick Friedell
  (12:40 PM)

What's going on everybody? I'm coming at you live from the Berto Center. Let's get this chat rolling ...

Sammy (South side....)

What are the biggest issues the Bulls face against the Hawks??

Nick Friedell
  (12:42 PM)

Not getting complacent. Aside from a bad half at the beginning of March, the Bulls absolutely ripped this team. If they play defense the same way and play with an "edge" as Noah would say, they will have no problem. But they can't coast in this series or else Atlanta will come back to bite them ...

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Nick - if Hinrich can't go is that a good thing or bad thing? Crawford is taller and longer and we saw how the length of Indy affected his performance.

Nick Friedell
  (12:44 PM)

That would be a great thing for the Bulls. Rose has always said that Hinrich guards him tougher than almost anybody else in the league. Hinrich stabilizes that lineup ... if he's not in there I think it would be a big break for the Bulls.

joe (south bend)

will taj see more time since boozer obviously cant guard horford? or will noah guard horford?

Nick Friedell
  (12:44 PM)

I think both Noah and Gibson will see a lot of time against Horford ... but I think Noah will start out against him.

abo (Camp Arifjan, Kuwait)

Question for across the pond...Horford seems to have dominated Noah at times during the regular season. Do you think we will see a different Noah this postseason vs his old teammate Horford?

Nick Friedell
  (12:46 PM)

I think Noah is healthy for the first time in several months and I think he was upset with the big games Horford has had against him this year. I expect Noah to play a lot better in this series.

Kris (Milwaukee)

It seems like Kyle Korver is always playing when the game is on the line. With the lack of scoring from boozer do you think coach Tibs will consider giving him more playing time, especially in the first half?

Nick Friedell
  (12:48 PM)

I think Korver's minutes are pretty locked in. He will come in at the end of the first/beginning of the second and he will re-appear at the end of the third/beginning of the fourth.

Bob (Chicago)

Nicky! Why haven't I heard your theme song lately on the radio? Is there some sort of copyright issues or something? I sound pretty dumb when i sing it out loud at the office! haha

Nick Friedell
  (12:50 PM)

HAHA. We got to get the song rolling again ... I'll talk to the guys in the office.

Marley (New York)

will the bulls have less of a tough time with Atlanta, as oppose to Indiana?

Nick Friedell
  (12:51 PM)

I think so. I don't think Atlanta will give them much of a problem at all.

Tyler (Albany Park)

Nick, is Dwight Howard on his way out of Orlando with their early playoff exit? Destinations?

Nick Friedell
  (12:51 PM)

I think there's a solid chance Howard leaves. If he does, the only place I think he'll go is LA.

Frank (Chi)

Please tell me that the Bulls are going to try to put a package together to trade for D Howard next year? Noah and Boozer would be a good trade if they would take Boozers contract.

Nick Friedell
  (12:52 PM)

Why would anyone take Boozer's contract?

Bob (Chicago)

Health updates please? Rose? Boozer? Brewer? Taj?Thanks Nick! love your work!

Nick Friedell
  (12:53 PM)

We are getting an official update soon ... but I know Boozer's been receiving treatment for the last few days.

Michael (Arlington Heights, IL.)

Boggans had a great game 5 against the Pacers. Do you think the Bulls should try to get him more involved more often?

Nick Friedell
  (12:54 PM)

I never thought I would hear this question all year ... especially in the playoffs.

Elias (IL)

Orlando might take Boozer's contract if we take the Arenas contract.

Nick Friedell
  (12:54 PM)

So you'd rather have Arenas? That's crazy, man.

Mike (LA)

If Boozer doesn't play well again, who will step-up to be the 3rd scorer or will D. Rose have to score 30+ a game for the Bulls to win again?

Nick Friedell
  (12:55 PM)

If the Bulls want to beat Boston/Miami Rose may have to score 40 a game if Boozer can't get things together.

Chuck (Chicago, IL)

Nick, seemed like Big Sexy really slowed Horford down in the regular season (6 points 7 rebounds in one of the games). I think Kurt could be a factor in this series. Your thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (12:56 PM)

I think he will be as well. I just don't think he'll play that much if Noah stays out of foul trouble.

Virginia (Wichita,Ks 67218)

Nick, What do you think of Danny Granger calling Joakim dirty? When Foster got charge with flarant fouls?

Nick Friedell
  (12:58 PM)

That was just sour grapes. That's all. I didn't think either team was that dirty, aside from Foster's elbows. As Rasheed Wallace would say, "Both teams played hard my man, both teams played hard."

Steve (Hickory Hills, IL )

How many altercations will Zaza be involved in during this series?

Nick Friedell
  (12:58 PM)

The over/under is three.

Andrew (Mundelein, IL)

Who is a bigger bust: Bogans game 1 - 60 during the regular season or Boozer Playoffs game 1-5 (excluding one good game)?

Nick Friedell
  (12:58 PM)

Boozer ... because not much was expected of Bogans at all.

James (Chicago)

Would the Bulls be a lock for the NBA title if they had Amare instead of Boozington?

Nick Friedell
  (12:59 PM)

They would be a lock for the title if they had LeBron instead of Bogans.

Carlos Boozer (A Chicago Suburb)

Why are people being so mean, man?

Nick Friedell
  (1:00 PM)

Because you're getting paid almost $80 mil over five years to produce.

David (Waukegan)

I see the Bulls taking this series in 6...possibly 5, whats your predictions.

Nick Friedell
  (1:00 PM)

Bulls in 5.

Dub (Bloomington, IN)

Can we expect more strong Bulls crowds in Atlanta?

Nick Friedell
  (1:01 PM)

Absolutely ... Atlanta fans don't care about the Hawks.

Matt (Oklahoma)

Who should the Bulls be more afraid of Boston or Miami?

Nick Friedell
  (1:02 PM)

I still say Boston because they've won as a group before. People will disagree with me ... but I still think they're more dangerous.

Adam (South Bend)

Is Crawford to the Bulls next year a legitimate possibility?

Nick Friedell
  (1:03 PM)

It all depends on what the CBA looks like and how much Crawford wants ... which will probably be a lot.

James (Chicago)

With Boozer playing so poorly and clearly losing confidence in himself, any chance Thibs starts Taj?

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

No. Thibs isn't going to change his rotations now.

Gar Foreman (Chicago)

Noah, Gibson, and 2 first round picks for D Howard. Is everyone happy?

Nick Friedell
  (1:06 PM)

No, nobody is happy. Especially Gar. You just misspelled his name.

Steve (Palos Hills, IL)

Nick,Do you think the Pacers just disrupted Boozer's rythm, or do you really feel he is not in the right mindset to play confident, solid basketball?

Nick Friedell
  (1:09 PM)

I think he's hurt. I think the toe is bothering him, but I also think there has got be something else wrong physically. He has no lift right now and is missing lay-ups. I think his confidence took a hit after Game 1 of the Pacers series and it never really recovered. Yes, he played well in Game 2, but he still went 16 minutes during that game without taking a shot.

JB (Chicago)

Rasaul came in at the end of game 5 and showed he can still ball and hit shots. Why doesnt he get more tick?

Nick Friedell
  (1:10 PM)

Because Thibs isn't changing up his rotations now. Anyone asking if Butler will play meaningful minutes ... forget it. It's not going to happen.

Angel (Miami, FL)

Hi Nick, love your work. I believe the criticism directed at Boozer is a bit unfair. Indiana played him extremely physical in that series and totally took him out of his game. My thing with Boozer is that he has always been soft. The Jazz lost to the Lakers in the Conference Finals a couple years ago because this guy kept throwing up garbage weak shots around the rim, instead of going up strong. Why was this never discussed or looked at when the Bulls signed him?? This is nothing new! Either way, GO BULLS!

Nick Friedell
  (1:12 PM)

This is a criticism Boozer has dealt with for a while. I think the Bulls knew about it, but they hoped things would be different. So far, Boozer has lived up to his billing in almost every way. Injury prone, solid regular season player when healthy, poor defender, disappears sometimes in the playoffs . He's checked every one of those off the list this year.

Jake (Choiya, WI)

WHat do you think will be the most important matchup for the upcoming series?

Nick Friedell
  (1:16 PM)

Boozer vs. Hoford. I don't think Boozer will guard him much at all ... but I think Horford has the ability to go off offensively. If Boozer can't match that, the Bulls are going to have some problems.

Reggie (Chicago)

Do you think Atlanta will double Rose as aggressively as the Pacers did, and if so, do you think the ball movement will be more crisp by the Bulls this time around after seeing it for 5 games?

Nick Friedell
  (1:16 PM)

I don't think the Hawks are disciplined enough to play the type of defense the Pacers played. We'll see, though.

Aaron (Crown Point)

When is the MVP announced? Is Rose a lock?

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

Yes, Rose is pretty much a lock. As for the timing, I've heard it could be this week, but nobody has gotten the official word yet.

Don ((Elgin, IL))

do you think that Pippen can show them a few things in their practice?

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

I think he already has.

The Big O (Chicago Ridge)

Do you have a lucky blazer for the playoffs, or are you still alternating from game to game?

Nick Friedell
  (1:19 PM)

The serious blazers will come out for the biggest games. I've got a few in waiting ...

Ben Wallace Fro Wig (Bellwood IL)

What bench player do u think will have the biggest impact on the next series? And other than the Lakers who else in your opinion is the Bulls worst matchup looking ahead?(i say bulls in 4 by the way!!)

Nick Friedell
  (1:22 PM)

I think it will be Taj Gibson. If Boozer continues to struggle, he will get even more minutes. I still think the Lakers will be in the FInals, but if not I think the Thunder would give the Bulls a lot of problems.

Peter (DC)

Boozer has a huge and long contract. I really think Taj, if he develops a jump shot, will be a better starter next season. What to do with boozer?

Nick Friedell
  (1:23 PM)

Boozer is still a better offensive player ... the Bulls are just hoping he gets on track. If he doesn't, Gar is going to have a long summer worrying about that contract.

Greg (Crown Point)

So Omir Asik FINALLY got some minutes Game 5 and what do ya know he produced and made quality hustle plays, which I thought was missing early in the series. After Thibs left him on the bench for the majority of the first 4 games, do you think Thibs has now come to his senses or will Omir be back on the bench?? ASIK AND DESTROY!!

Nick Friedell
  (1:25 PM)

Omer is going to play ... but I still think Kurt Thomas will get the bulk of the backup minutes in this series.

Ken (Oak Brook)

Nick, do you see this series more or less physical than the Indy series?

Nick Friedell
  (1:26 PM)

Less. I don't think Atlanta wants to play that kind of game. They'd rather just run up and down the floor and fire up shots.

Silk (Chicago)

Can I get Jo's sisters number?

Nick Friedell
  (1:29 PM)

Aside from the constant e-mails about Boozer, Jo's sister has been the second most popular point of conversation this week. She made plenty of fans during Game 5. Yes, she's gorgeous, but she's also really nice.

Don (Felder)

I know Scal hasn't suited up for a few weeks but what are the odds we get to see him in a Bulls uniform sometime in the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (1:30 PM)

Very slim. I don't think the White Mamba will be dressing out for the rest of the year.

Jim (Bradford,MA)

Hey, Boozer frustrates me as much as the next guy but all the "trade him" talk is unreal. It's his first year here, Thibs is new, he'll grow in the system and the Bulls were #1 in East with the guy as your #4. Can every calm down a bit please?

Nick Friedell
  (1:31 PM)

True, plus no team wants that deal ... so he's essentially untradeable.

Nick (Long Beach, CA)

Do you think the long break between games will hurt or help DA Bulls?

Nick Friedell
  (1:33 PM)

I think it will help them a lot. There are a lot of guys on the team with nagging injuries and I think the rest is only going to help them.

Nick Friedell
  (1:35 PM)

All right everybody, I am out of here. A good chat as usual. I'll talk to you guys next week from Atlanta. If you're at the games this week, come over and say hello.