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May 13, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

ESPNChicago.com
  (1:00 PM)

Nick is on his way.

Nick Friedell
  (1:06 PM)

What's going on everybody? Let's get the char rolling ...

suzuki (japan)

bulls will live with Booz die with Booz, agree?

Nick Friedell
  (1:08 PM)

Hello to all the Bulls fans in Japan. I agree ... in this series. The Bulls need Boozer to play like he did last night. He was the second offensive option the Bulls have been waiting for. If he plays better than Bosh in this series, the Bulls will be in great shape.

delaun (orlando)

Nick your picking against chicago whats up with that man

Nick Friedell
  (1:11 PM)

There's no doubt the Bulls can win this series. If they play defense the way they did against the Hawks in Game 6, they will be all set. I just don't know if the Bulls have enough to overtake James and Wade right now. I'd be happy to be wrong because I love covering this team ... but I do think the Heat will win this series.

stacy (chicago)

What do you think are the bulls biggest advantages against the heat?

Nick Friedell
  (1:14 PM)

The Bulls' depth is the biggest advantage they have in this series. It will be a big key as long as Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer continue to play well. Specifically, Korver. He needs to have a big series for the Bulls.

matt (bloomington)

Rose = Confidence; LeBron = Arrogance. you agree?

Nick Friedell
  (1:14 PM)

To a point. LeBron has plenty of confidence, though. A lot. And he should.

rick (crown point)

Who is going to defend D Rose? If it's not Lebron or Wade could you see him taking 30 shots a game

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

I think Chalmers will see plenty of time on Rose. I also think Wade will see time on Rose. But you can bet LeBron will be on him at the end of the game.

bmo (la,ca)

why not leave boozer out with the bench mob on nights when he needs to get in an offensive rhythm instead of draining deng?

Nick Friedell
  (1:20 PM)

Deng's not tired ... just ask Thibs. In all seriousness though, I think Tom just trusts Luol more with that group. It's that simple.

Ken (Tinley Park)

Nick, have you had the chance to be around the team yet since last nights win? If so, what's the attitude like and what are they saying about the Heat? Pump up us Bulls fans more than we are!

Nick Friedell
  (1:23 PM)

The Bulls are ecstatic to be playing the Heat. This is the matchup they've wanted all along. A lot of the players hated the way the Heat were put together and wanted to beat them all summer. I think they're happy to get a chance to face the team that everyone thinks is the best.

Sean (Chicago)

Does Kurt Thomas finally see some serious minutes this series? Size is one of main advantages, along with depth. He should be fresh and his veteran savvy play could be valuable. Thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (1:25 PM)

I think Kurt will get some run in this series. Noah, Asik and Thomas have 18 fouls to give and they will try to use them all so that LeBron and Wade don't roll free to the rim.

Sean (Crystal Lake )

What do you think about the schedule for this series? It sure is odd and do you think it will have an affect on both team's performances?

Nick Friedell
  (1:27 PM)

I think both teams love it. They will get a lot of rest between each game. That's all any player wants this time of year.

Mitch (chicago)

In the 3 games the Bulls have played the Heat this year, it has seemed as though Rose has turned it up a notch above even his normal dominance against the heat. Have you noticed this, and does he have more of an 'edge" when playing the heat than any other team in the league?

Nick Friedell
  (1:28 PM)

No question about it. Rose and Noah take playing the Heat personally after what happened this summer. They want to rip Miami in half.

Bob (Chicago)

Why is Thib's okay with the way Boozer sets a pick? Some may not think it is that big a deal, but Rose dribbles into a double team almost every time because of it. Am I the only one that notices this?

Nick Friedell
  (1:30 PM)

No you aren't. I think Thibs gets frustrated by the way Carlos sets picks. That's one of the reasons why he talks about how well Omer sets screens. If Boozer set picks that way Rose would see a lot more space.

Dizzil04 (Chicago)

Nick, how's Lu's back after that nasty fall?

Nick Friedell
  (1:31 PM)

It's hurting him. His body was wrapped in ice after the game. But he will be out there on Sunday.

Don (Syracuse)

At this point in the season teams should not need to look to the media or "experts" for any extra motivation but I was wondering what the teams mind set is like with alot of the so called experts picking the heat to take the series? Do they even pay attention to what is being said?

Nick Friedell
  (1:33 PM)

They pay attention. They know who says what. I think they love the role of an underdog. They thrived in it all season.

Jake (Choiya, WI)

Do you think the Bulls-Heat series will end up having more hype and attention than whatever matchup happens in the finals?

Nick Friedell
  (1:34 PM)

Yes. I think this will end of being the most hyped series of the playoffs. There are so many subplots given what happened this summer.

Dizzil04 (Chicago)

Nick, not worried about our defense this series, but man, our offense is a huge concern. I know Thibs preaches defense, but the heat are really good on defense as well, are they going to focus a little more on that end in practices?

Nick Friedell
  (1:39 PM)

That's what people forget about the Heat. They have a really solid defense. I think the Bulls will focus a lot on offense in practice. Thibs' bedrock has always been defense, but he knows he's got to find a way to get past James and Wade on the defensive end as well.

George @ Rocks (Lake View)

Do you think that with Deng shouldering the load defensively against the Heat's big 2, that we'll be able to lean on him as much offensively? Or does it just add that much more pressure on Boozer to deliver? And by the way Nick, picking against the Bulls is no way to get the Friedell Omelet onto the menu...

Nick Friedell
  (1:43 PM)

George, I don't think the Bulls can count on Deng that much offensively in this series because he is going to be worn out by guarding James/Wade. Meanwhile, you better get the omelet on the menu. It's straight up awesome.

streetball101 (chicago)

why do you think kyle korver has falling into a shooting slump the last 3 games against the hawks

Nick Friedell
  (1:45 PM)

He's been in a shooting slump off and on throughout the year. Korver will snap out of it at some point. He's done it all year.

Arch (Tampa, fl)

Why did everyone hate so hard on boozer's play and his contract, but no one said anything about Joe Johnson's average play against the Bulls this series?

Nick Friedell
  (1:46 PM)

Because nobody cares about basketball in Atlanta.

Jermaine (Colombia)

do you think we're going to see butler a bit more in this series?

Nick Friedell
  (1:48 PM)

Butler is not going to get any meaningful minutes in this series. Sorry, Butler fans.

Devon (chicago)

Will this series be a defensive series or a complete highlight reel for sports centers top plays

Nick Friedell
  (1:49 PM)

I expect it to be both.

Ryan (Oshkosh)

Nick, as crazy as it may sound, I think that Rose has another gear that he has yet to turn on. Do you think Rose has even more to show in the series against the Heat?

Nick Friedell
  (1:50 PM)

I think he does. I think Derrick can play even better ... and I think he will.

Joe (Evergreen Park)

Sup Nick,How was the locker room after the game? Was it a celebration or was it we still got work to do before we can celebrate anything? Bulls in 6!

Nick Friedell
  (1:52 PM)

Happy, but pretty reserved. They know they still have plenty of work to do.

Ty (Chicago)

How often do you think LeBron will D up on Rose and will anybody help Deng carry the burden of defending James? I feel that Deng's offensive output declines whenever he puts so much energy into defense.

Nick Friedell
  (1:55 PM)

I think LeBron is going to see a lot of time on Derrick at the end of games. Deng will get help in the form of Bogans and Brewer.

Kevin (Chi)

Dr. Friedell, how is the overall health of the Bulls? Anything to be concerned about?

Nick Friedell
  (1:56 PM)

Boozer's toe is still a problem. Brewer's thumb is still bothering him. Deng and Rose are beat up. But as Thibs would say, "This is the playoffs" They will all be out there.

Randy (Mississippi)

Nick, Do you think we will see more Boggans than usual considering he is the best defender to put on Wade? Or do you think Brewer can match up well?

Nick Friedell
  (1:57 PM)

Randy, the only way you see a lot more Bogans is if Korver can't get his shot going.

streeter (chicago)

Noah has been in a scoring slump now i know this is going to a defensive series will noah be able to get it going this series offensively, defensively and on the boards

Nick Friedell
  (2:00 PM)

He better if the Bulls want to win. Noah truly enjoys playing against the Heat and I think he is going to have a very big series.

kerr (chicago)

do you think boozer will repeat his performance from game 6, and do it consistently this series against the heat?

Nick Friedell
  (2:00 PM)

No, I don't. But if he does, the Bulls probably win this series.

Jac (Chicago)

BOGANS IS AWESOME!

Nick Friedell
  (2:00 PM)

Did anyone think we would see this emotion about Bogans in the second week of May?

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Nick - I've asked this question 3 weeks in a row and you never answer it. ..what is up w/the crowd @ the UC? They are so quiet! Every other crowd is going crazy the whole game because well. ..IT'S THE PLAYOFFS! Yet the crowd at the United Center only get noisy after a Rose highlight-reel play or a Noah chest pound. I hope they will step it up in the conference finals where the Bulls need to take advantage of home court!

Nick Friedell
  (2:01 PM)

The crowd has been very quiet. I don't think noise will be a problem in this series, though. It's going to be LOUD on Sunday night.

Nick Friedell
  (2:03 PM)

All right everybody, I will talk to you guys next week. Enjoy the series. It's going to be a lot of fun. If you're at the games this week come over and say hello. I've got some serious blazers coming out of the woodwork for these games.