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January 6, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (2:02 PM)

Greetings from Orlando everybody. Let's get this chat rolling ...

Matt (Chicago)

What are the chances the bulls make a strong move to trade for D Howard

Nick Friedell
  (2:03 PM)

Ah, the Dwight Howard question. Let's get this out of the way early. The Bulls would still love to have Howard and they are still checking to see if they could pry him away from the Magic. But until Dwight says he wants to come to Chicago, nothing is going to change.

Drew (Chicago)

Do you think Noah really tries for a strong game here since his name comes up in Howard rumors sometimes?

Nick Friedell
  (2:03 PM)

Absolutely.

Tom (Chicago)

Hey Nick. Love your work. Why don't Noah and Boozer work better together? Their games seem to complement each other with Boozer being more polished offensively and Noah facilitating, cleaning up the glass and helping on d.

Nick Friedell
  (2:05 PM)

I think the biggest reason is because they take up the same space on the floor. It always seems like they are in each other's way. The other big problem is that I think that Noah, like most of his teammates, is getting increasingly frustrated with Boozer's defense, or lack thereof.

Nate Dogg (K Town TN)

Carlos Boozer is lazy, can't rebound or play D..Should we bench the guy for a wake up call?

Nick Friedell
  (2:05 PM)

I think that would only make things worse.

robert (chicago)

do you think the bulls make major changes if they dont make it to the finals this year?

Nick Friedell
  (2:07 PM)

What major change could they make? The only person who is available who could push them over the top right now is Howard -- and he doesn't want to play in Chicago. Aside from adding Howard, who else could the Bulls bring in that would make them better than they already are? I don't think there is anybody.

Lee (Somewhere)

Hiw concerned should we be about Hamilton's groin injury?

Nick Friedell
  (2:08 PM)

Concerned. I don't think Hamilton is going to play tonight and after hearing him speak this morning, I don't think he'll play tomorrow. He said the groin injury was something he dealt with in Detroit. The Bulls are going to have to watch him closely.

Nate (Chicago)

It doesn't look like Asik has gotten any better on the offensive side of things. Why can't he catch the ball or go up strong instead of dribbling first?

Nick Friedell
  (2:10 PM)

The Bulls' coaches have tried to help Omer. They've been trying to have him catch tennis balls from a machine to help his hand eye coordination. He is still very raw offensively though. The coaches will keep working with him. That's all they can do.

Micheal Overman (Cedar Lake, IN)

What do you think about Derrick Rose not even in the talks of becoming a back to back MVP?

Nick Friedell
  (2:11 PM)

Who said he wasn't in the talks? I think Derrick could still repeat as MVP this season. It's always harder the second time though.

Nick Jordan (Lake Zurich)

Scalibrini is my favorite NBA player. based on how many blow outs the Bulls have had, will I be watching him a lot this season?

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

Yes, you will. But if Scalabrine is your favorite player, why can't you spell his name correctly?

Chris (Chicago)

Over/under 1.5 All Stars from the Bulls this year? If over, who joins D-Rose?

Nick Friedell
  (2:12 PM)

Over. Deng will make it if he keeps playing the way he has early.

Nate (NWI)

I'm worried about the minutes that Derrick and Luol are constantly playing in this compressed season. Drose hurt his elbow in garbage time and luol has had injuries in the past. Any chance Thibs goes to the bench more often against weaker teams?

Nick Friedell
  (2:13 PM)

Doubtful. Thibs is who he is. He likes having Rose and Deng on the floor whenever he can. That is not going to change.

Frank (Chicago)

Is it realistic to think that the Bulls would want to sign Captain Kirk next season? Pretty good defender, seems like a Thibs guy for sure.

Nick Friedell
  (2:13 PM)

Yes, for the right price.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

Hello Nick, what do you think is the best solution for Boozer and Noah? Should Boozer come off the bench?

Nick Friedell
  (2:15 PM)

Personally, I think that would be the best solution. I think Boozer plays better with that group -- but that is never going to happen. Guys who have $80 million dollar contracts don't come off the bench like that.

JR (Chicago)

Boozer is a really good basketball player who is unlikely to perform to his contract. If it comes down to being able to re-sign Asik and Gibson and amnestying Boozer, or letting one or both of Asik/Gibson to walk, what do you think the Bulls will do? Obviously, if the Bulls win the Finals and Boozer plays well, then the decision is pretty easy.

Nick Friedell
  (2:16 PM)

The Bulls will have enough to sign Asik and Gibson without amnestying Boozer, if they so desire ...

Jared (Indinapolis)

Why is Kyle Korver never seem to hit 3s when they are important? The Atlanta game for instance, took 2 threes in the 4th and of course missed both. Its what he's supposed to be good at, but almost always seems to miss in the clutch.

Nick Friedell
  (2:16 PM)

Kyle would be the first one to tell you he's struggling. The Bulls need him to find his rhythm quickly.

Chuck (Chicago, IL)

Boozer and Asik for Kevin Love...if it weren't for the contracts....

Nick Friedell
  (2:17 PM)

Minnesota wouldn't do that deal even if they all had the same contracts.

SteveFitz (Chicago, IL)

Lets look at the possibility of Howard changing his mind. Can the Bulls get him without giving up Deng?

Nick Friedell
  (2:18 PM)

No. Deng would be in any deal.

Nate (Chicago)

Would it be silly to pick up Arenas on a short contract while Watson is out?

Nick Friedell
  (2:18 PM)

Yes. Why bring Arenas into that locker room when he can't even produce anymore?

Nafis (SF)

Hi Nick, do you think that Thibs will take the gas pedal off of the minutes being played by some of the guys?

Nick Friedell
  (2:20 PM)

No. He will monitor everything, but he won't change things up that much.

Frank (Chi)

Think the Bulls regret not signing Mcgrady?

Nick Friedell
  (2:21 PM)

No.

Mike (Chicago)

If Howard changes his mind and wants to come here, I think it would be a mistake to get him. I don't think he is tough mentally and would struggle being 2nd fiddle to Rose. What do you think?

Nick Friedell
  (2:22 PM)

I agree with the points you made, but the Bulls would give up everyone not named Derrick Rose to get him. Howard is the best defensive player in the league. If he came to the Bulls, they would win at least one title if not more.

Jon (Chicago)

Hey Nick, did you get that new weather girl's number yet? GET on that!

Nick Friedell
  (2:23 PM)

I'm working on it, my man. I'm working on it. She seems pretty cool.

Jared (Indianapolis)

Its obviously a 2 horse race in the east. With both the Bulls and Heat playing well and at full strength, can we beat Miami? And if so, do we need home court to do it?

Nick Friedell
  (2:25 PM)

Yes, the Bulls can beat Miami. And yes, they would need homecourt advantage to do it. I still think they are a year or two away though. Hamilton is a big upgrade on offense, but they need another star and Boozer isn't the offensive threat they thought they were getting.

jaybdoubleyou (chicago)

I was hearing how much D Rose had been working on his post-up game, but I haven't seen them take advantage of that so far. Is that still in the game plan?

Nick Friedell
  (2:26 PM)

Yes, it is. But I think Thibs is far more concerned with Derrick running the offense right now.

Don (DC)

Why do you think is that that ATL gives so much trouble to the Bulls?...

Nick Friedell
  (2:26 PM)

They are very long and athletic and they have a couple guys who can shoot from the outside.

Chris (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Why is Jimmy Butler warming the bench while Miami has 2 rookies making solid contributions?

Nick Friedell
  (2:27 PM)

Because the Bulls' rotation is set and Miami isn't as deep top to bottom as the Bulls are.

Paul (Louisville)

What are Luol Deng's chances of making the all defensive team this year.

Nick Friedell
  (2:29 PM)

Thibs thinks he can do it this year.

Brandon (Chicago)

Among the biggest flaws I see this year is the starting 5's D. Why isn't this group clicking?

Nick Friedell
  (2:30 PM)

Because nobody trusts Boozer to play consistent defense.

Bill (Albany Park Chicago)

Can we just shut down rose for this game and call this game the Jimmy Butler show

Nick Friedell
  (2:31 PM)

Yeah, but then "The Jimmy Butler Show" would end up in a loss.

Angie (La Canada, CA)

Which is the 3rd best team in the East?

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

I still say it's Boston if everybody is healthy, but I don't think it matters. The Bulls and Heat are clearly a cut above everyone else in the conference.

Vince (Chicago)

Boozer doesn't play "consistent" defense? How about "any" defense?

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

Well, ok then.

Chris (Glen Ellyn, IL)

How happy are you to NOT be in Detroit tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (2:34 PM)

Words can't even describe.

Sean (Chicago)

Just to speculate, because that's all we can do, but do you think Thibs is a reason a lot of players don't want to come to Chicago? Maybe some stars that pretend to eat, sleep and breath basketball are creeped out by a guy that actually eats basketballs? I mean, the rest of the guy's life is a mystery!

Nick Friedell
  (2:35 PM)

I don't think that at all. I think a lot of players around the league respect Thibs.

Jeff (Lincoln Park)

Why hasn't Noah's offensive game improved? It seems that he should be getting better, he's such a good passer but then seems clumsy when it comes to get his own shot around the basket.

Nick Friedell
  (2:38 PM)

The big thing for Noah was his offensive had improved last season. Then he got hurt and lost some of his confidence, especially in the tornado jumper. Then Boozer came back and some of the space on the floor disappeared. Noah will get better offensively because he has worked a lot on that aspect of his game, but it's going to take time.

Ryan (LA)

If no Howard, the best way to improve is packaging Boozer with Asik along with picks/Morotic for a LEGIT PF! Cough Cough, Pau Gasol as a third team with D12 going to LA

Nick Friedell
  (2:40 PM)

No team in the league is going to trade for Carlos' contract. Sorry.

Nate (Chicago)

Why so much Boozer hate? I think he has clearly improved on defense. If you look at Boozer v. Noah stats this year, Boozer has 57 rebounds, 10 steals and 4 blocks. Noah has 53, 6, and 7 respectively. Lighten up folks!

Nick Friedell
  (2:42 PM)

The reason I think Boozer gets so much criticism is because of the contract. The thing is, it's not his fault the Bulls offered to pay him that much. He just hasn't lived up to all the expectations that came with it. To say he has improved defense is laughable though. Carlos is a lot of things, and can still be a good player in the league, but he is a poor defender.

elvis (chicago)

nick, what is wrong with Noah's right elbow? he has a bandage on the last couple games.

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

He took a hard fall on it during Sunday night's game. He says he's OK though.

Ryan (LA)

If the Bulls offered Carlos to LA with D12 also going to LA, Bynum to Orlando with Taj and the Charlotte pick, with Gasol to Chicago, that would get it done.

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

No.

Nick Friedell
  (2:43 PM)

No.

Bob (Wrigleyville)

Nick! Glad to see you back from your offseason in Miami (kidding of course, that was a shot at all your haters) Is Boozers hand still hurting him? I saw he had his thumb taped up last game.

Nick Friedell
  (2:46 PM)

Ha. I don't think it's hampered him that much. I think he is just dealing with some bumps and bruises like the rest of his teammates.

Jay (Chicago)

Which jacket tonight?

Nick Friedell
  (2:47 PM)

Grey corduroy with the elbow patches.

Chris (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Bulls are 6-1 and off to a better start than last year. Why are all these people trying to blowup the team?? Wait it out.. we're only 7 games in.

Nick Friedell
  (2:47 PM)

Gar, did you send in a question again?

Jason (Chicago)

Nick, your doing a great job, hater gonna hate. In the Detroit game, it looked like Boozer and Noah found some chemistry working the high low, any chance we see more of that as the season goes on?

Nick Friedell
  (2:49 PM)

I do think Noah and Boozer are going to get better and have games like they had on Wednesday night. But Detroit is awful. Just keep that in mind. The pair still just don't seem to fit well together on the floor.

Nate (NWI)

Why don't Rose and Boozer run more pick and roll instead of simple post iso? I always thought that was boozer's strongsuit, get him and the defense moving with attention on Derrick.

Nick Friedell
  (2:50 PM)

We've been asking Thibs that question all year. He keeps saying they'll look at that, but we haven't seen much of it in games.

Peter (Fort Bragg, NC)

Hey Nick love your work, why were you so smiley at half time in detroit (I saw you behind King and Funk) Did someone say something really funny and for some reason I'm itching to know.

Nick Friedell
  (2:52 PM)

I was cracking up because Scal was so into watching the Red Panda on the bench. She was flipping those bowls on top of her head and Scal couldn't believe what he was seeing. He gave her a fist bump from afar and then started shooting again. As somebody said to me on Twitter -- Real recognize Red Panda.

Nick Friedell
  (2:53 PM)

All right everybody, I am out of here. I will talk to you guys next week from Boston. If you are at a game, come down and say hello.