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March 9, 11:30 AM ET
Chat with Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell
  (11:33 AM)

What's going on everybody ... let's get this chat rolling.

Bob (Princeton, NJ)

Aside from his incredible buzzer beater in Milwaukee, DRose has been terrible shooting the ball the last two games. Any injuries we don't know about or is his toe acting up again?

Nick Friedell
  (11:35 AM)

I've been saying this all along, I still think Derrick's back is bothering him a little bit. I know he looks the same and I know the numbers are there, but he doesn't have quite the same lift right now and I think that comes through on his jumpers sometimes.

Nate (Chicago)

Nick, I have been down on Asik all season and he looks to be getting worse, what's the solution here? Does he hold any trade value anymore?

Nick Friedell
  (11:38 AM)

Nate, Omer still holds a lot of value around the league. Maybe it's not as much as last year, but it's rare these days to find athletic big men with that kind of defensive ability. The Bulls are still convinced they can bring his offensive game around.

Kerry (Aurora, IL)

If Luol Deng is sidelined long enough for Jimmy Butler to prove his worth, will Thibodeau allow him any significant time in the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (11:39 AM)

I seriously doubt it.

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Hey Nick - I know we're all beating a dead horse w/the trade talk because you've repeatedly said there won't be a 'significant' move, but what about Jamal Crawford? The Bulls were looking at him in the off-season and from what I've read Portland isn't looking for much because he'll opt out at season's end. Watson and a filler to make salaries match could work on paper with Crawford filling that scoring/creating 6th man role and he could spell Rose at the point for 10 minutes a game. I know Watson has played very well this year, but really he's the back-up PG w/a team option next year (right?) so it's basically a wash....

Nick Friedell
  (11:40 AM)

Brendan, I think the Bulls like Crawford, but I don't think they would give up much to get him. The Bulls really like the roster they have in place -- that's why I'd be surprised if they made any kind of move at the deadline.

Cheese Ball (Fort Wayne, IN)

Hey Nick, Love your work! Thibs seems like such an intense guy, does he have a lighter side? And if so...any good story from behind the scenes that shows a side Bulls fans never get to see.

Nick Friedell
  (11:42 AM)

Thibs is actually a really funny guy. There aren't many stories out there, but I promise you he has a lighter side. He was giving me a hard time at All-Star weekend because I had my mom driving me around everywhere.

Deven (Buffalo, NY)

Hi Nick. Do you think the Bulls can still compete for a championship, with or without Richard Hamilton? He's been banged up all year and the team was counting on him to be that second scoring option the Bulls lacked last year, including the conference finals against the Miami Heat. Should they trade for another SG at the deadline? What are your thoughts?

Nick Friedell
  (11:44 AM)

The best way to your question is like this: Do I think the Bulls can compete for a title? Absolutely. Do I think they can beat Miami without Hamilton? No. But I didn't think they would beat them even with Hamilton at full strength. The Bulls are a very good team, but I still don't think they have enough to beat Miami.

Patrick C (Indiana university)

If you have a chance to get the best big man to play with the best PG, you make the trade. This is a league of superstars, not above average players... Are we making a deal?

Nick Friedell
  (11:45 AM)

Dwight Howard does not sound like a guy who wants to play in Chicago. He wants to be "the man" -- he doesn't want to play second fiddle to Derrick Rose.

Dan (DC)

Hot Sauce? More like Cool Ranch. What happened to Korver yesterday, and should his performance be a concern going forward? I should mention I'm a Korver fan, especially when he's playing well, but it's hard to defend him when he misses open looks like he did last night.

Nick Friedell
  (11:48 AM)

Korver just missed. He had wide open looks and he just missed. He felt terrible about it. But nobody in the locker room was blaming him after it was over. They want him to keep shooting the ball and they believe the next time he puts up the same shots, they will go in.

Tim (Forest Park)

Nick- I was just wondering why the Bulls went away from Boozer down the stretch last night especially considering everybody else was having such a terrible game?

Nick Friedell
  (11:49 AM)

A lot of people are asking this question. Yes, the Bulls could have found Boozer on a couple more possessions, but the Bulls found Korver five times and he was wide open. He just missed the shots.

Craig (Kansas City)

Agree with your stance that you don't think with or without Hamilton that the Bulls can beat the Heat in the playoffs. Is there anything that thye can do at the trade deadline to change it, or are we just hoping for a Heat injury?

Nick Friedell
  (11:50 AM)

Probably just hoping for the latter. The only deal that I think might change things is for Howard -- and like I said, I don't think he wants to come here.

Rob ((Rockford))

Would a theoretical Carlos Boozer for Josh Smith swap help put the Bulls over the top?

Nick Friedell
  (11:51 AM)

Theoretically, sure. But there is a zero percent chance of that deal happening.

Andy (Chicago)

If all the bulls players and coaches were to play dodge ball against Asik do you think it would help him catch the ball better?

Nick Friedell
  (11:53 AM)

Interesting idea. You should try to run that one by Thibs. The Bulls have a machine that usually fires tennis balls at Omer to help his hand eye coordination, but dodgeball could work too.

Brendan (Pittsfield, MA)

Nick if the Bulls management feels that an injury to Miami is the only way this team can beat them and advance to the finals why are they so hesitant to make a deal? If you know you can't beat them, you have to make changes. I know there's that old saying that you don't trade big for small, but when the big is your back up and the small is a starter/difference maker where's the debate?

Nick Friedell
  (11:55 AM)

Let's throw this out to the group. To all the people who want the Bulls to make a deal, answer these questions -- explain who you want to give up, who is coming back, and if you think that's enough for the Bulls to get past Miami.

BON (Earth)

Does Thibs ever compliment his players? All I ever hear on TV is him yelling at them.

Nick Friedell
  (11:56 AM)

He complements them a lot ... the key for Thibs, and the reason he has a lot of respect in the locker room, is because he never throws them under the bus publicly.

Bob (Kansas)

Nick?what happened with the alleged post-up game Derrick developed this offseason?

Nick Friedell
  (11:57 AM)

It's there, Bob. Derrick just hasn't tried using it a lot because he wants to get everyone involved early in games. But I do think we'll see it a little more down the stretch.

Allen (Chicago)

Nick, this team looks tired, especially these last two games. Has this compressed season/schedule caught up to my favorite team!?

Nick Friedell
  (11:58 AM)

They are tired. But every team in the league is tired. The Bulls will start getting a little more rest here in the next few weeks. The schedule breaks for them.

Hank (Columbus, Ohio)

Do you think the bulls will sign Mike James again?

Nick Friedell
  (12:00 PM)

At some point down the line, I think James will be back.

Kris (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Nick, love your work. I understand that Boozer has limitations on defense. But, what happened to his explosiveness going to the rim. I have hardly seen him dunk in a Bulls uni. Has he really lost a step after coming over from Utah?

Nick Friedell
  (12:01 PM)

The explosion just isn't there anymore, Kris. I think that's why Boozer has relied so much more on his jumper. To his credit, at least he's stayed on the floor this season and has had some success of late.

T. Mills (chicago il)

Hey Nick love your articles. Are the bulls really convinced that they dont need to make a move for someone like a S.Jackson, J.Crawford, A.Morrow, to help get them over the hump.

Nick Friedell
  (12:02 PM)

The Bulls like those guys, but even they aren't sure if any one of them would get them over the hump.

James (California)

Nick, Why do you think D-Rose hasn't been in MVP discussion this year?

Nick Friedell
  (12:03 PM)

Because he's already missed 10 games.

Kevin (Libertyville)

The Miami Heat are definitely beatable. I think the Bulls can beat them as long as D rose gets some support. Why do you think otherwise?

Nick Friedell
  (12:04 PM)

What makes this year any different than last year. Yes, I think the Bulls are better, but I think the Heat have gotten even better as well.

Patrick (Davenport, IA)

Rip is out of commission more often than my Super Nintendo. Is there any sense in sitting him for a while and getting him back in shape just in time for the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (12:08 PM)

I think that's what the Bulls intend on doing. His shoulder is probably going to keep him out of the lineup for at least a few more weeks.

Brian Turner (Ottawa,IL)

I expected last night's game to be a real challenge considering the Bulls are coming right off of a tough game against Milwaukee. But I'm tired of seeing the same story over and over. When Derrick doesn't score or create shots for the team, the offense goes nowhere. I trust GarPax in putting a good team around Derrick, but what will it take to make them see that the Bulls desperately need another true scorer?

Nick Friedell
  (12:10 PM)

Trust me, they see it. But again, what move do you want them to make? In order to get somebody, they've got to give up pieces that they like. Who could the Bulls legitimately go and get that would not only make them better, but good enough to knock off Miami?

Allen (Chicago)

If Deng has to sit and Rip is already out. We're in trouble, Korver and Brewer can't cut the mustard and by then it may be too late to catch up.

Nick Friedell
  (12:12 PM)

They'll be fine for a couple weeks. But the Bulls aren't winning a title without a healthy Hamilton and a healthier Deng.

dan (texas)

does monta ellis fit the need of the bulls (not saying they would / should go after him), but wouldn't he put them over the hump?

Nick Friedell
  (12:15 PM)

No, because in order to get him you would have to give up too much.

Mo cutty [via mobile]

Hey nick, when's Watson due back?

Nick Friedell
  (12:17 PM)

Maybe tomorrow. Probably middle of next week is more likely.

Andrew (Chicago)

What is wrong with the bulls defense?

Nick Friedell
  (12:19 PM)

They just had a couple bad nights. I think Thibs will get them back into shape soon.

Joe (Chicago) (Chicago)

Forget the trade talks. What can the Bulls do beat the Heat with the team they have right now? Without Boozer giving you 20 and 10, and playing some semblance of defense, I think it will be next to impossible to beat the Heat. They'll need a flawless performance to beat them in a playoff series, even with home court. Is there anything they can do with their team now to compete in a series? What can they improve?

Nick Friedell
  (12:22 PM)

First and foremost, they have to get healthy. If the starters aren't healthy, they have no chance. Secondly, the defense has to get tighter. Thibs will make sure they are ready, but if Miami runs out on the break, the Bulls are in trouble. Obviously, two more big keys are Boozer and Noah -- if they can control the paint, they should be in good shape.

Nick Friedell
  (12:29 PM)

All right everybody, I am out of here. I will talk to you guys next week from the Berto. Come over and say hello if you're at one of the games this week.