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

Nick Friedell
  (1:04 PM)

What's going on, everybody? Big win for the Bulls last night. Let's get this chat rolling ...

Chris (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Can you tell all the idiots who think the Bulls don't need Rose to win a championship, to shut up?

Nick Friedell
  (1:05 PM)

Anyone who thinks the Bulls don't need Rose in order to win is completely insane.

Tom (Chicago)

Pretty solid game from Boozer (when he was in), but what is up with Jo lately?

Nick Friedell
  (1:08 PM)

Boozer was great last night. He gave the Bulls the early lift offensively that they needed. Noah looks like he is struggling mentally more than anything else. He's not playing with the same energy that he normally does and Thibs called him out on it on Sunday in NYC. I don't think he's hurt, he just has to play better.

Chris (France)

Nick, at the MSG on sunday, it seemed that Rip was very cautious with his shoulder, therefore he wasn't very active on both ends of the court. Does he still suffer from the injury ?

Nick Friedell
  (1:09 PM)

No doubt. The shoulder is still bothering him but he continues to play through the pain. I think it's still improving each day -- but it's definitely a factor.

JR (schaumburg)

Sup Nick, is there any chance that Thbbs wins coach of the year again. i mean what he did yesterday was like putting the cherry on top with the bench.

Nick Friedell
  (1:11 PM)

I think Thibs is going to become the first coach in history to win back to back coach of the year awards.

Ben A. (West Lafayette IN)

How worried are you about Luol Deng's wrist? I see him grabbing it constantly writhing in pain.

Nick Friedell
  (1:14 PM)

Deng's wrist is definitely still bothering him. But like pretty much everyone else on this Bulls team he continues to play through the pain. I think he'll be OK, but it's something to watch in the next two months.

Joe (Naperville, IL)

Seeing how well Watson did last night moving the ball around, do you think Thibs will push Rose to distribute the ball more than he has in the past?

Nick Friedell
  (1:14 PM)

No. I think Thibs wants Derrick to continue being the player he always has been. He just wants him to be healthy.

Nick Friedell
  (1:17 PM)

I am shocked that there are people out there who actually believe the Bulls are better off without Derrick. I can't believe how many questions there are about this. Reality check: The Bulls are going nowhere without him. He is the MVP of the league.

Smeagol (fishing)

If the Bulls win the championship and Boozer continues to play well, will the Boozer-bashing finally stop?

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

If the Bulls win the title, Boozer will be beloved. Nobody will care that he struggled last season. If the Bulls win, all is forgiven.

Mitchell (Elburn, IL)

Do you think that if the Bulls play the Knicks in the first round, Jimmy Butler will get more playing time???? Especially against Melo

Nick Friedell
  (1:18 PM)

Yes, Thibs loves that matchup.

Kyle (Iowa)

In the post-season can the bulls play the second team as much? When starters play so much in the post-season is the bench as big of an advantage?

Nick Friedell
  (1:21 PM)

Watch the Eastern Conference finals last season. For as well as they've played, the bench will not be as much of a force as it has been during the regular season.

Angel Cirilo (Chicago)

Since you are around the team you would know best, Does it bother or motivate the team that no matter what they do they don't seem to get any respect from the so called experts

Nick Friedell
  (1:25 PM)

The players have an "us against the world" mentality. Thibs mentioned as much on Wednesday. Until they beat them in a series, the Bulls are still chasing Miami. I definitely think it motivates them that pundits don't think they are good enough.

Montel (Chicago)

If Deng is playing in the Olympics, does that mean he is not going to get surgery for his wrist?

Nick Friedell
  (1:26 PM)

No, all that means is the surgery will be put off a little longer. Deng still says there is a chance he won't have to have the surgery, but he will probably have to do it as soon as the Olympics are over.

Lucas (Chicago)

Following up on Ben's question, if the Bulls lock up the #1 seed with a few games left, do you think Deng should sit for a while to let his wrist heal?

Nick Friedell
  (1:27 PM)

No, Thibs will continue playing his starters even after the Bulls lock up the one seed. The need to find some kind of rhythm together.

Mike (chicago)

Why doesn't thibs play mike james?

Nick Friedell
  (1:28 PM)

In place of whom?

Pete (Columbia, MO)

Do you think Rose is always thinking about his injuries? It seems last night he was scared to drive to the rim at will like he did before?

Nick Friedell
  (1:29 PM)

I think they are his mind, sure. He's human. People need to remember that aside from that game in NYC, he hasn't played in about a month because of the groin injury. He's got a lot of rust he needs to get off.

Jon (Chi)

Any chance Pax/forman/thibs ask d-rose NOT to play in the summer Olympics-- we know his character wants him to play there at all expenses, but we cannot deny his body is telling us he can use a month off

Nick Friedell
  (1:30 PM)

They aren't allowed to do that under the CBA ... but I am sure they will talk to him about all the options before he makes a final decision.

Jesse (Lincoln Square)

I can't seem to get any support from my friends in saying GarPax have done a great job of building this team. They've stuck to their guns and brough in high character guys with big motors. Are you with me on this?

Nick Friedell
  (1:32 PM)

Gar and Pax deserve a huge amount of credit. The problem for them is until the Bulls win a title they aren't going to get all the credit they truly deserve.

Seth (ATL)

Why hasn't RIP played in the 4th quarter in alot of games?? I know Kyle is shooting lights out but shouldn't RIP play to get some time in?

Nick Friedell
  (1:33 PM)

Thibs is just easing him back physically. He played a few more minutes last night and I think he will start to play 25-27 by the end of next week.

Jeff (San Diego)

Trying to show my love here on the West coast! When the Bulls finally lock up Thibs what kinda deal does he get? How long you think and will it make him one of the highest paid? Gotta take care of him and not go into next season with out an extention, right?

Nick Friedell
  (1:33 PM)

Thibs is going to get a new deal and he will be one of the highest paid coaches in the league. I think it will happen before the beginning of next year.

Matt (Libertyville)

Is it reasonable to expect Kyle to continue to shoot well in the playoffs? I feel like I've read some stuff that mentions how one of Miami's true weaknesses is three-point shot defense.

Nick Friedell
  (1:36 PM)

Kyle's confidence, at least in his time with the Bulls, is at an all-time high right now. Every time he puts it up he thinks it is going in.

PA (Chicago)

Seriously, do the Bulls even practice free throws?

Nick Friedell
  (1:39 PM)

Every day after practice. The players shoot them every single day after practice.

Brogan (Chicago)

Why did Thibs throw Jimmy Butler out there after he sat for the first 47 1/2 minutes of the game?

Nick Friedell
  (1:43 PM)

He just wanted to switch things up. I was a little surprised, but Thibs knows his team better than anyone. He likes putting Jimmy in to switch up the pace.

dave (chi town)

Will Thibs stick with Korver at the end of the game over Rip in the playoffs?

Nick Friedell
  (1:45 PM)

My guess is no ... but if Korver keeps shooting the way he has been anything is possible.

Gary (Antioch)

What are the off season plans for Asik and Gibson? Do they have enough room to sign them both?

Nick Friedell
  (1:47 PM)

The Bulls want them both back ... It all depends, especially with Omer, on what kind of offer sheet another team will offer him. But the Bulls will do everything they can to get them both locked up.

Jeff (Chicago)

Rose is always composed and never complains after games with the media. Did he show any discontent after being benched last night off camera? It just seems that a super-star caliber player are never ok with being on the bench in 4th qtrs

Nick Friedell
  (1:54 PM)

Derrick is frustrated ... but he handled himself like a pro last night. He meant what he said that he was happy with the success of his teammates and the way they kept playing without him. But make no mistake, Derrick was frustrated.

Nicolas (LA)

Do you think that Rose is in the Gym right now? Working out, working on that Shot? He has to be right? Also, they have a couple of days off, do you think that with that rest Rose will light it up when they plat Detroit?

Nick Friedell
  (1:55 PM)

Rose is in the gym as we speak. I think it's going to take him a little to knock off that rust though.

Marshall (Cali)

Watching all the Miami vs Bulls games the last couple years it seems that when D Rose is on the court the bulls dont play as well. The ball movement stops and they all watch D Rose go to work. And even last night when he was struggling three defenders where still coming at him. Do you think coach thibs will watch tape and make rose play more like watson and lucas? Just to beat the heat? From my perspective it takes a team game, one on one style is what there built to defend?

Nick Friedell
  (1:57 PM)

Thibs wants Derrick to be himself. Period. Give Rose a chance to get healthy and then see how he plays.

Josh (Chicago)

One of the underplayed stories this season I think has been Korver's improvement on defense. Does Thibs talk about this at all?

Nick Friedell
  (1:58 PM)

All the time. He is very proud of the way Korver has improved.

Nick Friedell
  (1:58 PM)

All right everybody. I am out of here. I will talk to everybody next week. If you're at a game this week come say hello.