Chat with Nick Friedell
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Nick Friedell stops by to chat about the NBA season as well as the Chicago Bulls.
Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:01 PM)
What's going on, everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...
I don't expect the bench to be this good every night, but do you get the sense there will be some consistency eventually?
Nick Friedell (2:02 PM)
At some point, yes. People have to remember that this group has only been together for a few months. They'll never be the old Bench Mob, but they will be a little better, as a group, than they've shown so far.
When will Marquis Teague get more playing time? I'm sick of seeing Nate Robinson "try" to run an offense.
Nick Friedell (2:04 PM)
Teague is still just 19. Thibs has talked about how Marquis has improved in practice, but he isn't going to play him much this season. He still trusts Nate and Kirk more.
When is D Rose coming back???
Nick Friedell (2:07 PM)
I think I'm going to petition to have this become my middle name. I get this question constantly. The answer is that nobody knows for sure. My guess has always been after the All-Star break -- maybe in March.
Tim (Illinois State)
I have to get your take, what is the Bulls biggest problem this season? Boozer's struggles on offense, or the fact the Hinrich provides nothing more than a decent defender and a guy to dribble the ball up the court? And, Why doesn't Boozer get on the block anymore? All I really see is him shoot that faceup midrange jumper. Why doesn't he get to the block more?
Nick Friedell (2:08 PM)
Tim, Those aren't even the Bulls biggest problems. The Bulls biggest problem, aside from the loss of Rose, is that the Bench Mob is gone and Thibs doesn't trust the new group yet.
Brendan Farrell (Doghouse)
Hey, so my gf literally broke up with me as the Bulls began to blow the 27 point lead. What should I make of this?
Nick Friedell (2:10 PM)
Not good, Brendan. But look at it this way -- you wouldn't want to stay with that girl anyway if she didn't want to be with you. You will find a girl out there somewhere who loves watching Nate Robinson and will stick with you through thick and thin.
Do you think it may have been smart to trade Noah this past offseason for a top 10 pick and sign Asik to be the starter? Hes offense seems to have taken a huge step foward since going to Hou. Plus it would have been much cheaper and they may have gotten waiters, beal, or barnes in draft
Nick Friedell (2:12 PM)
No. First of all, Noah is playing at an All-Star level this year. Secondly, the Rockets still would have offered the poison pill contract that the Bulls didn't want to match at almost $15 mil the last year. Lastly, out of the rookies you named, none of them are a sure thing.
Matthew Sheahan (Chi)
Any chance we see more of Jimmy Butler and Deng on the floor in crunch time as the year goes on? Defensively, that duo would be nasty nasty. Did I mention it would be nasty?
Nick Friedell (2:13 PM)
There's always a chance, especially when you consider that Thibs loves defense and always looks that way late in games.
martell buchanan (lincoln ne)
should the bulls try in get pau gasol?
Nick Friedell (2:15 PM)
I wouldn't. Gasol is starting to hit the back end of his career. Adding Gasol, even with a healthy Rose, to this core -- still isn't enough.
Should I be worried how well Bobcats are playing? That pick might not be what we were counting on
Nick Friedell (2:16 PM)
The Bobcats still aren't going to be great, but I would stop using that pick as a talking point so much. A mid 1st round pick isn't all that great. With the way these drafts have been going, a Top 10 pick isn't what it used to be.
Joe (Chi City)
Hey Nick, what's with the stache?
Nick Friedell (2:19 PM)
It's for Movember. It's for a great cause. It's coming off soon, though.
Steve (DeKalb, IL)
Do the minutes that Noah and Deng have been playing scare you at all?
Nick Friedell (2:21 PM)
Absolutely. Both players have dealt with serious injuries at points during the last few years. The problem is that Thibs trusts them more than anyone and they want to be out there. Still, it's just November ... Tom isn't going to change, but I think he would be wise to limit them a little bit.
Big Nick! Love the stache! Gut Feeling, is K . Love a good possibility in a few years?
Nick Friedell (2:21 PM)
That's the guy the Bulls would love to get. There are a lot of different things that would have to happen, though.
WHO would you want the Bulls to add? Since everybody always throws names at you and you say they all aren't good enough to win with.
Nick Friedell (2:23 PM)
If the Heat stay healthy and LeBron stays hungry, I don't think it matters who the Bulls add. Love would be great, but I still don't think he puts the Bulls over the top. A lot can change in two years, though. We'll see how things play out.
We always ask when Rose is coming back because this team looks awful. What good things have you seen after 14 games?
Nick Friedell (2:24 PM)
Jimmy Butler is getting better. Noah and Deng are playing at an All-Star level. There are your positives.
Hey Nick.. Put on a sombrero and you can walk around with your burro handing out cups of Colombia's finest. That stash is the real deal. What can we truly expect out of Belinelli this season? Do you see him coming into his own and giving the Bulls some solid contribution off the bench?
Nick Friedell (2:26 PM)
Ha. I'll keep it in mind, Kevin. As for Belinelli, from what I've seen so far I don't think he is someone Thibs will be able to rely on. He seems too concerned about his defense to produce consistently offensively. He hit a couples shots last night though -- so maybe there's some hope.
dee/chicago [via mobile]
Every one keeps saying that the bulls have nobody to break opposing defenses down but that s not true .teague can and when he is in the game he brings a different feel to the game. Do u think thibs is stunting his growth and destroying his confibence buy not playing him at all?
Nick Friedell (2:27 PM)
Not at all. Teague has a chance to be a solid player, but it's not going to happen this year.
Nick, how could you think that the Bulls with Derrick + K-Love Noah couldn't take on the Heat?
Nick Friedell (2:29 PM)
Because the Heat have the best player in the world in LeBron, two top 10-15 players in Wade and Bosh, and players want to come to the city and play. The Bulls don't have that kind of track record over the last decade and a half. The Bulls will be very good, but they still won't have enough if Miami stays healthy.
Matt (Omaha) [via mobile]
Everyone gets on Boozer for his low production, but to me it's not as much about effort or ineptitude and it is more about opportunity. I have absolutely nothing wrong with Thibs benching him in fourth quarters when he is not playing well, but I feel like when he is on the court, Kirk and Nate need to make a more concerted effort to get him the ball and let him operate. He is shooting a great field goal percentage when he gets his opportunities and his rebounding numbers are consistent so I don't think effort is a much as a concern as some other fans do... What are your thoughts on the situation??
Nick Friedell (2:31 PM)
Matt, I agree with you in some regard. I think there are times when Thibs sits Boozer and it doesn't make as much sense because despite his flaws he still has the ability to score. The issue is that Thibs values defense -- and he simply doesn't trust Boozer on the floor late in games because of it. If he did, we would have seen him a lot more in the last two years late in games.
Who do the bulls target in a Rip trade? An expiring contract, picks, or a young project type player?
Nick Friedell (2:33 PM)
All of the above. Whatever a team would give them.
Joey Scerba (Chicago)
This bench blob is hard to watch. Kyle Korver is playing well in Atl and Bellinelli simply is not. Management seems to have found the cheapest replacements of all time. What exactly is their plan?
Nick Friedell (2:34 PM)
The front office knew this was a lost season without Rose. Their plan is to have enough flexibility to go after a big name in a couple years when Deng is off the books and Boozer is amnestied. Most fans hate that, but the Bulls realize they don't have enough to be on that elite level right now.
Nick, why isn't Hinrich shooting the ball at all? He broke out and scored 17 points against the Bucks and then took only 4 shots against the Mavs last night, we've seen in the past that he can score so why isn't he showing it now?
Nick Friedell (2:35 PM)
1. I don't think he's completely healthy. He's been battling injuries all through camp. 2. I don't think he has a lot of confidence in his offense right now.
Look, I get the Heat are the team to beat for the foreseeable future - but that doesn't mean you give up. Fans spend their time and money to see the best product the Bulls ownership can put on the floor. If you can get Love, or other stars to help win, you do. I can't comprehend this notion that if we cannot win the championship, what's the point?
Nick Friedell (2:38 PM)
Joel, I understand your frustration. You feel the way a lot of Bulls fans do. So I'll ask you the same question I ask them -- given the salary cap restrictions, what would you do to turn the Bulls around in the next year and a half? This is the best of a lot of bad options. If someone can explain to me how the Bulls can win a title in the next year and a half with their current cap situation I'd be happy to listen.
dee/chicago [via mobile]
If this is such a lost season then why dont management tell thibs to start developing teague and butler and to rest deng and noah more if this is a lost season?
Nick Friedell (2:39 PM)
Because Thibs still wants to win every game. Butler is going to get more time. Teague isn't ready to produce like that and he doesn't give them the best chance to win right now.
Darryl (San Diego Ca.)
What way will the Bulls go in the Free agent market this summer?
Nick Friedell (2:42 PM)
They aren't going to have the cap space to do much of anything.
Was Michael Jordan out of line when he declined to change his shorts during a round of golf at a Miami country club?
Nick Friedell (2:44 PM)
Not at all. That club is a joke. You're going to kick Michael Jordan out of a club for wearing cargo shorts? Give me a break. There are plenty of other golf courses in the world to play.
Rhenio (Curitiba (Brazil))
Hey, Nick. International Bull fan here. After all the bench mob struggles, and Buttler being an exception to that, why don't Thibs trust him more? I think last night was a good example of what he can do with enough minutes.
Nick Friedell (2:45 PM)
I think Jimmy is slowly gaining that trust from Thibs. It's a process.
Alex (Lisle IL)
Nick, are you suprised that Thibs let Radmanovic on the court yesterday for a whopping 2 minutes?
Nick Friedell (2:46 PM)
I'm more surprised that Thibs took Deng off the court for a whopping three minutes at the end of the game.
Chris (Green Bay)
I have no sensible question as the Bulls have no leeway to make any signings or trades, so what we have is what we get. I just wanted to shout out your 'stache, EPIC!
Nick Friedell (2:48 PM)
A reasonable Bulls fan. How about that? Thanks, Chris.
If the bench players play the last 3 min of the first and third quarters, and the first three of the second and fourth quarters, wouldn't we have a rested starting line-up that can win us the game down the stretch?
Nick Friedell (2:51 PM)
Yes, the Bulls would. But Thibs doesn't trust the Bench yet and they know it. As Nazr said last night, they are still getting used to playing with one another.
The only thing that concerns me this year is the return of D-Rose. I dont care about the playoffs at all. It would be cool to spoil some teams dream, but it really means nothing. Am I wrong?
Nick Friedell (2:53 PM)
No you aren't, Ryan. Bulls fans should just focus on Rose's health. It's the most important thing that will come out of this season. Obviously, if he isn't the same player the Bulls are in trouble.
Nick Friedell (2:54 PM)
I am out of here, guys. Thanks for the questions. Talk to you next week. If you're at a game come over and say hello.