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 noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (1:00 PM)
What's going on everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...
Erik MS [via mobile]
What's the timetable on D Rose return
Nick Friedell (1:01 PM)
After the All-Star break. Late Feb, early March
Nick Friedell (1:01 PM)
Listen to Waddle and Silvy -- I'll be back in a couple minutes.
Kirk stinks, but at least he is capable of finding the open man (Boozer). Nate is like JL3, just doesnt want to make the right pass
Nick Friedell (1:20 PM)
That's been the knock on Nate since he came into the league.
Ryan B (Chicago)
Do you think the Bulls will trade RIP to get under the tax? And if yes do you know what teams are interested?
Nick Friedell (1:21 PM)
I think they will try -- but I don't think there's much of a market right now for Rip Hamilton.
Great job as always, Nick. What has been the reason for Boozer's latest surge? 6 double-double's in a row, including another last night in honor of my birthday? How long can he keep this performance up, and can it persist through Rose's return? Also, if Hinrich had been in last night, do you see him slowing down Jennings and being the difference in a game we could have won?
Nick Friedell (1:24 PM)
Happy Birthday, Dan. As it pertains to Boozer I think the key for him is that he knows he's going to get his touches night to night. He knows without Derrick and Rip in the lineup it's on him to lead the Bulls' offense and guys are going out of their way to find him. As for Hinrich, I do think he would have done a better job defensively on Jennings -- if nothing else he wouldn't have gotten him fired up with the trash talk.
How much did Nate's "defense" hurt Chicago last night? Jennings lit him up. Why was Thibs so hesitant to try someone else (Teague, switch Butler on him, something)?
Nick Friedell (1:27 PM)
It hurt, but not as much as his trash talking hurt. Jennings says that is what fired him up the most. As for Teague, I think Tom gave him his chance last night and he just didn't play well. Once Thibs sees that during a game, that player is usually done for the night.
Isn't Nate Robinson a great symbol for the Bulls season thus far? Maddingly inconsistent, with some great highs and some miserable lows. You never know what to expect when he comes in, much like how you're never quite sure what the Bulls will do on any given night.
Nick Friedell (1:27 PM)
Deng looked gassed last night to me, is it time for Thibs to give him a day here and there at practice? good thing he wont be an all start this year, he'll need the rest
Nick Friedell (1:29 PM)
Tom, You'll be happy to know that Thibs didn't have the Bulls practice before their flight to NYC.
Jeremy San Francisco [via mobile]
Will the bulls try to get Rudy Gay
Nick Friedell (1:31 PM)
Doubt it. Gay is a solid player -- but he has a huge contract and I don't think he would make the Bulls all that much better. Plus, I don't think any team wants to take on Boozer's contract and that is probably what it would talk to make that deal work.
Nick, has Thibs dialed back a little bit since the Charlotte loss? I've noticed particularly in 1st halves that when the team is in a slump, hes let the team fight its way out of it rather than calling the quick timeout. What are your thoughts?
Nick Friedell (1:33 PM)
He's still as feisty as ever, Tim. I think he understands he can't hold this team to the standard of last year's team because the pieces are so different -- but he still rips into them all the time on the bench.
Jey (Cali) [via mobile]
Will Kevin Love eventually be a Bull?
Nick Friedell (1:34 PM)
The Bulls hope so -- but I would still think the favorite would be that Love ends up with a team in California.
Concerned Bulls fan (Madhouse on Madison)
Is it just a mirage or has Boozer's defense actually been decent recently?
Nick Friedell (1:34 PM)
It has been. He has been playing with a lot more effort on that side of the ball and his teammates have taken notice.
Fonz (CHI) [via mobile]
Who is most likely the odd man out once DRose returns?
Nick Friedell (1:37 PM)
Teague. I don't see how he will get any time.
Matt (Lincoln Park)
Two questions: 1. Do you just have a copy/paste reserved for when people ask when Derrick Rose is returning? 2. Do you feel that the Bulls are constructed the "right way" from a roster standpoint? Are there any guys on the team who just aren't good fits for the system that Thibs runs?
Nick Friedell (1:39 PM)
1. Not yet -- but that's a good idea. I am starting to think about a cut and paste for the Hinrich injuries. 2. I've always felt that Boozer wasn't the best fit in Thibs' system just because of his reluctance to play defense. The last two weeks are the most engaged I've seen him on that end of the floor.
Nick, since you don't think the Bulls will make any major trades within the next two years and now think Kevin Love will end up elsewhere what's to think anything is going to change two years from now? With the current regime it appears as though the Bulls will be stick in neutral and Rose will age without a championship. Very disappointing for many of us Bulls fans
Nick Friedell (1:41 PM)
Things may not change -- it's why I've said all along that the Bulls are in basketball hell. They are a very good team and could make some noise in the playoffs the next couple years but I don't think they are good enough to win a title. I don't who they are going to bring in that will push them over the edge as long as Miami stays healthy. Look around the league -- there aren't a lot of superstars out there to pair with Rose.
Do you see the Bulls being entirely different next season? In what way if so?
Nick Friedell (1:44 PM)
Not that much different. Rip will be gone, Belinelli may be gone. Nate and Nazr will likely be gone -- but the core will be the same. Gibson, Butler and Teague will all likely be back on the bench.
Will The Blazer be out in Manhattan on Friday Evening? Stout?
Nick Friedell (1:45 PM)
It will be -- but it's going to be a late night covering the game. Is Stout a good spot?
Nick, I'm a fan of your work, let the haters hate! Given Boozers play of late, I feel like hes now working a little harder in order to avoid being amnestied after this season. Thoughts?
Nick Friedell (1:47 PM)
Rick, Carlos has a lot of pride and he knows what's been said about him. He is very smart and I do think all of his detractors have motivated him. I also think he understands he's going to be amnestied in a year and a half. I don't think there's any way around that given the cap situation the Bulls are in.
Nick, how are you buddy? Tell me, why doesn't Taj get more minutes? With Joakim getting 40+ a night, why can't him, Boozer, and Taj get about 30 minutes a night? Sounds like it would keep our big men fresh and give Taj a chance to live up to the contract.
Nick Friedell (1:50 PM)
David, I'm doing great. I think Taj will start getting more minutes as the season progresses. He's healthy and he's been playing much better.
With Rip most likely not returning next year, do you think the Bulls will look to sign someone else or will Kirk start at the 2?
Nick Friedell (1:51 PM)
Unless somebody falls in their lap during free agency, I think Hinrich starts next year at the two. Thibs has talked openly about how one of the reasons they signed Hinrich is because of his ability to play well with Rose.
The Bulls have one of the best road records in the nba and one of the worst home records. Why are they stuggling at home so much this year? Do we have the quietest home crowd in the nba?
Nick Friedell (1:53 PM)
It's up there. The Bulls game ops people have tried a lot of different stuff to get the crowd going but nothing seems to consistently work. The crowd is just quiet. I'd like to say it's because Rose hasn't been on the floor, but the United Center is always quiet during the regular season.
Nick, what is your opinion of the bench compared to last year, they seem to be able to score more points(Marco, Nate, Jimmy compared to Ronnie), has the defense suffered dramatically though?
Nick Friedell (1:55 PM)
Like I've said all along -- I'd love to still have the old bench but this bench isn't as awful as everyone thought it was going to be over the summer. Gibson and Butler are solid. Belinelli and Robinson have proven they can score. Are they as good defensively? No -- but they weren't going to be without Asik. Aside from Rose, that is the guy the Bulls miss most this season.
David (Highland Park)
Tough loss last night. Simply outplayed after the first quarter. What's up with Rip Hamilton. Saw little or no action in the second half.
Nick Friedell (1:58 PM)
Thibs has Rip on a plan of about 15-20 minutes a game. I just don't think Hamilton is healthy still. He's too good of a shooter to be missing that much.
Nick I know your saying that the bulls have this two year plan before they even attempt to really try for someone in free agency. My question is will D. Rose sit quietly and let the bulls simple let his best years go by struggling to try to win with a team that even at best can't? Do you think he'll ever speak up?
Nick Friedell (2:00 PM)
I think Derrick will speak up more and more -- but there is only so much he can do. The Bulls' cap situation is what it is.
Big Nick! Awesome as always. You mention "Basketball Hell" Well Gar/Pax have put us there. Two years from now, if no substantial improvement is made, could they be ousted?
Nick Friedell (2:02 PM)
I don't think so. Reinsdorf likes the job they are doing. The biggest problem is that they missed out on LeBron, Wade and Bosh. I'm sure they tried everything they could, but they didn't get them to come to Chicago and it's why the Bulls are stuck where they are right now -- plus, obviously, the fact that Derrick got hurt.
Mike (Ingleside )
After seeing the bulls lose to Charlotte and Milwaukee without Kirk in the lineup can the "kirk is ineffective" talk end? He clearly runs this team the way thibs sets it up
Nick Friedell (2:04 PM)
I've been trying to explain this on the radio, Mike. Kirk isn't the player he used to be and he can't stay healthy -- but without Rose, he is still the best option the Bulls have at the guard position, especially defensively. It's why Thibs sticks with him even though his shot is off.
Nick Friedell (2:04 PM)
I've got to get out of here, guys. If you've got some time, head over to the Boat Show from 4-6. I'll be there before I catch my flight to NYC.