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 Friday at 2 CT/3 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:59 PM)
What's going on everybody? Let's get this chat rolling ...
Omar [via mobile]
What is Noah's minute plan for game 1?
Nick Friedell (3:00 PM)
Even Noah doesn't know right now. He said he would talk to Thibs about it. His foot is still bothering him a lot though.
Brook Lopez sure went off on the Bulls last time they played. Do you think Joakim Noah will be effective in slowing him down or is Joakim definitely not back to his former self with limited minutes this past week?
Nick Friedell (3:01 PM)
That's the key to the whole series in my mind. If Noah can stay healthy enough he should be able to limit Lopez. If not, the Bulls are in trouble. Lopez has already shown he can dominate Mohammed/Boozer.
Neal (Chicago )
Prediction on Nets series? Winner & how many games?
Nick Friedell (3:02 PM)
I'm taking the Bulls in 6 ... if everyone stays relatively healthy.
In your opinion do you think Derrick will return to try to take the Bulls on a playoff run?
Nick Friedell (3:05 PM)
I don't think Derrick is coming back this season ... but there's a reason the Bulls are still leaving the door open. There is still hope he wakes up one day and feels like he wants to play.
Do you think Noah should rest game 1
Nick Friedell (3:09 PM)
Whether Jo rests in a game or not at this point -- it won't make much of a difference. He is going to have to play through a lot of pain the rest of the way.
Have the Boozer haters calmed down now? He played every game last year and arguably was the most consistent player on the bull this year.
Nick Friedell (3:10 PM)
He's got to prove it in the playoffs. This was definitely the best season Carlos has had in a Bulls uniform ... but if he doesn't show up in the playoffs nobody will remember that he played well this year.
Jay (Orlando) [via mobile]
I am slowly becoming a fan of Nate. Though sometimes I have have to close my eyes and hold breath when he plays.
Nick Friedell (3:11 PM)
You and Thibs both.
Do you believe Jimmy Buckets is a long-term solution at 2?
Nick Friedell (3:12 PM)
I actually think Jimmy is a better fit at the 3. Either way, he and Deng are going to get a ton of minutes in this series.
Single Female (Chicago)
I love your sports coats and blazers.
Nick Friedell (3:13 PM)
Thanks for checking in, Jon Greenberg. Congrats on the baby.
Christian22 (New Jersey (in school))
Rising star Jimmy Butler, do you feel he should be our starting two guard in the playoffs even with a healthy Hamilton or Bellinelli? His added athletiscm helps the team, but I'm not sure if his jump shot can spread the defense enough. What are your thoughts?
Nick Friedell (3:15 PM)
I think Thibs may decide to start with Rip on the floor because of all his playoff experience. But Jimmy is going to play a lot no matter what. He has earned it.
Jamie (Richmond, VA)
Would OJ Mayo be a fit in CHI?
Nick Friedell (3:16 PM)
For the right price anyone will be a good fit for the Bulls this summer.
Deron Williams has been on a tear the last few weeks. Can Kirk slow him down?
Nick Friedell (3:17 PM)
The bigger question is can Kirk stay healthy throughout the series? If he can, I think he will be able to slow down Williams a little bit.
Do you worry that Jimmy Butler is raising his price tag too high with his consistently improving play? I'd love to see him in our back court but it would be a shame to lose him to a higher bid i.e. Omer.
Nick Friedell (3:19 PM)
Jimmy still has a few more years on his rookie deal. The Bulls aren't worried about that yet.
Jason (Crown Point, IN)
Do you think the Heat have any matchup problems in the East, or are they going to walk through?
Nick Friedell (3:20 PM)
The only team I think can give the Heat any kind of trouble is the Bulls. With Derrick on the floor though, I don't think there's any way they can beat the Heat.
Kash $ (Chicago)
Who comes out of the West?
Nick Friedell (3:21 PM)
I think the Thunder will.
Chris (Chicago north side)
Is there really something to just believing you can win, like Thibs has the Bulls feeling?
Nick Friedell (3:24 PM)
Yes. Thibs has brainwashed his team into believing they can win at all times. That belief has taken the Bulls a long way this season.
In private dont you believe Noah/Gibson and Deng who constantly play through injuries have lost all respect for Derrick the leader?
Nick Friedell (3:25 PM)
No, I don't think that at all. I think Rose's teammates still love him. I do think there is a growing sense of frustration within the locker room though regarding the whole situation. The players are just tired of talking about it.
Next year's playoffs (assuming a healthy Rose) are make or break for this team, Thibs included. Every year there are significant injuries, and Thibs has been out-coached in both playoff series losses the past two years. Does this concern the front office at all? Thibs seems like a coach made only for the regular season.
Nick Friedell (3:28 PM)
I disagree. I think the Bulls trust Thibs ... but they know they need another star in order to win a title. They can't get that star until the summer of 2014 because of the cap situation.
Nick Friedell (3:29 PM)
Got to go on Waddle and Silvy, guys. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Do you think if Rip can produce 10-15 ppg in the playoffs and be effective, the Bulls will pick up his team option for next year?
Nick Friedell (3:44 PM)
No way. I think both Rip and the Bulls know he is gone as soon as the playoffs end.
What I can't stand is that you and people say Rose shouldn't play this season because they cant beat the Heat with or without him. Might be true but anything can happen. Look at last year anyone really think the 76ers could beat the Bulls what happened? Someone got hurt not saying it will happen to the Heat but what if it did and Rose doesn't play and some one on the Heat gets hurt and Bulls lose a chance and the Championship. Again not saying it will happen but you just never know.
Nick Friedell (3:48 PM)
What I have said repeatedly is that if Derrick doesn't feel like he is ready to play -- he shouldn't come back this season. Why risk having him on the floor if he doesn't feel like he is mentally ready to go? Of course anything can happen in the playoffs -- but if he is not ready why risk it?
How soon everyone forgets that a few seasons ago, Deng and Noah was in Rose's position (vilified by some media members). Do you really think his teammates are frustrated with him? Deng was soft just a few seasons ago.
Nick Friedell (3:53 PM)
I don't think his teammates are frustrated with Derrick so much as they are frustrated with the entire situation. They are sick of being asked about it. They feel like after 82 games this season they are who they are. Would they like to have Derrick back? Sure. But they aren't counting on it.
Sloane G (Bucktown)
Did you think I'd come into this world before DRose came back?
Nick Friedell (3:54 PM)
Hell no. But I am glad you are here, SG.
is there any player the Bulls should worry about on the Nets?
Nick Friedell (3:57 PM)
I think it comes down to two players. 1. Deron Williams. 2. Brook Lopez. If the Bulls can slow them down they will win. I know Joe Johnson can get hot, but if they can slow down those two they will be all right.
Nick Friedell (3:58 PM)
I am out of here, guys. Thanks for all the questions. If you are at a game this week come over and say hello.