Chat with Nick Friedell
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Friday, 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 1:30 CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Nick Friedell (2:34 PM)
What's going on everybody? Hello from the Berto Center. Let's get this chat rolling ...
How's Derrick Rose doing? Is he 100%?
Nick Friedell (2:36 PM)
The only question everyone cares about. I think Derrick is feeling better, but I still don't think he's near 100 percent. His ankle is bothering him, but it definitely looks better than it did last week. He's still got a lot of rust. People forget that he's only played in five games over the past month and a half. I'd say he's around 75% right now.
Hey Nick. Do you think Thibs is going to stick with his full player rotation, or are some members of our beloved Bench Mob going to see a serious decline in minutes?
Nick Friedell (2:38 PM)
I think the rotation will get cut. As long as Korver keeps shooting well, he will stay in. Taj and Omer will be defensive stoppers at the end. C.J. will give Derrick some minutes. After that, I don't think there's much room for everyone else. Ronnie will get some time -- but he better play great defense and hit shots to stay on the floor.
Would Rip say he is finally 100% healthy now going into this first round? He has definitely looked more himself the last 2 or so weeks
Nick Friedell (2:39 PM)
I don't think he'd say 100 percent -- but he's close. He's still icing that shoulder all the time, but he feels better than he has in several months. A good sign for the Bulls heading into the playoffs.
Ed S. (Delhi, India)
Nick, do you see that Philly, although downspiraling, is in many ways a mirror of the Bulls philosophy (great team defense, slower pace of possessions, shared responsibility), minus a superstar? Do you think that the Sixers could surprise us if Rose isn't really 100%?
Nick Friedell (2:41 PM)
In a lot of ways, yeah. The Bulls players have said as much over the year. Philly reminds them of themselves. They play hard and they play tough. Having said that, I don't think the Sixers can win four games off the Bulls.
David Kinsey (Wheaton IL)
The Bulls will go as far as Korver/Watson/Bulls 3pt Shooting takes them. True or False?
Nick Friedell (2:42 PM)
False. The Bulls will go as far as Derrick Rose's ankle takes them.
I know no one wants to be pessimistic right now, but if the Bulls do not perform well in these playoffs, what are the chances we see Boozer amnestied or Joakim or Deng traded this summer?
Nick Friedell (2:43 PM)
Boozer isn't getting amnestied this summer. That's not going to happen. As for trades, nobody knows. If the Bulls can't win this season though, everyone will be in play except for Derrick.
Nick, is there a way to accurately describe to a layperson exactly what these players (and especially the injured ones like Derrick Rose and Luol Deng) are physically going through right now? I have a feeling that I (and probably several other fans) have almost NO IDEA what these guys are going through every day, and it's hard to tell the difference between playing with a boo-boo and playing with something like a torn ligament when watching on TV.
Nick Friedell (2:46 PM)
The best way to describe it is that they are all in a lot of pain. Everybody focuses on Rose and Deng, but guys like Korver and Gibson and Watson have been dealing with nagging injuries all year. They are all taking shots and playing through pain that most people couldn't imagine. They are doing what they have to do to stay on the floor. People only see the games, but they don't see the treatment that each one of these guys goes through to keep playing. I give them a lot of credit -- especially in this season.
How bad is Evan Turner gonna hear it from the Chicago crowd when he enters the game, even though he's a Chicago kid?
Nick Friedell (2:47 PM)
Evan Turner made a very dumb decision to say what he said before the playoffs. He backtracked when he spoke to our Scott Powers on Thursday, but the damage is done. The Bulls' players will remember his comments for the rest of this series. He's going to hear a lot of booing at the UC.
Mony [via mobile]
Can boozer now get some love. He has played every game and with occasional lapses in defense has been pretty solid overall this year
Nick Friedell (2:48 PM)
Carlos deserves a lot of credit for being able to stay on the floor. The issue for him is that nobody will remember how he performed during the regular season if he doesn't perform well in the playoffs.
Dennis (Lincoln Park)
So are you trying to tell me that we have seen the last of the man.... the myth... the Carlton Banks clone.... JL3???
Nick Friedell (2:49 PM)
For the foreseeable future, yes. The Tom Jones music has left the building for right now.
Bulls Question -- How's Omer's shoulder? I noticed he was wearing a sleeve on it a la Rip a few times lately. Question as a fan - are you as upset as I am that we don't get to watch Lakers Mavs and OKC Denver?
Nick Friedell (2:50 PM)
Omer's shoulder is hurting him. He is going to be OK though. As for the other series, absolutely I wish I could watch them.
All due respect to the Sixers, but I think the Bulls could beat them in a 7 games series with D. Rose playing no minutes whatsoever.
Nick Friedell (2:51 PM)
A lot of people have been saying this, but I don't agree. The Bulls need Derrick's presence, even if he isn't close to 100 percent, in order to beat the Sixers. Who is the go-to guy if Derrick doesn't play? How do they consistently score?
How"s Luol Deng wrist doing?
Nick Friedell (2:52 PM)
It's still hurting him. He says it's getting better, but he still grabs at it sometimes on the floor.
Hey Nick, great job with these Chats. I was wondering if you had any insight on the rumor that one of the reasons Evan Turner called out D. Rose is because they have history. I heard or read somewhere that Evan Turner and Derrick Rose actually have a bit of a beef stemming from their high school/AAU days in Chicago. Have you heard anything along these lines? Any truth to that? (I'm sure Turner was sincere about the Bulls being a better match up for them. But I wonder if his reason for his candidness is because of said beef).
Nick Friedell (2:54 PM)
It is true. Derrick didn't like some of the things Turner said about him in high school and he has remembered that since his days at Simeon. It will be an ongoing storyline throughout this series.
Dennis (Lincoln Park)
I know this isn't the NCAA tourney, but compared to the Heat, the Bulls have an MUCH easier path to the ECF. That has to be a major win, considering the Bulls are still healing on the fly.
Nick Friedell (2:56 PM)
The Bulls caught a little bit of a break with their draw ... but don't underestimate that Boston series. It is going to be a hard-fought battle.
Nick, what do you make of Jo's overall effort and success this season. I gotta say I'm still a bit worried about where his heads at.
Nick Friedell (2:56 PM)
I think he has been playing much better of late. He knows that people only remember how players perform in the playoffs. I expect him to have a solid postseason.
J. Olafsson (Reykjavik)
Do you agree with Pippen that Phil Jackson may return to coaching, perhaps in NY?
Nick Friedell (2:58 PM)
I think Phil has at least one more run in him.
Do you think the NBA should take a NHL reseeding playoff approach?
Nick Friedell (3:01 PM)
I think that would be awesome. I don't think the NBA will do it, though.
How big would it be for the Bulls to make this a short series? What's more important -- time to gel on the floor together and get battle-tested, or more rest for Rose, Deng, etc.?
Nick Friedell (3:03 PM)
The Bulls want these guys to get as much rest as they possibly can. As Hamilton said last night, getting into a rhythm is nice -- but the Bulls don't have a choice at this point. Getting rest is paramount.
Now that Jesse doesnt have a team to report you think u can use him as an assistant or wingman type of role? lol.
Nick Friedell (3:05 PM)
Hell yes. Jesse and Scott Powers are going to be helping out the rest of the way. Jesse deserves a break right now though -- he worked his but off during the Hawks' season and nobody works harder on the high school and college beat than Scott does. They'll have fun around the Bulls.
Nillz (My Cubicle)
Nick - me and a few buddies are making the trip to Philly next weeekend for Games 3 & 4. Where are we partying?
Nick Friedell (3:07 PM)
Not sure yet. Can somebody from Philly put together a good list?
Reese (Grand Crossing)
Which team would be a better match up for the Bulls in the second round, Hawks or Celtics?
Nick Friedell (3:07 PM)
Both would play the Bulls tough, but the players would much rather face Atlanta. The Hawks don't really scare anybody.
Have you noticed that the Bulls don't do so well with these mid-day games? (lost 6 of 8) Any thoughts as to why?
Nick Friedell (3:12 PM)
Most of those games were on the road -- Like most road teams, the Bulls struggle getting up and rolling early in the day. But, the bigger issue is that most of these day games have been against good teams (New Jersey being the major exception). It's a point of emphasis for Thibs -- I think he will have his team get to the UC earlier than normal tomorrow just so they can shake off the cobwebs.
If Rose is unable to get that explosiveness back in the playoffs, how does he become an effective (and efficient) scorer in this post season? Post? Short, pull-up jumper? I don't think he's a reliable jump shooter from 18 ft and beyond yet.
Nick Friedell (3:16 PM)
You're going to see Derrick pass the ball a lot more and look to set everyone else up early. If he can get the mid-range jumper he should be able to compensate just fine. But look for him to pass a little more in the early stages to get things rolling.
does Doug Collins familiarity with the bulls give them an edge?
Nick Friedell (3:19 PM)
Not really. If Collins had Tom Thibodeau's players, then he would have an edge.
Nick Friedell (3:21 PM)
All right everybody -- the Bulls are about to wrap up practice. I will talk to you guys next week from Philadelphia. If you are at one of the games this week come over and say hello.