The Bulls are playing well while dealing with injuries and absences to some pretty core guys: Hinrich, Curry, Harrington and Deng. How are they doing it? --Matt Ahrens, San Francisco
They've been dealing with adversity all season, from the 0-9 start to injuries to whatever. That characteristic has defined this team. I've rarely seen an NBA team have the dynamic the Bulls have, where it's rare for multiple players to slump at once. In other words, on nights when Ben Gordon is off, Luol Deng was on. Or if Eddy Curry struggled, Tyson Chandler had a huge game. Etc. Their depth and unsung contributions from veteran players have kept this team moving forward at all times since the horrible start.
I saw that the Spurs signed Glenn Robinson. Why didn't the Bulls jump on that first? Some added offensive punch wouldn't hurt for the playoff push. --Alex Garcia, Chicago
The Bulls have an extra roster spot from the time they waived Tommy Smith. Their hesitation in adding somebody has been to affect the solid team chemistry. Players cite this team's close-knit attitude as a major reason for their success and adding somebody now might add a foreign element to that dynamic. That said, if Eddy Curry is out for the playoffs after testing for his irregular heartbeat is concluded, they might sign a big man.
Tyson Chandler has been scoring in double figures more and more. Is he simply being more aggressive with Eddy out or has something improved fundamentally in his offensive game? --L. Fox, Santa Fe, N.M.
He's been drawing more fouls and shooting better from the free-throw line. He also has been concentrating on what he does best on the offensive end---scoring on opportunity baskets and offensive putbacks. Where Tyson gets into trouble offensively is when he tries to create shots. He simply isn't gifted enough offensively yet to accomplish that.
What are the odds of the Bulls re-signing Othella Harrington, Chris Duhon, and Jannero Pargo and still go after someone like Shareef Abdur-Rahim? Would they be interested in signing all of them and do they have the cap room to do so? --Patrick, Boulder, Colo.
Assuming the Bulls re-sign Curry and Chandler to long-term deals, they'll be either just at or just over the undetermined salary-cap figure for next season. This will give them salary-cap exceptions to either sign or re-sign their players. Duhon is a lock. Harrington is likely and Pargo is up in the air, although I'd certainly re-sign him. I look for the Bulls to try to use their mid-level salary-cap exception to try to sign a couple of players as opposed to go after someone like Abdur-Rahim.
How much more fun is it for you as a beat writer to cover a team that is actually good? --James Gray, Barrington, Ill.
I get this question a lot, and I always answer it the same way: My job is the same no matter if the team is horribly bad or great. Report the mood, happenings and behind-the-scenes action of the team. And I gotta say: Some of those Bulls teams in the rebuilding era were so spectacularly bad that they provided plenty to write about. That said, obviously, it's nicer to enter a happy locker room as opposed to a disgruntled one. You can joke more with players, actually ask them about basketball instead of B.S. and develop more feature story ideas. It's strange, though: I don't know what I'll do not visiting Secaucus, N.J., in May for the NBA draft lottery.
In the March 30 game against Cleveland, Andres Nocioni had been pestering LeBron James the whole night. Why would Skiles pull him out with the Bulls holding a 3-point lead with just 2.8 seconds to go? --Anavlas, Chicago
It's a good question and I never asked it, so I don't know the answer. I do know the reason why the Bulls didn't choose to foul with a two-point lead. They were afraid that, with so many young players, they might commit a soft foul, James would hit a three-pointer and get a call and then hit a winning free throw at the buzzer. But this is old news. So we'll never know.
I asked you early in the season, maybe 20 games into it, if Skiles was right for this team. You defended him, rightfully so. Should he be Coach of the Year? --Jerome, Chicago
He'll certainly get some votes. It's a loaded field this season, more so than I can ever remember. Nate McMillan, Mike D'Antoni, Rick Carlisle and, to a lesser extent, Stan Van Gundy, Mike Fratello and George Karl, have to receive consideration as well. I'd be surprised if Skiles won it. But I think he'll finish second or third.
Sometimes I feel opponents are a little jealous of the unselfish way the Bulls play and the opportunity coach Skiles gives his players. Do you feel potential free agents are finally looking at Chicago as an attractive and promising team to play for, rather than just a job that can pay them a lot of money? --Vladimir Todorov, Boston
Vladimir, let me tell you a little secret about the NBA: In 99.9 percent of the cases, it's about the money.
I hear lots of talk of Ben Gordon being the Sixth Man of the Year. Why is nobody talking about Tyson Chandler? He is doing a great job of rebounding, blocking shots and just playing good defense off the bench. --Shawn, Chicago
It's a valid point, and I think Chandler may receive some third-place votes. Again, this is a loaded field. Seattle's Antonio Daniels and Vladimir Radmanovich, Boston's Ricky Davis, Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse and Denver's Earl Boykins all will get votes. I think Gordon has a better chance to win this award than Rookie of the Year.
Do any of Chicago's other sports celebrities take interest in the Bulls? Do you ever see any Bears, Sox or Cubs players at the games? --Vinod Havalad, Chicago
There have been some Bears at games this season. Illinois guard Deron Williams attended Saturday's victory over Toronto. But just wait for the playoffs: That's when all the bandwagon jumpers and bigshots will come out of the mothballs.
Thanks for the questions. Talk to you next time, K.C.