With the season inching closer, several NBA teams are starting to take shape.
Without D-Rose, the Bulls are not in position to win a championship. However, they can still get a top-four or top-five seed without Rose, then ride their point guard to a higher seed if he gets healthy.
While it is impossible to tell how well Rose will play coming off ACL surgery, let's prognosticate how a healthy Bulls team matches up with the Celtics.
Using boxing terminology, each component of each team is rated:
Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo: EVEN
Avery Bradley over Richard Hamilton: 10-9
Luol Deng over Paul Pierce: 10-9
Carlos Boozer over Brandon Bass: 10-9
Kevin Garnett over Joakim Noah: 10-9
Celtics Bench over Bulls Bench: 10-8
Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau: EVEN
According to the results, Boston comes out two points better than Chicago.
While Derrick Rose might be a better player than Rajon Rondo, his impact on the court during the postseason might be less than that of the Boston point guard.
Rondo averaged an absurd 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds during the 2012 Playoffs and turned it up even more in the conference finals, averaging 20.9 points, 11.3 assists and 6.9 rebounds.
Look for this matchup to be the focal point of any potential series.
Avery Bradley gets the slight nod over Richard Hamilton due to his defensive capabilities and fresher legs. In addition, his jumper has continued to improve and will likely get better as time passes.
Paul Pierce is a future Hall-of-Famer and still an All-Star-caliber player, but Luol Deng is slightly better at this point in time. His perimeter defending is among the best in the league and he will likely slow down the more injury-prone Pierce.
Carlos Boozer is not the player he was in Utah, but he still has game. Boozer is better than Brandon Bass offensively, but both cancel out each other on the defensive end of the floor.
Not only is Kevin Garnett bigger than Joakim Noah, but he is also craftier on the offensive end.
Noah makes up for his offensive deficiencies by being proficient defensively, while also being the "glue player" that every team needs.
The one landslide in this whole evaluation is each team's bench.
Boston's second unit is undoubtedly much better and deeper than Chicago's.
Even if the Bulls bring back Omer Asik, the Celtics can counter with Jason Terry, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and probably Mickael Pietrus, just to name a few.
Tom Thibodeau and Doc Rivers, along with Gregg Popovich, comprise the three best coaches in the league. Thibodeau worked on Rivers' staff before taking his current job in Chicago. These two masterminds would cancel each other out in a series—unless one or the other makes a huge mistake.
At the end of the day, these two points separating both teams are inconsequential. While Boston might be better on paper, Chicago could definitely win this series.
For them to beat Boston, Derrick Rose needs to be healthy and has to regain the form he was in before his injury.
If Rose loses most of his explosiveness, Chicago could be in trouble for the coming years, as their point guard would have to evolve his game.
In any case, both of these teams would offer a superb potential series
Let's hope fans will be treated to this matchup in the 2013 playoffs.