How the Chicago Bulls Can Grow While Waiting for Derrick Rose
Rose—the face of the franchise and the NBA's MVP in 2011—suffered an ACL tear in the playoffs and is expected to miss most of the season.
Can the Bulls remain one of the league's elite teams despite not having their megastar point guard in the lineup?
Here are five things the team needs to learn about one another in the 2012-13 campaign.
They Can Beat Any Team in the League
However, they do have what it takes to beat those two teams in the regular season. They also have the talent to hang with other elite ball clubs such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks.
Why? Because of their smothering defense, preached by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
They're Capable of Winning the Central Division
The Bulls captured the Central Division crown the past two seasons. Don't be surprised to see the team win it three times in a row.
Perhaps most fans and pundits would predict the Indiana Pacers to win the division, especially after coming close to knocking off the Miami Heat during the playoffs.
However, the Derrick Rose-less Bulls possess the talent to get it done. They can be a better ball club than the Pacers and there's no doubt that they can finish with more victories than the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers.
They Can Gel Quickly
This season, Chicago's roster will feature six new players: Marco Belinelli, Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic, as well as the point guard trio of Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson and rookie Marquis Teague.
With so many new faces, one would think the Bulls would take a while to gel. However, at the end of the day, that won't be the case.
Expect for the team to play well together quickly and look as if they've been teammates for a decade or so.
They're Not a Lottery-Bound Ball Club
With a dismantled bench and no Derrick Rose until at least March, the Bulls are considered a lottery team by some fans out there.
But with a roster that includes players like Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls shouldn't see ping pong balls anytime in the near future.
Also, keep in mind that the team is coached by one of the league's best in Tom Thibodeau and have an underrated second unit led by Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson.
They're Capable of Winning 50 Games
The Bulls finished with 62 wins in 2010-11 and then 50 last season.
Don't believe for a moment that they're not capable of reaching the 50-win mark again, even if Derrick Rose is out for a while.
A 50-win season would likely land the Bulls a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, right behind Miami, Boston and New York.
That’s' not too far-fetched is it?