Just what do people expect from the team this year?
Derrick Rose, the team’s superstar point guard, is set to miss quite a bit of time due to an ACL injury that he suffered during this past postseason. Can the Rose-less Bulls make the playoffs in 2012-13, or will it be a long year for the Windy City squad?
Will players like Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer step up and keep the team relevant in the Eastern Conference?
Here are a few predictions from around the internet accompanied by my own reaction.
Let's go ahead and get started.
Bleacher Report's Shehan Jeyarajah produced a slideshow predicting the stat lines for each of the Bulls' starters.
Jeyarajah could've chosen to go overboard with his predictions but instead kept them rather realistic.
He has Luol Deng contributing 18.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and Carlos Boozer putting up 18.1 points and 9.4 rebounds. Those numbers aren't too far-fetched, knowing that Deng and Boozer should be Chicago's two main go-to scorers in Derrick Rose's absence.
Jeyarajah claims that Joakim Noah will become a first-time All-Star this season, and I agree. He's one of the game's better big men and can rebound at a high level.
Snubbed once or twice in the past, Noah will finally represent Chicago in the midseason classic.
Next, we'll focus on Ball Don't Lie's trio of Kelly Dwyer, Dan Devine and Eric Freeman, who previewed the Bulls' season.
Dwyer expects Chicago to have a 44-38 record in 2012-13.
The team, of course, finished with the league's top record in 2010-11 and then tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best mark last season.
Unless a miracle takes place, the Bulls aren't going to lead the league in victories this year, no matter how much Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah step up their games.
44 wins is realistic and definitely not out the question. As long as the injury bug doesn't continue to bite hard, and as long as coach Tom Thibodeau gets his team to play great defense like usual, the Bulls will be just fine.
A third-straight season of 50 or more wins is out of the question though.
The NBA’s annual GM survey was released recently.
While 80 percent of the league’s GMs predicted the Indiana Pacers to win the Central Division, 20 percent picked the Bulls.
Expecting Chicago to finish in second place behind Indy this year makes quite a bit of sense. Without the services of Derrick Rose for a large portion of the season, and due to the departures of several key players like Omer Asik and Kyle Korver, the Bulls just don’t have what it takes to slip past the Pacers in the standings.
Sure, the Bulls will play excellent defense on a nightly basis, but Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger and the rest of the Nap Town crew are simply too deep and talented not to capture the division.
They’ll probably rank just below the deep, young Pacers in their division, but ahead of conference upstarts like the Knicks and Nets.
I disagree with that statement. Yes, the Bulls could have a better year than the two ballclubs from New York if Rose was in the lineup all season. However, the Knicks (Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire) and the Nets (Deron Williams and Joe Johnson) possess too much star power to fall behind the Rose-less Bulls in the East.