So far this season, the Chicago Bulls have a record of 4-3 after a loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday. Despite the mediocre record, Chicago has looked much better than expected after seven games. The team's performance should give Bulls fans hope that this team could be a factor in the playoffs when Derrick Rose returns.
Their wins haven't exactly been impressive. Out of the seven games they played, I would only consider two to be against quality teams in Oklahoma City and Boston, both of which they lost. In addition, the Bulls have a loss to a New Orleans team that was missing Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.
However, what is promising is that the Bulls have gone 4-1 against teams that they should beat. In addition, Joakim Noah has improved his offensive game tremendously and the team is learning how to gel.
Perhaps the most promising sign is that the Bulls went right down to the wire against the Celtics and the Thunder, two teams that were in the conference finals last season. Against the Thunder, the Bulls just got Durant-ed, and against the Celtics, the Bulls had chance after chance, and couldn't convert due to the lack of a true scoring threat.
What separates the great teams in the league from the elite teams is usually just one single player. Some teams have that guy who can take over and finish out games like Durant did against the Bulls. With Rose out, the Bulls don't have a guy who can be relied on to get a basket against Boston, or to go toe-to-toe with Durantula.
Now fast forward a few months to when Derrick Rose can return to action. Even without their superstar, the Bulls managed to keep games close against arguably two of the top five teams in the NBA. The team overall is clicking, and the supporting cast is looking as good as it ever has. If Derrick Rose can come back at 90 percent by the playoffs, what's to say the Bulls can't once again be championship contenders?