Losing a player of former MVP Derrick Rose's caliber can cripple a franchise.
With Chicago's superstar (and leader) sidelined indefinitely while rehabbing a torn ACL, the team has entered the season simply needing to stay relevant in the playoff race. Rose's impending return would then push this club back up the conference ladder, assuming he returns his normal self of course.
At 5-5 (ninth place in the Eastern Conference), the Bulls have displayed a level of mediocrity that, while not entirely surprising, should be unacceptable to coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls players and the team's fanbase. Even without Rose, this current Bulls team has too much talent to be holding just a two-game advantage over the lowly Orlando Magic.
The good news here is that a few tweaks to the gameplan could spurn a Bulls run. Any sustained success that they can manage in Rose's absence will only increase the point guard's desire to return to a club with enough talent to compete for an NBA championship.
All stats used in this article are accurate as of 11/20/2012.