Ranking Chicago Bulls' 'Fall Guys' Until Derrick Rose Returns

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Ranking Chicago Bulls' 'Fall Guys' Until Derrick Rose Returns
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Chicago Bulls started the season, little was expected of them. They were considered, at best, to be a team that could contend for a sixth seed. Again, at best, they would hover around .500 while waiting for Derrick Rose to come and rescue them and carry them to the postseason. 

Instead, the Bulls have steadily improved throughout the season, and as they have, they've put together a 22-15 record. They are not only in contention for the Central Division title, trailing the Indiana Pacers by a mere half-game, and with a one-game edge in the loss column, but they are also only three games behind the Miami Heat for the top seed in the East. 

They have beaten the New York Knicks thrice. They handily beat the Miami Heat, in Miami. They have the best record (18-6) of any Eastern Conference team against Eastern Conference opponents. They have the best road record (11-5) in the Eastern Conference. 

Virtually no one expected the Bulls to be positioned where they are now. But they are. And with that positioning, expectations are rising. And with expectations comes potential for disappointment. And with potential for disappointment comes potential for blame. 

So who will be the "fall guy" for the Bulls if they go into a tailspin now that hopes are rising? Here are the top candidates. 

All stats in this article are current of January 17, 2013

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