What's Next for the Chicago Bulls After Playoff Exit?

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What's Next for the Chicago Bulls After Playoff Exit?
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls will always remember this season for multiple what-if scenarios that surrounded an inspiring, yet ultimately fruitless campaign.

Chicago's adversity dates back to last season, when former MVP Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the postseason. Rose's return date was widely speculated, over-analyzed and a constant question mark hanging over the franchise.

Of course, that actual day never came.

Still Tom Thibodeau's team powered through a multitude of body blows with its championship heart and resolve always finding a way to shine through.

When Rose was joined on the sideline by Kirk Hinrich (calf) and Luol Deng (illness), the undermanned Bulls looked completely gassed with a trio of double-digit losses to the Miami Heat engulfing the momentum that Chicago's Game 1 upset victory had built.

Game 5 appeared headed for another unsightly loss, as the Bulls were faced with a 22-4 deficit less than seven minutes into the game. But Thibodeau's team responded once again, scoring 49 of the final 74 points of the half.

But the overworked roster lost its legs late in the contest, and a 25-14 fourth-quarter advantage for Miami was more than Chicago could take.

Now the focus turns to next season, as the Bulls hope to rid themselves of the bitter taste from this year and return to the league's elite ranks.

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