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The Bulls possessed the best record in the league during 2010-11 and 2011-12, when Rose was in uniform. So, maybe it isn't too "bold" to say this will happen again now that Rose is back.
Actually, it is, because the Eastern Conference outlook has changed dramatically since then. The Miami Heat were still finding their groove at that point, at least in the regular season, and there are now more legitimate threats elsewhere.
The Indiana Pacers proved in last year's playoffs they're a serious contender, after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to Miami in seven games. They now bring back Danny Granger and add Luis Scola to the mix.
What's more, the new-look Brooklyn Nets have a starting five (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez) that is as potent as anybody's.
This array of quality opponents in the Eastern Conference alone is daunting. Furthermore, the Western Conference also features squads (San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets) that are more than capable, with health, of racking up 60-plus wins.
So, can the Rose-led Bulls really rise to the top and garner home-court advantage throughout the playoffs? They will surely have their hands full, but with Rose active, this team's win tally could reach the mid-60s.
Here's why: Rose should return on a mission this year, and the Bulls will be desperate to prove what they can do with health.
Plus, this team is now more talented than is was in previous seasons. The emergence of Jimmy Butler gives them a formidable weapon at shooting guard, which is something they previously lacked (the Keith Bogans and Richard Hamilton experiments weren't sufficient).
The bottom line is that, with its never-satisfied coach, Tom Thibodeau, constantly demanding improvements, along with Rose's return to a refined roster, this team could steamroll its way through the 82-game campaign.
Don't be shocked if the Bulls are atop the NBA standings come next spring. Rose and Co. will be playing with a chip on their shoulders throughout 2013-14.