Unlike some Chicago Bulls homers who think the Bulls are the best team in the Eastern Conference, I am a rational fan with reasonable expectations.
Right now, the Bulls are a lock for a top-four spot in the East, along with the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Boston Celtics.
Are they the clear-cut favorites to win the NBA Championship? Not by a long shot. Vegas gives them the fifth-highest odds to win a title at 15-1, which is a far cry from the 7-4 odds placed on the Heat.
Many sportswriters have used baseball terminology to evaluate the free agency period.
Miami hit a home run.
New Jersey struck out.
Chicago hit a solid double.
Taking the analogy literally, teams that play "small ball" sometimes win, but they have to work a lot harder than the team that can just knock balls out of the park.
Let's just say the Bulls have their work cut out for them.
No one expected to see Boston come out of the East this year, and yet through mental toughness and gritty play they defeated Cleveland and Orlando.
Chicago could do the same, but several pieces must fall into place. Here are the 10 things that the Bulls need to compete for a championship in 2010-2011.