2012-2013 NBA Division Preview: Central Division

2. Chicago Bulls – 50-16 (2011-12)

The Chicago Bulls come into this season amid uncertainty and speculation about what direction this team is headed in. It’s unclear how long Derrick Rose will be out of action and if he’ll even be the explosive player we’ve come to admire when he returns. This is terrible news not just for the Bulls, but for the entire NBA.

The Bulls will have to look elsewhere for scoring as they unloaded most of their “Bench Mob” during the off-season. With the departures of CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik and Ronnie Brewer, the Bulls will have to rely on Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer to do the bulk of the scoring.

If the Bulls are going to want to stay in contention for the division title, they will have to give more playing time to Taj Gibson. Averaging eight points and five rebounds in just 20 minutes of play last season, expect to see more time come his way. Along with Joakim Noah down low, there is plenty of size and length to keep teams on the perimeter.

Under coach Tom Thibodeau, the identity of this team is on the defensive side of the ball. If they can hold teams to scoring under 90 points a game like Chicago is accustomed to, the Bulls will get through the Derrick Rose injury just fine.

Key Players: Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose
Key Additions: Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague and Kirk Hinrich
Key Departures: CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Omer Asik

Next Page: Milwaukee Bucks

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