Another basketball season is here and this time it will be a normal 82 game season with no ridiculous condensed schedule like we saw in 2011-2012. This 2012-2013 season is headlined by the Heat, Lakers and Thunder as the only teams people are giving a chance to win a championship. Because of the injury to Derrick Rose, I agree that those three teams are the class of the league. In fact, I have no expectations about this season for the Bulls because of no Rose and new faces on the bench.
There is no set timetable for Rose to return but if he did, I’m guessing it would be late in the regular season. If he does return how effective will he be? The Bulls might be better off resting Rose the entire season but because he is the most loved athlete in Chicago, I think he will eventually play if he feels fine.
The Bulls played well enough last year to have the best record in the East while Rose missed games with numerous injuries. However, I think this season will be different with Rose down. The biggest issue the Bulls might face this year is the defensive play of the bench. This season’s bench is made up of Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Vladimir Radmanovic and Nazr Mohammed. I’m not sure if these players will be able to play defense like the bench from the previous two seasons did. Tom Thibodeau has his work cut out for him as he tries to motivate a new group of guys to play his style of suffocating defense on every possession.
I think the Bulls will finish seventh in the East and any trip in the playoffs would be a success. After the regular season it will be up to Rose and it’s difficult to count on his health.
Don’t expect 50 wins or a trip past the first round of the playoffs, Bulls fans. It’s the reality but the future is still bright.