Chicago Bulls: Eastern Conference Favorites?

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Chicago Bulls

Nov 2, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) talks with forward Luol Deng (9) center Joakim Noah (13) and guard Jimmy Butler (21) during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Bulls 107-104. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When LeBron James left the Miami Heat to go back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he changed the balance in the Eastern Conference. The East has long been seen as a joke, but the Heat and the Indiana Pacers were elite teams everyone knew would eventually meet up in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now that LeBron is on the Cavs again, the East feels wide open.

Miami has made strides to retool and remain Eastern favorites, re-signing Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen while also adding Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Despite their near-mental breakdown to close out the season, the Pacers only need to find a way to re-sign Lance Stephenson to stay competitive. The Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets will improve next year, but they aren’t ready to contend.

Though they have the league’s best player, the Cavaliers still aren’t overwhelming favorites in the East. LeBron said it himself, and unless Cleveland relents and packages No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Kevin Love, the Cavs are still too young to be seen as the cream of the crop just yet. Even though the Chicago Bulls missed out on Carmelo Anthony, they’ve quietly had a tremendous offseason. Here are five reasons they could be Eastern favorites next season.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose Doug McDermott NBA Free Agency Nikola Mirotic Pau Gasol Tony Snell

  • Leroy Boyd

    I dont put any faith in Vegas odds nor articles clamining who is the favorite. Games and titles are won on the floor. The Bulls have some questions but people are harping on scoring by the Bulls. People forget Snell and Butler improvement offensr wise could be the big difference. Everybody harping on the IF’S of Rose on that issue I am going to be one to watch the games not sit around and wait and hope he does not get injured.

    If Rose thinks that way he might as retire. Knowing very little about Rose but I do know this he aint thinking like he is worried about anything just coming back with a vengeance to show fans and players that he is still the Rose.

  • Gianmarco Lominchar

    With the additions the Bulls have made, they are the team to beat in the East.

    With the loss of Stephenson, the Indiana Pacers are the second best team in the East, followed very closely by the Cavaliers, WHO AREN’T AUTOMATICALLY THE EAST FAVORITES WITH THE ADDITION OF LEBRON. NEW COACH, NEW GM, VERY YOUNG PLAYERS, NEW SYSTEM = GROWING PAINS. Won’t be surprised if hey start the season 10 -15 or something like that. Since there cannot be 2 non-division winners in the top 4, that gives the Cavaliers the 5th seed.

    The third seed, in my opinion, belongs to the up-and-coming Wizards, making more improving moves than the Raptors, who will take the fourth seed, relying on the improvement of already-present players, rather than relying on offseason moves.

    The sixth, seventh, and eighth seeds belong to the Heat, Hawks, and Hornets. The Hornets did add Stephenson , which may push them above Atlanta and possibly the Heat. The Hawks didn’t really do much, only adding Thabo Sefolosha. It’s a toss-up if you ask me, but I’ll rank the last 3 seeds with the Heat, then the Hornets, and the Hawks right after.

    The Nets, with the loss of Livingston and Pierce (albeit adding Jack), will be on the outside looking in, unless Al Horford can’t stay healthy.

  • Road Dog

    The Bulls are starting the season 0-0 just like everyone else. Health and atrition will answer the championship question like it will for all the other teams. That being said, Chicago will go as far as Derrick Rose’s health will take them. We are a better team already with signings and player improvements. I dont think the Bulls are done with their roster yet. There’s a lot to be excited about in Chicago with the Bulls. However as we all know, an 82 game season always leaves it mark on the best of teams. NBA basketball is starting to have more parity. There will be teams that no one’s talking about right now that will be front and center during the season and come playoff time. Buckle up for the storylines !!!!