Last season there was no pressure for the injury plagued Bulls team during the playoffs, because there were no expectations for a team missing an arguably top five player in the NBA from their core.
Going into last season, some experts and even fans thought that the team might not make the postseason actually. Well behind leadership from Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich, the team finished at the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference to set up an opening round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
Though, due to injuries, no one thought the team would make it out of the first round.
The most talked about injury was Derrick Rose. After doctors saying he was clear to play in early March, he ended up sitting the whole season and postseason. This caused more attention than the actual games played by the team, and Rose received criticism from the media and even his hometown fans to return before the playoffs begun.
Long story short, Chicago made it to the second round where they eventually lost to the now NBA champion Miami Heat.
We are now less than a month away from training camp with expectations for a team that will contend for a championship this year, I think.
Rose has stated in July that he is 100 percent healthy and ready to play. Jimmy Butler is coming off an impressive sophomore season after sitting on the bench most of his rookie year. The core of Noah, Deng, and Boozer are coming in healthy and the bench was retooled this offseason after departures of Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli.
When you look at the team on paper, if they all stay healthy, they are the one team in the Eastern Conference who could possibly take down the Miami Heat.
There are just two questions. Will Rose be better than he already was before the ACL injury and can the Bulls stay healthy?
Image courtesy goes to bulls fan