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Hollinger: Bulls have legit title hopes (Insider)

Last season, Chicago rode Derrick Rose and a stifling defense to the league's best record before Miami's defense swallowed up Rose in the conference finals and exposed the Bulls' other limitations in a five-game series win. This season, the stifling defense is still there, if not in quite as extreme flavors -- the Bulls are merely second in defensive efficiency rather than first. But offensively? Suddenly, they're a juggernaut. Even with Rose missing nearly a third of the schedule, the Bulls are third in offensive efficiency, speaking well of how broad-based their attack has become. Six other Bulls besides Rose carry PERs above the league average, and as I noted in my piece on "BAD" rating, the Bulls haven't had a single minute played by a player with a PER below 12. In particular, a couple of trends stand out with Chicago. First is the substitution of offense for defense. Last season the Bulls relied heavily on two players -- Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas -- who gave them very little offensively. This time around Thomas' minutes have largely gone to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, now that each is healthy, while Bogans' time has gone to Richard Hamilton, when he's been available, and Ronnie Brewer. Much more
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