We're just one day away from the beginning of the NBA season, and two days away from the start of the Bulls' season. An avalanche of NBA preview content has been unleashed on us from around the web the past couple of days, so I'm going to link a bunch of it here:
- Sam Smith is here to predict the conference standings, and he almost apologizes for picking the Bulls fourth in the East. As much as I like to rip on Sam for being a homer, I can't do it here, because I agree with him. As long as Rose comes back at some point and there are no further injuries, the Bulls will once again rack up plenty of regular season wins.
- The Eye on Basketball trio over at CBS Sports that features Matt Moore, Royce Young and new member Zach Harper (formerly at ESPN) put out a crap ton of stuff today. There are regular season predictions, playoff predictions and two parts of awards predictions. Moore has the Bulls going 42-40 and losing 4-2 to the Heat in the first round as an eight seed. Young has the Bulls at a pretty darn optimistic 52-30, but losing 4-3 to the Knicks in the first round as a five seed. Harper has the Bulls as a four seed at 47-35, and he's the only one of the three to have them winning a playoff series. He has the Bulls beating the Nets in seven games before falling to the Heat in six in the East semis. In the awards section, Moore gives Luol Deng and Tom Thibodeau honorable mentions for the Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards. Moore also has Taj Gibson fourth in Sixth Man of the Year voting and recognizes Derrick Rose for hard work as he rehabs from injury.
- Hardwood Paroxysm, one of Moore's gazillion other projects, created a comprehensive preview "magazine,"and the Bulls' entry is rather humorous. There's some rather extreme love for Jimmy Butler, as well as plenty of hatred for Carlos Boozer. Noam Schiller describes Boozer as "the best worst player, and the worst best player, we've ever seen."
- This is a little old, but Bill Simmons and Joe House did over/unders last week for Eastern Conference teams. The Bulls' number is set at 48, and House called it a lock that they would go under. Simmons was a little more hesitant to go that far, citing the uncertainty of the Rose injury. Simmons also had a very odd pronunciation for Asik (he said it like Asich, which I've never heard before).
- Ben Golliver - formerly of Eye on Basketball and now part of The Point Forward at Sports Illustrated - did best and worse case scenarios for all the Eastern Conference squads. For the Bulls, the best case is Rose coming back relatively healthy and leading the team to a Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat. The worst case, interestingly, is a first round loss. I personally think the worst case could be way worse, such as Rose suffering a set back and the team barely missing the playoffs and getting a meh lottery pick.
- Now for some power rankings. From the mother ship, Seth Rosenthal released SB Nation's first set of weekly power rankings, complete with jokes! The Bulls come in at No. 14 and eighth-best in the East. The Bulls are also at No. 14 in NBA.com's power rankings, but in those, that's good for seventh in the East. In ESPN's power rankings, the Bulls are at No. 12 and fifth in the East.