On Wednesday, the SB Nation network is reviewing each team's biggest surprises in the season's first month.
Before the season, I figured this was a .500 team without Rose. They'd of course gain some wins upon his return, but still saw a losing season when factoring in potential injuries to the rest of the squad:
...what happens if a key contributor goes down to injury. With the hard-cap the Bulls are uniquely inflexible and unable to cope with injuries.
[man, that is some poor writing]
This is likely just a window into my own psychosis, but I do genuinely think it counts as an early season surprise that the team has been healthy. Since it's an NBA season and all, injuries pop up by the day: just this week there were significant ones to Kyrie Irving and Stephen Jackson, as well as not-so-significant ones to Tyrus Thomas (sorry, my man).
Kirk Hinrich missed a game and a half with a hamstring injury, but that's been it. The Bulls seemed even more susceptible than most teams given most of their players' histories, plus ThibsBall raising the potential risk. And while both Deng and Noah are top-five in minutes per game...so far, so good.
The Bulls are now eligible to sign someone to the minimum for the rest of the season, but since there's no absolute need yet they will likely hold off. Otherwise, if they sign a big and a guard goes down, or vice versa, they can't go out and sign another addition.
Unless you believe in the power of jinxes, this is a very good thing. If the Bulls can keep the rest of their guys active while Rose rehabs, they significantly lessen their danger of being too far removed from a high playoff seed for his return to make a worthwhile push.