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Chris Mannix
December 05, 2011
CHICAGO BULLS (62--20)
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December 05, 2011

Central

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CHICAGO BULLS (62--20)

What they've got

At 22, Derrick Rose was the NBA's youngest MVP, and another summer spent drilling with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love should make him even better. Luol Deng became a two-way star at small forward, and a healthy Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah could yield even more wins in Chicago.

What they need

The Bulls desperately need a two guard, and athletic free agent Jason Richardson, who averaged 15.6 ppg for the Suns and the Magic, is at the top of their list. Free agent Jamal Crawford (Hawks) could also draw an offer, or Courtney Lee (Rockets) or O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies) might be had in a trade. The job description is pretty simple: defend, run the floor and be ready to shoot when the defense collapses on Rose.

Bottom line

Young legs and a deep roster should make the Bulls a force in the regular season. Then coach Tom Thibodeau must prove that his offense is diverse enough to win in the playoffs.

INDIANA PACERS (37--45)

What they've got

Point guard Darren Collison answered any lingering questions about his ability to start, averaging 13.5 points and 5.1 assists. Roy Hibbert is a rare pure post player, and while Danny Granger is overpaid at $12 million, he's a consistent 20-points-per-game scorer.

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