On the eve of the Bulls' regular-season opener, here are my predictions about what will happen this season:
WINS -- 48
If Carlos Boozer was healthy at the start, my number would be around 52, but I think the Bulls will drop a few more games early as Boozer misses the toughest stretch of the schedule.
CENTRAL DIVISION FINISH -- First
The Bulls will battle the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the division and I believe the Bulls will finish a couple of games ahead of the Bucks.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINISH -- Fourth
The top three teams (in no specific order) will be the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. The Bulls should be able to be the best of the second-tier teams, battling the Bucks and Atlanta Hawks for the last home-court advantage spot.
PLAYOFFS -- Second round
If the Bulls finish fourth, I see them advancing to the second round, but that's as far as they get. They're just not ready to compete with the Celtics, Heat and Magic right now.
I also predict that Derrick Rose will be an All-Star for a second straight season, but he will be the Bulls' only representative for the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.