TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz has the Bulls as one of his three sleeper picks for the season.
How much should we read into Chicago's classic seven-game series against
Boston? Was the Bulls' gutsy performance a harbinger of things to come,
or was it lightning in a bottle? Did they graduate into a team that
knows how to scramble defenses with a legitimate pick-and-roll game, or
were they just lucky to encounter a crippled Celtics' team ill-suited
to deal with their quickness and athleticism?
Those aren't the only
imperative questions for Chicago. Even if we conclude that they came of
age in April, is it fair to expect them to continue their progress
without their top scorer, Ben Gordon, whom they lost to Detroit?
Short answer: Yes.
Interestingly enough, his other picks all added some high grade talent. Dallas was already an elite team in the recent past and added Shawn Marion. The Hornets were very good and added Emeka Okafor over Tyson Chandler.
The Bulls lost a key contributor this year while adding Pargo, 2 (non lotto) 1st rounders, and hope to have a healthy Luol Deng. On the plus side, the Bulls team of last year was on pace to win 50 after Miller/Salmons came on board which suggests the team should win over 40 games even if there is a large drop off from Gordon leaving.
I guess the real question I would have is what type of result does he expect from a sleeper? What constitutes the sleeper hitting? If the bulls win 45 games do you call this a successful sleeper prediction?
Unless Derrick Rose comes out this year as a superstar, I don't see this team winning more than about 45 games, and I think it'd take 47-48 before I'd start getting excited.