By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)
This is the second of my NBA divisional previews. For each team I will post my projected starting lineups, give a brief outlook on the season for each team, and highlight an X factor on the roster. The teams will be listed in the order I expect them to finish. Today we’ll deal with the Central Division.
Chicago Bulls (Last season: 48-34)
Starting Five: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Doug McDermott, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah
The Cavaliers made the glossy adds this offseason, and they’ll be covered in due time here. But the Bulls’ addition of Pau Gasol was sneaky good. Gasol was unhappy in Los Angeles last season, and he’s not the absolute force he was a few seasons ago, but he still averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.
Gasol’s presence improves the Bulls defensively (as if they needed it) and keeps hyperactive PF Taj Gibson as perhaps the best energy guy off the bench in the NBA.