5. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls had the greatest dynasty of all-time during the Jordan-era. There’s a chance that they could repeat similar success in the immediate future.
Given that they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals without their best player in the 2013 playoffs, speaks to how deep, talented and well-coached their team is. Regardless of what opinion you may have about Derrick Rose, he will be healthier by the start of the 2013-14 season than he would have been if he returned this past season. Rose, the 2010-11 NBA MVP, will instantly make the Bulls a stronger contender in the East.
Coach Tom Thibodeau’s relentlessness on the importance of defense puts them in championship contention. Offense can be a fickle mistress, and the hoop can seem smaller on off days, but defense wins championships.
The Bulls have a solid future with Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler signed long term. Their brand of physical, unrelenting basketball could be the key to dethroning the Miami Heat. And if that’s the case, the Bulls have a puncher’s chance to compete for multiple championships in the years to come.