NBA Chicago Bulls

2013-14 Chicago Bulls Season Preview: The Starting 5

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Chicago Bulls Starting 5 Preview

Paul Abell - USA TODAY Sports

The 2013-14 NBA season will be one for the ages. Many teams have reloaded to try to contend with the champion Miami Heat. There are multiple teams who have a realistic shot at unseating them from the throne. One of those strong contenders is the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls are going into this season with a lot on the line. They feel, with a healthy team, they can contend with anybody in the league. But that's the key to this season, health. The Bulls had too many injuries to important players last season to have a legitimate shot at a championship. When you have to rely deep into your bench because there wasn't enough healthy bodies, there will be trouble. What they accomplished last season with a depleted team was a huge achievement. Somehow, the Bulls stayed afloat in the Eastern Conference and went all the way to the second round of the playoffs. They were eventually knocked out by the Heat.

The Bulls can't wait to start this season. The starting lineup will be intact for the first time since the 2012 playoffs. That was the last time the Bulls had their superstar, Derrick Rose, slicing through defenders. Rose was last seen being carried off the court because of an ACL tear. Now D-Rose claims he is 100 percent healthy and ready to reclaim the title of being one of the elite players in the game. The rest of the core starting five is back as well and that includes Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and the new addition, two-guard Jimmy Butler. Here is a break down of the starting five for your Chicago Bulls.

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Point Guard-Derrick Rose

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Rose has very high expectations for this season. He's coming back from ACL surgery after he sat out all year. He's heard the critics and fans doubt him. Now it's time for him to show why he is one of the best players in the league once again. What type of player will he be once he steps on the court? That's the question that will be answered very soon.

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Small Forward: Luol Deng

Mark L. Baer - USA TODAY Sports

Luol Deng is the glue guy of the starting five. You can stick him anywhere and he shines. He's a good three-point shooter, very good defender and strong slasher. Coach Tom Thibodeau likes to use Deng in a variety of ways because he's a team-first guy. Deng will be a free agent after this season, so he has a lot to prove.

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Shooting Guard-Jimmy Butler

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Jimmy Butler stepped up last season and earned a spot in the starting lineup to play alongside Rose. This should be a scary backcourt with all that athleticism. Butler has developed a reliable jumper to go along with his stifling defense. The sky's the limit for the young Butler.

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Power Forward-Carlos Boozer

Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

Boozer is highly criticized by fans. It's not for his lack of production, but his hefty contract. He has been a solid piece for the Bulls. He scores in the post, shoots a high percentage and rebounds very well. His defense could use major work, but he is a team-first guy and likable. This will be a big year for Boozer because the Bulls could amnesty him at the end of the year.

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Center-Joakim Noah

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Noah is the heart, soul and emotional leader of the Bulls. He has improved every year he's been in the league and he is only getting better. He made his first All-Star team last season. He is a terror defensively blocking shots, as well as with his help defense and crashing the boards. His offensive game has improved, but still could use more work because his shot is awkward. Nevertheless, Noah is a very important piece to the Bulls.