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NBA Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls: Top 5 X-Factors This Upcoming Season

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Chicago Bulls: Top 5 X-Factors This Upcoming Season

X factors
Matt Marton - USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this season, the Chicago Bulls are building a roster to contend for a championship. It's been two weeks into the preseason, and the Bulls are proving they will be legitimate threats with good health. Their roster has great depth at each position, a blend of youth and experience throughout the team and a top head coach in Tom Thibodeau to keep them focused. This is a good recipe for things to come.

The Bulls as we stand right now are undefeated in the preseason so far. They've been jumping on teams and wearing them down with efficient offense and stellar defense. Nothing has changed with Thibodeau's crew, play hard and play together. The chemistry on this team is phenomenal. That is hard to find with teams these days. The Bulls are the exception to that rule because they generally like each other and that goes a long way.

The biggest difference this preseason compared to last season is that the Bulls have their main guy, Derrick Rose back healthy. Rose has been carving up teams with his blinding speed and aggressive play. He has looked sharp each game he has played. The Bulls have not put him in any uncomfortable situations limiting his minutes they see fit. He even sat out a game because of "knee soreness" for precautionary reasons. The Bulls are very serious about keeping the former MVP healthy and ready for the regular season.

It seems like the Bulls have it all for a long and productive run. If the main guys can stay on the court, this should be a season for the ages. Here are the top five X-factors to help the Bulls along the way.

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5. Derrick Rose

Matt Marton

Some people will ask, how is Derrick Rose an X-factor to this team when he's the best player? Since he missed all of last year because of knee surgery, he has a lot to prove this season. When healthy, he's a top-five player in the league and he makes the difference of the Bulls being a true title contender or just another good team.

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4. Luol Deng

Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports

Deng is the ultimate weapon and Coach Thibodeau's do everything type of player. He is playing for a contract and you know he will be extra motivated to show the Bulls and other teams he can still get the job done.

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3. Jimmy Butler

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy "Buckets" is a very important piece to the Bulls success. He has earned the starting two guard spot after producing last season. Now there will be more added pressure being D. Rose's backcourt partner. Will he be able to handle the pressure this season?

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2. Taj Gibson

Matt Marton - USA TODAY Sports

Gibson has been playing lights out this preseason and he looks determined and focus. He is becoming more than just a hustle player off the bench. He will be relied upon plenty this season and soon enough, he might just take that starting power forward spot from Carlos Boozer.

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1. Mike Dunleavy, Jr.

Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dunleavy, Jr. was brought in to provide the Bulls some much needed three-point shooting off the bench. Dunleavy will provide that to go along with experience. He should fit right in with the new "bench mob".