ESPN.com writer Marc Stein has been high on the Bulls since they signed Carlos Boozer in the offseason so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they have dipped from fifth to ninth in Stein's latest power rankings. Here's what he had to say:
"Have to Deng, er, ding the Bulls to some degree after they lost Boozer so early (and so bizarrely) and then took a pounding on the boards for much of the preseason. But none of that will change my Chicago-to-win-Central pick."
I don't really have an issue with his reasoning for the shift. Obviously, the Bulls aren't the same team without Boozer, although I do think their rebounding numbers during the first month will be better than they were in the preseason. All the Bulls have to do during the first month is tread water while Boozer rehabs from his broken pinky and they should remain a top 10 team in the league ... and in the power rankings.