Expectations change it all for Bulls

OAKLAND, Calif. -- This isn't the start anybody envisioned. No reasonable expectation predicted desperate struggles with the short-handed and suddenly reduced Los Angeles Lakers and the inconsequential Golden State Warriors. No responsible forecast had the Chicago Bulls, two games into the new season, shooting 41 percent and stinking out the joint on the defensive end.

Nothing we saw last season, not even that Eastern Conference finals loss to the Miami Heat, suggested that the Bulls would start the first two games looking like a middle-of-the-pack team in this new season of great promise, in need of a longer training camp or more preseason games or ... something.

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