Power Rankings: Charging Bulls

Updated: December 29, 2014, 5:29 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com
Monday, Dec. 29

Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler & Goran DragicESPN Illustration

The door was opened by an empty two-game trip to Hollywood for the Golden State Warriors. And an Eastern Conference team, believe it or not, has taken advantage.

The Chicago Bulls have unexpectedly risen to the top of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings, riding their league-high-tying 13 road wins and an overall surge of 9-1 to jump six spots and bump the Warriors off the top spot for the first time in six weeks.

With Golden State, Portland and Memphis all dealing with injuries to varying degrees and the Bulls getting as healthy as they've been since the season began, Tom Thibodeau's crew has capitalized on its supreme depth to jump to a heady No. 6 in offensive efficiency after ranking in a tie for 27th in OE last season. That'll soften the blow from missing out on Carmelo Anthony in free agency, as well as Chicago's uncharacteristic slip to No. 9 in the latest defensive efficiency table, if it holds all season.

With Atlanta and Toronto joining the Bulls in a suddenly East-heavy top five, we'll delve further into this week's ladder in Stein Line Live. You can also comment below on our 1-to-30 order, which as always was assembled with the usual helpful dishings we get from ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau.

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