4. Chicago Bulls

2010-11 Record: 62-20 (Lost in Eastern Conference Finals to Miami 4-1)
Key Returning Players: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Key Additions: Rip Hamilton, Jimmy Butler (R)
Key Losses: Keith Bogans
This Week: @ LA Lakers, Sunday (12/25); @ Golden State, Monday (12/26); @ Scaramento, Thursday (12/29); @ LA Clippers, Friday (12/30)

Good news, Bulls fans. Your team looks like it should be even better than it was last year! League MVP Derrick Rose has another year under his belt (and a hefty new contract!). Rip Hamilton will finally provide a real perimeter threat. And Jimmy Butler should be able to step in right away and contribute. Er, but there's some bad news, too. The Knicks have gotten better, the Heat sound more determined this season, and the Eastern Conference is, well, loaded. We fully expect Chicago to rise to the top and make a return to the Eastern Conference Finals again, but Bulls fans: Just know that it won't be easy. —Chris Yuscavage