3 Burning Questions For The Chicago Bulls Heading Into The NBA Playoffs

The Chicago Bulls are holding onto the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference despite dealing with a multitude of injuries throughout the season. Many expect the Bulls to come out of the East, but here are three questions they need to answer to make that happen:

3) Will the Bulls stay healthy?

The Bulls have as much talent as anyone in the league when they're healthy, but that's been their biggest problem all year. Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol, and Joakim Noah have all missed significant amounts of time with injuries, and Chicago won't advance to the conference finals if they're missing one of those guys.

2) Can Pau Gasol or Nikola Mirotic defend well for a whole series?

Chicago has been a defense-first team since head coach Tom Thibodeau took over, but Gasol and Mirotic have struggled defending power forwards during the course of this season. The Bulls need their offense, but they'll be guarding Cleveland's Kevin Love and Atlanta's Paul Millsap in potential matchups with the Cavs and Hawks, both of whom are really good offensive players. Chicago will need Gasol and/or Mirotic to shut those guys down if they want to make the finals, and they haven't shown the ability to do that yet.

1) Will Derrick Rose be fully healthy and effective?

Rose had minor surgery on his meniscus in February and is expected to return sometime this week, hoping he can shake off some rust before the playoffs start. He was finally starting to look like the player that won the MVP in 2011 before the surgery, and Chicago needs him to get back to playing at a high level quickly for them to reach their full potential.

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