2012-13 schedule: Game-by-game picks

July, 26, 2012
7/26/12
6:18
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Tom ThibodeauNathaniel S. Butler/Getty ImagesTom Thibodeau is in for a challenging season leading the Bulls.
CHICAGO -- Trying to predict wins and losses during any NBA season is like picking lotto numbers. People would like to think they have a pretty good idea of what might pop up, but on any given night, something strange can happen in the league.

A team might be tired, it might be hurt, it might have gotten in late because of travel trouble. But as Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau always likes to point out, his team can always find an excuse if it wants one. With Derrick Rose likely out for a chunk of the season, and Luol Deng possibly out for three to four months if he decides to have wrist surgery, the Bulls' schedule is even more impossible to predict than ever.

Having said that, I'm banking on Thibodeau finding a way to motivate his team and get them to focus in harder than ever. I still believe the Bulls can be successful this season because Thibodeau will not let his team roll over.

With that in mind, let's take a look at how the Bulls, despite all the uncertainties facing them this year, can still reach 50 wins ...













PROJECTED FINAL RECORD: 50-32

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.5 3.4 1.6 39.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.7
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0