2013 NBA power rankings: Bulls falling off the pace


Derrick Rose's absence may finally be catching up to Chicago, as their offense has fallen apart in recent games.

Conversation about Derrick Rose, from when (or if) he will return this season to whether his brother is satisfied with the front office, have been the dominant story around the Bulls in recent weeks.

And while Chicago has stayed afloat through the first half of the season due to their dominating defense, the strain of not having their MVP candidate is starting to show, especially on the offensive end. Things may have reached their nadir on Sunday, when the Bulls were blown off the court by the Thunder in an embarrassing 102-72 loss on national TV.

As a result, they are starting to slip in the latest batch of NBA power rankings from around the web.

Our own Seth Rosenthal has them falling from No. 6 to No. 12 this week:

Chicago went belly-up against each of the week's legitimate opponents, and not just on offense. And now Taj Gibson clambers atop the dogpile of injured Bulls.

The verdict is no kinder over at ESPN, where Marc Stein has them at No. 15:

Something tells me that the banged-up, overworked Bulls are eager to see the calendar flip to March. They're 4-7 in February, still dealing with the Reggie Rose hubbub and just shot the ball worse than any other team in any other game this season at 25-for-86 (.291) in Sunday's loss at OKC.

Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk still has them in the Top 10, but they're slipping fast:

The most points they have scored in their last three games is 72 points. It's a credit to Derrick Rose and the organization that nobody is panicking and forcing him to return to the court before he is ready. They need to look at the big picture. But Reggie Rose wasn't wrong in saying they could have used another scorer at the trade deadline.

At this point, with Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague making a hash of things at the PG position, the Bulls will settle for getting Kirk Hinrich back, much less Rose.

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