Chicago Bulls picked by ESPN to finish 46-36, No. 4 in East

The Chicago Bulls will play to a 46-36 record and will be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2012-13, as predicted by ESPN.com's summer forecast. The poll takes into account the opinions of 100 different contributors.

Derrick Rose will be out until the All-Star break and Luol Deng will be playing hurt. It's likely this uncertainty led to such a low prediction for a team that was the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference the past two seasons.

The Bulls were picked behind the defending champion Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers in the East. The Bulls' first-round playoff opponent would be the new and improved Brooklyn Nets, who are predicted to finish with an identical 46-36 record. Rounding out the playoff field would be the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks.

ESPN plans on writing forecasts for each team and player predictions.

For the latest on the Chicago Bulls, be sure to check out Blog A Bull and SB Nation Chicago. Head over to SB Nation's NBA hub for even more news. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for video commentary.

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