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NBA standings 2012: Bulls a half game back in Central standings

Despite playing without Derrick Rose early on, the Bulls are just a half game back in the Eastern Conference's Central Division standings. Chicago sits at 3-2, while Milwaukee is 3-1.

Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bulls are holding strong in the NBA standings right now, despite playing without star player Derrick Rose early on. Entering Saturday night's game with Minnesota, the Bulls trail Milwaukee by just half a game.

Chicago's 3-2 start has been courtesy of a friendly schedule which has had them play four of their first five games at home. The Bulls are just 2-2 at the United Center, but did win their only road game of the season at Cleveland earlier this year.

As thing stand, Chicago trails the 3-1 Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Washington Wizards on Friday night to maintain their half game lead. The Bucks will visit Boston on Saturday evening to take on the Celtics.

Trailing the Bucks and Bulls are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, which are each 2-4 and the Detroit Pistons which are 0-6.

Chicago's start has been made more impressive by the absence of Rose, undoubtedly their best player. The 2011 MVP led this team with just under 22 points and eight assists in the 2012 season, but is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered in last year's playoffs.