We are only in December, but at 12 games under .500, it's clear that in an increasingly competitive Eastern Conference, this season is all but done. There is a chance we could limp with a losing record into the 8th seed to face our nemesis CB in the playoffs, but other than that, what more can we hope for this season...

Which brings us to next year. Possible lockout? TPE? Peja? Lots of cap space opening up and potential deals to be made.

What needs to be acknowledged is that right now we have 2-3 legit NBA starters, and some excellent bench players.

REAL starters: Bargs, Bayless, Barbo, occassionally Caldy

GOOD bench guys: DD, Johnson, eventually Davis, sometimes Kleiza

Other than that we have a collection of scrubs and duds who occassionally give us glimpses of hope, and then fade into the ether of false promises and inconsistent play.

We really are not a legit NBA team this year, but I can respect BC for holding on to the TPE and Peja for now as chips. He realizes that this year is really about next year, and beyond. Watching us get dismantled by the Bulls, who for the last 2-3 yrs were usually fair game for the raps, was sad. Thibodeau and the Bulls management along with some lucky draft slots have really done a good job there.

So who will be on our team next year? I imagine the aforementioned REAL starters, the rest should be considered trade fodder. JT- get the F outta here.