As trinkets of the NBA schedule begins to leak little by little, it appears the Bulls will be on center stage Christmas Day yet again.
According to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Bulls on Christmas Day, one of four matchups that have been revealed in the last week through various reports.
The Bulls have become a Christmas Day fixture, back in the Michael Jordan era and now, having appeared in Christmas Day games every year starting with the 2010-11 season. They even opened the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season with a Christmas Day tilt in Los Angeles, where Derrick Rose hit a game-winning floater with seconds remaining.
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Traveling to Oklahoma City to take on perhaps the league’s deepest team when healthy should prove to be an entertaining matchup, if stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are available.
In other published reports, the New Orleans Pelicans will go to Miami, the Lakers and Clippers will play one another and there will be a Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
Jimmy Butler won't be facing the Bulls a second time this season.
Butler suffered a non-contact knee injury on Friday night in Houston. The initial X-ray only revealed he didn't have any broken bones, but the MRI had to wait until Saturday.
The Timberwolves announced that the MRI revealed a meniscus injury in Butler's right knee. There is not yet word on how long the All-Star guard will be out of action, but if it wasn't already assumed that he wouldn't play against the Bulls, it's now certain.
The Bulls take on the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Butler dropped 38 points at the United Center in his return to Chicago exactly two weeks ago, but the Bulls won 114-113.
Butler posted on Instagram a reaction to the injury.
Saturday's game will be the returns of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Minnesota after they went the other direction in the Butler trade on draft night last June.
The NBA may have lost another top superstar due to injury.
On Friday, Jimmy Butler appeared to have suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee. He left the game against the Houston Rockets unable to put any pressure on his right leg and needed assistance getting back to the locker room.
Here's a video of the incident:
Coach Tom Thibodeau said that Butler will have an MRI when the team returns to Minnesota on Saturday.
Butler drew a lot of headlines last weekend after not playing in the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
Entering Friday, Butler led the league with 37.3 minutes played per game.
The Bulls also take on the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Saturday night.