5 notable Bulls games to circle on your calendar
Oct. 23 at Charlotte
The Bulls will open on the road for the third consecutive season but should have an easier time earning a victory this time around. The Charlotte Hornets swapped Kemba Walker for Terry Rozier during an ugly offseason that's about to send the franchise into rebuilding mode. That's good news for the Bulls, who have opened Years 1 and 2 of their rebuild with road losses to the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto won 59 games that year and Philadelphia won 51 in 2018. But the Bulls will have a real opportunity to begin their season with a victory against a depleted Hornets roster whose leading scorer from last season is Cody Zeller (10.1 points).
November 1 vs. Detroit
There's something special about the Hometown Kid returning to Chicago. Rose had a career resurgence in Minnesota last season, and one of his biggest highlights came against the Bulls in the United Center when he scored 24 points on 11 of 19 shooting and handed out eight assists in a 25-point win. Rose is now in Detroit, where he'll likely back up Reggie Jackson on a Pistons team that made the postseason a year ago. The Bulls could wind up gunning for the 8th seed that Detroit held a year ago, so the four games these teams play will have significant importance...on top of Rose's return to Chicago.
November 5 vs. LA Lakers
LeBron James put on a show in his first game in Chicago with the Lakers, going for 36 points and a handful of dazzling dunks. He'll have a significant reinforcement with him when he comes back to the Windy City in the form of Anthony Davis, giving the Lakers the best 1-2 punch in basketball. It's probably good that the Bulls are getting the LeBron-AD duo so early in the season, as there are usually growing pains playing alongside James. The Lakers had a busy offseason and surrounded James with serious firepower. It'll be a significant early test for the Bulls' frontcourt going up against James, Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
December 14 vs. LA Clippers
What it do, bay-bee? Steve Ballmer and the LA Clippers put together one of the greatest offseasons in NBA history this summer, adding reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and third-place MVP finisher Paul George to an already-stacked roster. The favorites to win the 2020 title will only make one stop in Chicago, but this will mark the young Bulls' biggest test. Making things even more difficult is that the game comes on the second half of a back-to-back, one night after the Bulls square off against the Hornets. This one could be ugly, but it's one to circle given the star power the Clippers now have.
February 6 vs. New Orleans
Oh, what could have been. Zion Williamson will play one game a year at the United Center - not 41 - and he'll be bringing with him one of the best young cores in basketball. In our opinion, it's the best in the NBA. Williamson will already have half an NBA season under his belt when he comes to Chicago for the first time since the NBA Draft Lottery, and it'll be his second game against the Bulls (Chicago goes to New Orleans in early January). The Pelicans tout Williamson, rookies Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, the haul they received from the Lakers for Anthony Davis, and Jrue Holiday. The Bulls will have their hands full. Lauri vs. Zion will be appointment television.