Bulls

Bulls 2012-13 schedule released

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Bulls 2012-13 schedule released

The NBA announced the complete 2012-13 season this evening. For the Bulls' complete 2012-2013 schedule, click here.
Here are the 10 most intriguing match-ups for the Bulls this season:
Sat., Nov. 3: Bulls vs. New Orleans Hornets: No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis will make his homecoming three games into his NBA career, and the new-look Hornets -- complete with Davis, Austin Rivers and a healthy Eric Gordon -- will look much different than their 21-45 record a year ago.
Wed., Nov. 21: Bulls at Houston Rockets: The biggest decision the Bulls made in free agency was not to bring back center Omer Asik. Instead, he signed a three-year deal with the Rockets and will face his old team early in the year. Both teams will be out to prove they made the right decision.
Wed., Dec. 12: Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers: The spot where their season ended three months ago, the Bulls will certainly be looking for revenge when they face the 76ers. After losing leading scorer Lou Williams, the Sixers went and brought in sharpshooters Nick Young and Dorrell Wright.
Sat., Dec. 15: Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets: It didn't take long for C.J. Watson to ruffle feathers once he signed on with the Nets. The veteran said new teammate Deron Williams, not old teammate Derrick Rose, was the league's best point guard. Whether Watson had a case or not, he should receive a loud chorus of boos as he enters the United Center.
Tues., Dec. 25: Bulls vs. Houston Rockets: Asik's homecoming, but more importantly the Bulls will play on Christmas Day for the third straight year. For the first time in that span, the game will be played in Chicago (at New York, at Los Angeles).
Mon., Jan. 14: Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks: If Watson is set to be booed in his return to the United Center, Kyle Korver should receive just as loud a cheer. Korver's 5 million player option was not picked up this off-season, and was traded to the Hawks for a trade exception. This will also be the first meeting between brothers Jeff and Marquis Teague, as well as Kirk Hinrich facing his old team.
Mon., Jan. 21: Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers: The Bulls will welcome Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant to the United Center for the first time. Perhaps the biggest off-season acquisition, the combination of Nash, Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should make for an exciting matchup against the Bulls.
Friday, Jan. 25: Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors: The off-season rumor that the Bulls were attempting to trade Luol Deng to the Warriors in order to move up to draft Harrison Barnes never came to fruition, but the Warriors ironically ended up drafting the North Carolina sophomore. The Bulls will get their first look at what could have been with the 21-year-old Barnes.
March 27 and April 14: Bulls vs. Miami Heat: The Bulls will face the NBA Champions twice before these last two meetings (Jan. 4, Feb. 21), but these are significant because there's a chance Derrick Rose is back for them. The final meeting is the third-to-last game of the regular season, and both teams could be fighting for respective playoff position.
Sun., Feb. 24: Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder: The Bulls visit the Western Conference champion Thunder on this date in what should be one of the more challenging games of their season.dstb()

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: A sprained MCL and Trubisky's performance. vs the Pats

David Haugh, Jordan Cornette, Shae Peppler join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- Mark Schanowski joins SportsTalk Live to discuss Kris Dunn’s sprained MCL, Fred Hoiberg’s tough luck and Zach LaVine postgame criticisms of the coaching. Plus they’ll discuss another 0-3 team- LeBron’s Lakers.

20:00 – The panel discusses Mitchell Trubisky’s performance vs. the Patriots. Jordan makes the case that the media is giving the former No. 2 pick a pass.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

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USA TODAY

Bulls bracing for a Kemba Walker onslaught

Through the opening week of the NBA season, Hornets' All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and former Bull Niko Mirotic share the league scoring lead, averaging 33 points per game.

Bulls' fans have seen these hot stretches from Niko before, and chances are he'll start moving down to the mid to high-teens before long. But Walker is a big-time scorer who's quietly emerged as one of the most consistently productive point guards in a league loaded with stars at that position. He's averaged over 20 points and 5 assists in each of the last three seasons, making the Eastern Conference All-Star team twice.

Last season, Walker lit up the Bulls for 47 points in an overtime loss at the United Center in November, making some of the most difficult shots you can imagine to keep his team in the game. He seems to be as this best when facing the Bulls and you can bet Fred Hoiberg and his staff will pull out all the stops to try to slow him down, especially with defensive ace Kris Dunn out 4-6 weeks after suffering a sprained left MCL in his season debut on Monday.

The Hornets made some personnel changes since last season. The one-year experiment with Dwight Howard at center is over. Howard put up solid numbers for Charlotte a year ago, but didn't make much difference in the win-loss column, so he's moved on to Washington in his NBA odyssey. Cody Zeller is now the starting center, backed up by Bismack Biyombo and former Benet Academy and University of Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky.

Charlotte tried to improve the athleticism on their roster by selecting Malik Monk and Miles Bridges in the first rounds of the last two drafts. Monk is getting more playing time this season, averaging 13.5 points in the Hornets' first four games. Bridges is averaging just under 16 minutes a game as a backup to starting forwards Marvin Williams and Nic Batum. Just like he did at Michigan State, Bridges is providing those highlight reel putback dunks, but it remains to be seen whether he'll develop a consistent enough outside shot to be a quality starter in the NBA.

The well-traveled Jeremy Lamb is now starting in the backcourt with Walker, and the Hornets brought in long-time Spurs' point guard Tony Parker to add some much needed experience and veteran savvy off the bench. Given the current state of the Eastern Conference (post-LeBron), it's not out of the question for this group to contend for one of the final playoff spots.

Here's what the Bulls need to do for a shot at their first win of the season. This also applies to the rematch in Charlotte on Friday.

1. CORRAL KEMBA. For whatever reason, seeing that Bulls' logo turns Walker into an almost unstoppable scoring machine. Walker is adept at working off his big men, either in straight pick and rolls or cutting through the post on give-and-go plays. He's one of the league's most creative scorers, and doesn't require much room to get his shot off. The Bulls' bigs will have to provide help on Walker whenever he comes off screens to keep him from taking over the game.

2. PUT THE BALL IN ZACH'S HANDS. Whether he's playing shooting guard or point guard, Zach LaVine needs to be the primary facilitator with Dunn sidelined. LaVine scored 34 points against Dallas Monday night on just 15 shots, which led to him questioning some of the offensive sets that were run in the 2nd half. LaVine told reporters on Tuesday that he smoothed things over with his head coach, explaining his comments were the result of the frustration he was feeling after a third-straight loss to open the season. Still, LaVine is on a major hot streak, joining Bulls' all-time greats Michael Jordan and Bob Love as the only players to start the year with three straight games scoring at least 30 points. The Bulls will need to ride that hot hand for as far as LaVine can carry them.

3. DEFEND THE 3-POINT LINE. You knew I would eventually get to this, right? Dallas made 15 of 47 3-point attempts on Monday after the Pistons knocked down 18 of 40 in a two-point win last Saturday. The Hornets have all kinds of capable 3-point shooters in Walker, Lamb, Monk, Batum and Williams (they're shooting .397 as a team on 3's), so guarding the arc will be crucial for the Bulls to have a chance at their first win.

Don’t forget you can catch Wednesday's game on NBC Sports Chicago and the new MyTeams by NBC sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 pm when Kendall Gill, Will Perdue and Kelly Crull join me for Bulls Pregame Live from the United Center Atrium. Neil Funk and Stacey King have the play-by-play call at 7 pm, then stay tuned after the final buzzer for Bulls Postgame Live and the always entertaining Bulls Outsiders.