Analyzing the Bulls’ (presumed) 2011-12 schedule

The NBA has a schedule. And a lockout. Which may mean the schedule will be more effective as packing material or lining for bird cages across the country. Still, presuming the best (fingers crossed, everybody), let’s take a month-by-month peak at what the Bulls have coming their way.

Oh, and if you’re not lucky enough to live in or near Chicago, you should still be able to get your Bulls fix. According to “The Bulls are currently scheduled to appear on national television a total of 29 times. This year the Bulls will air on ABC five times, TNT nine times, ESPN nine times and NBA TV six times.”

As always, the Bulls open the season with a rough first month: 15 games, 10 on the road, eight back-to-back games, and eight games against playoff teams (Mavericks, Hornets, Hawks, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Pacers, Spurs). The season opens with back-to-back road games in Dallas and New Orleans and finishes at home against the San Antonio immediately following the eight-game circus road trip. By the way, that trip features three sets of back-to-back games.

Brutal, right? The only “soft” spot on the November schedule is a four-game home stand against the Hawks, Clippers, Thunder and Kings.

The holiday season will be slightly more charitable: 12 games, six on the road, six back-to-back games, and only four games against playoff teams (Mavericks, Hawks, Spurs, Lakers). The Bulls will face some (presumably) bad teams both at home and away (Wizards, at Detroit, Cavaliers, at Golden State, at Sacramento), and they have a Christmas day matchup with the Lakers in L.A. Man, I hate Christmas day road games.

On paper, this could be Chicago’s best month of the season: 16 games, 11 at home, only five on the road, and a mere four back-to-backers. But…the Bulls have nine games against playoff teams (Grizzlies, Pacers, at Orlando, at Atlanta, Sixers, at Memphis, at Miami, Trail Blazers, at Miami) plus games against teams that always play them tough (Bobcats, Nets and Bucks).

I like all the home games. But this month won’t be a gimmie.

This month actually starts on January 29 in Miami, which is the first stop of a seven-game road trip that also moves through Philly, New York, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Minnesota and Boston. That means six of the 12 games the Bulls play in February take place on the road. The second half of the month features a five-game home stand (against the Raptors, Celtics, Nets, Magic and Hornets) and closes out with a road game in Washington. In case you weren’t keeping count, that means the Bullies face six playoff teams. They also have four back-to-back games.

The skinny: 16 games, 10 at home, six on the road, six back-to-back. The Bulls will face eight playoff teams (at Indiana, Lakers, Knicks, Heat, at Orlando, Pacers, Nuggets, at Atlanta) and some (presumably) chump squads (Cavs twice, Pistons twice, Raptors twice). This could still be a tough month because I predict Carlos Boozer will be dealing with his standard late-season arm/leg/hand/foot/finger/toe/head injury.

Ah, April, the month of playoff positioning. Well, for the teams making the playoffs, anyway. The Bulls will play 11 games, six on the road (Oklahoma City, Toronto, New York, Philly, Detroit, New Jersey) and five at home (Bobcats, Celtics, Knicks, Heat, Timberwolves). That’s six playoff teams. They also have three sets of back-to-backs.

5 Responses to Analyzing the Bulls’ (presumed) 2011-12 schedule

    BULL4EVER July 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    What lockout??????? we all know this 2011-2012 season will start on time and it will lose just about 7 games even if the lockout lasts longer and even that will be just losing about 7 games which won’t be bad at all.Don’t ever lockout the NBA no matter what, especially when this has always been truly a “MAN’S” game because this league has always played 82 games for a long time, it’s not at all like the nfl where girly boys don’t even want to play a single game, especially when they have always faked injuries and have always had something totally against playing 18 games instead of 16 games.

  2. Brian July 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    i prefer basketball to football hands down, but your logic is the worst i’ve ever heard. you do realize that in football there is tons of contacts and dirty hits, whereas in basketball players sometimes fall to the ground after the most mild contact? not to mention NBA players Gilbert Arenas and Dwyane Wade are reported to have faked or exagerrated injuries before.

    like i said, basketball is hands down a better sport than football (imo), but to question the masculinity and durability of the players playing it is idiotic.

    luvabullnj July 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Feels like one of those appetizers that actually make you more hungry for the entree. It’s very difficult to choose side where each side is fighting about who gets the last chocolate strawberry on a five tier wedding cake with three layers of icing.
    But did you see the story about underhanded scam the Celts owner is pulling on the league and the players. In a nutshell, he’s masking some of the Celtics TV revenue by getting 20% ownership in the Comcast New England TV network. The revenue and profits from the TV network ownership would not count towards BRI, basketball income and therefore would not have to be shared with the players.
    Sure looks like the owners accounting methods are less than forthright.

    luvabullnj July 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    On the good news for the Bulls fans front: Sure looks like Bulls newest Euro, Nikola Mirotic got some serious upside. In a U20 European Championship tourney, Mirotic averaged 27 points, 10 boards, 59% FG, 85% FT and 40% from 3 point range.
    Bye Bye Boozer, Helllooooo Nikola.

  5. Brian July 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    wow. those are definitely some eye-popping stats. i’m wary of the level of competition, but the fact that this guy is hitting 85% from the charity stripe and 4% above league average from 3 is insane! i LOVE bigs that can stretch the floor, and Mirotic seems like he can do just that. who knows how good he’ll become by the time he actually comes over? kinda cool to think about.

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