The 2013-2014 NBA schedule has officially been released. As usual the schedule is 82 games with 41 home and 41 road games. The Bulls will play their divisional opponents-the Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers- four times each, six of the non-divisional Eastern conference teams four times, and the remaining 4 non-divisional Eastern conference teams 8 times. The remaining 30 games will be played again 15 inter-conference opponents, two games against each team.
The rumors floating around appear to be true as the Chicago Bull open up their season on the road against the Miami Heat. The game is notable for several reasons
- The game acts as a season opener for the league
- The Miami Heat will receive their 2012-2013 championship rings
- The game should mark the return of Derrick Rose
While an intense matchup against the Heat may not be an ideal return for Derrick Rose, who is likely to be rusty, the idea of the Heat receiving their championship rings in front of Chicago intrigues me. Given the mindset of the team, I’m fairly confident that the Bulls watching their rivals accept the rings they so badly want will provide extra motivation throughout the season and playoffs.
The Bulls will play the Heat three more times in the season: one more time on the road February 23rd, and twice at home on December 5th and March 9th.
Just two days after their season opener against the Miami Heat, the Bulls will play their first home game against the New York Knicks on October 31st. Given Chicago’s overall history with the Knicks and the recent intensity between the two teams, we should be in for an intriguing home opener.
The Bulls will once again be playing on Christmas Day with a game against the Brooklyn Nets. The matchup will be the first between the two teams since Chicago eliminated the Nets from the playoffs and since the Nets traded for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The game should be intense especially given the bad blood between Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett.
The Bulls will wrap up their season against the Charlotte Bobcats on April 16th.
Throughout the course of the season, the Bulls have a fairly intriguing schedule. The team is scheduled to play 15 sets of back-to-back games and go on two six game road trips. The Bulls will host a season long 6 games in a row at home in the middle of March. This home stand could be telling of Chicago’s chances in the playoffs as five of the six games come against title contenders (the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder).
Perhaps most intriguing is the fact that the Bulls will play 33 games on national television (including NBA TV games). That number ties them with the Knicks for the most nationally broadcasted games. Looks as though people are looking forward to “The Return” and Andrea Bargnani on the Knicks.
As a whole I believe Chicago’s schedule is fairly balanced throughout the season as the Bulls have a good mix of games against playoff and lottery teams in both halves of the season. The second half of the season does see some of the games against playoff teams clustered together though.
Regardless, the Bulls will likely improve their record from last year with the return of Derrick Rose, improved outside shooting, and improved bench. It looks like it’s going to be another fun season for the Chicago Bulls.