After taking some time to look at the schedule, I have composed a list of the Top 15 Bulls games to look forward to this season. Now this isn't a list of games that will be most crucial to the success of the team. For example, There is not a single game on this last from during the Bulls annual “Circus Trip.” However the “Circus Trip” is very important in determining the success of the team. This is a completely subjective list of games that I think will be entertaining games. It could be entertaining for many reasons. Return of a former player, rivalry game, just a straight up good basketball game, etc
Wednesday October 27th @ Oklahoma City Thunder
It's the season opener, so that alone makes it a must watch. Add in the fact that OKC is a team on the rise featuring one of the best young players in the league, Kevin Durant. Not only that, Durant and Rose will be fresh off their Team USA tenure in Turkey. These two have shown flashes of greatness while playing together. Now they go head to head in what could be one of the leagues' most interesting future rivalries.
Saturday October 30th vs Detroit Pistons
It's the home opener. Not only that but it's division rival Detroit, which is usually always a good game. It's also marks the return of Ben Gordon, one of the most controversial Bulls in recent memory. When the Bulls played against him last year he wasn't healthy. I fully expect a healthy Ben Gordon and newly signed Tracy McGrady to come out firing looking to burn the Chicago Bulls.
Friday November 5th @ Boston Celtics
Five games into the season, we get a match up against our newest rival, the Boston Celtics. Considering I believe we'll be contending with the C's for the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference this game will be a good measuring stick to see how we stack up against the current Eastern Conference Champs. It's also head coach Tom Thibodeau's first game against his former team. Two things of note for this early season showdown. Since it's early on in the season, the Celtics Big 3 will be healthy. Garnett, Pierce, and Allen will all be well rested and trying to prove that the Celtics are the team to beat in the East. And while they will be healthy, Chicago fan favorite Kendrick Perkins will still be out injured because of his Game 6th injury in the NBA Finals last year, which means we should be getting a (very) large dose of the Big Leprechaun, Shaq.
Saturday November 13th vs Washington Wizards
I don't expect this to be a close game. The Bulls should beat the Wizards pretty easily. However, this is the first game for former #1 overall draft pick DerrickRose to play against the current #1 overall pick, John Wall. Wall figures to be an immediate contribute to the Wizards and will be looking to make a name for himself. And then of course we have the return of Kirk Hinrich to the United Center. Good ol' Captain Kirk. I fully expect him to get a standing ovation. A pre-game, halftime, and post game speech. Jersey retirement. And I hear there is plans to tear down the Jordan statue and replace it with a Kirk Hinrich one. Oh how I can't wait to see Kirk use his “lockdown” defense on Rose.
Wednesday December 1st vs Orlando Magic
This is the first game home after our Circus Trip and it should be a tough one. Orlando figures to be on of the top teams in the East, so this will be a good test for the Bulls to see if they're for real or not. And then there is the added subplot of Dwight Howard vs Derrick Rose. Howard made a habit out of committing hard fouls on Derrick last season, and even hitting him hard enough to cause him to miss the rest of the game. With Noah back and Boozer being added, I don't think Dwight is gonna be able to get away with taking shots at the franchise anymore. I expect this to be a rough and very physical game between two teams who think they can win it all.
Monday December 6th vs Oklahoma City Thunder
This is the Thunder's only trip the the United Center this year. It's the last chance to see Durant and Rose lock horns before they meet in the Finals. Hahahaha. Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention. But seriously how awesome would a Oklahoma City vs Chicago be as the NBA Finals?
Friday December 10th vs Los Angles Lakers
The only time Kobe and crew rolls into the United Center this season. Should be interesting to see how we match up against their size and length. Boozer and Utah got dominated by the Lakers size last year, but now Boozer finally has a legit center in Noah to help him go against the Lakers big guys. Another good test to see where this team is at.
Saturday December 18th vs the Los Angles Clippers
Former #1 overall pick Blake Griffin missed all of his rookie year last year because of a knee injury. He's supposedly healthy and ready to play. It's also the return of longtime Bull great Vinny Del Negro. Vinny was the definition for average head coach in the past 2 seasons as Bulls head coach. And while it could have been worse for the first time head coach, Vinny proved he was no Phil Jackson and was fired after this last season. I'm sure Vinny's fiery Italian attitude has him all ready for this retribution game. I just hope he knows we have Paxson chained in the team tunnel ready to throw it down.
Saturday December 25th @ New York Knicks
Merry Christmas Derrick Rose! You have a prime time game on Christmas against the “No-Defense” Knicks. This is your chance for a 60 point Christmas game that will be added to your future DVD box set.
Tuesday December 28th vs Milwaukee Bucks
This is the first match up against division foe Milwaukee. Milwaukee was on the path to be an upset specialist in the playoffs last year, and then Andrew Bogut got hurt in a freak accident. Without Bogut the Bucks had no big man, which essentially crushed their chance for success in the playoffs. It also marks the return of John “The Fish” Salmons and Scott Skiles. Should be interesting to see if Fish is up to his usual first half of season suckage.
Saturday January 15th vs the Miami Heat
Three months into the season and we finally get to play the Miami Heat. The Human Centipede. The Superfriends. The Three AmEgos. Whatever you want to call them, they will be a force to be reckon with in the NBA. Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh were all candidates to be wearing a Bulls uniform this season, however in a very well publicized free agency they all decided to take their talents to South Beach. There is no doubt this team is going to have a huge bulls eye on it's back all season. And the trash talking has already begun. It's no secret Lebron James and Joakim Noah don't get along. But now in an effort to add fuel to the fire there are reports that James is not on best terms with Rose either, due to Rose's lack of enthusiastic recruiting this off season. And Loul Deng and Lebron James had their fair share of words in the playoffs last season. People seem to forget that coming out of high school Lebron James was rated #1 in the country with Loul Deng being #2. These two are no strangers to each other and I fully expect Loul to continue the great defense he usually has on Lebron. Dwayne Wade has been a constant thorn in the side of the Bulls since he came into the league. He's eliminated us in the playoffs, we've done the same to him. We've hurt his shoulder. He's sunk running three pointers to beat us in overtime. If you could watch only one regular season game this year. This is the game.
Wednesday February 9th @ the Utah Jazz
The Chicago Bulls did a pretty good job in raiding Jerry Sloan's Jazz of talent this past off season (Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer). All three of these guys return to Utah in what should be an emotinal return for all three. I fully expect all three to play their best basketball on this night to show Utah why they should have been kept.
Sunday March 6th @ the Miami Heat
Well there's all the reasons above. And then this is a marquee noon matchup that the whole country will be watching. It's in Miami and it could a win that would put the Bulls on the map as the team that has arrived.
Thursday April 7th vs the Boston Celtics
It's the 5th to last game of the season, and it could be crucial in regards to playoff seeding. And of course it's Boston so it should be a good game.
Sunday April 19th @ Orlando Magic
Much like the aforementioned Boston game, the Magic and us figure to be battling for playoff seeding, and the positioning might come down to this late season showdown between us and the Magic.
What are some of the games that you're looking forward too?