1. October 31st vs. Sacramento – The home opener, tip off to the new the season. But it’s the Kings…it’s also the very first time we will see the “new look” Bulls and the Bench Mob 2.0. “People are sleeping on us” confirmed Joakim Noah and it will be exciting to finally see how the team performs.
2. December 1st & 12th vs. Philadelphia – On the 1st the Bulls will host the team that eliminated them in last year’s playoffs – however it may be a more intriguing matchup a week and a half later when the Bulls travel to Philadelphia where the fans gave Joakim Noah a cheerful ovation hen he brutally sprained his ankle. “It’s extra motivation. I’m excited about going back over there,” Noah told ESPN radio yesterday.
3. January 4th @ Miami – The Bulls have lost their last 4 games in Miami. It’s the first matchup of the season between the rivals and even without DRose, the Bulls will enter this game with a chip on their shoulder. Asked if he is a workout freak, Noah replied “we’re playing against guys like Lebron James and they’re adding guys to their team like Ray Allen – so yeah, I’m a work out freak”. January 4, circle it.
4. February 24th @ OKC – The Bulls got blown out by the Thunder last season in their only matchup. At the time, Derrick Rose was out with a groin injury and many thought the 92-78 loss didn’t matter much as they predicted a potential OKC/CHI finals matchup. By February, Chicago should have a rhythm playing together with the addition of new pieces and even if Rose is not on the court, the team will not have last year’s national televised loss in Oklahoma erased from memory. And, it will air on ESPN.
5. TBD – Derrick Rose’s return. Whether it’s a spirited “from Chicago” or a toned down “from Memphis”, we will all be watching.