REJOICE! The 2019-2020 Bulls regular-season schedule is here!
Plenty of enticing matchups around the league are set to tip the season off on national television during the first week of the season, but the Bulls will have a much quieter start to their new campaign than most:
On October 23, the Bulls will start their season on the road with a matchup against the Charlotte Hornets at 6:00 p.m. CT.
After heading to Memphis to take on the Grizzles, the Bulls will play their first game at the United Center versus the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
If you ask me, the Bulls have one heck of a favorable start. While the first home game against Toronto has the possibility to be a harsh welcome, four out of the team’s first five games are against Eastern Conference clubs who were sitting out of the playoffs last season.
Unfortunately, that will most likely be the team’s easiest stretch of basketball for the entire season, with the month of November quickly throwing high-level competition in front of this young Bulls squad. Highlighting what looks to be the team’s toughest month will be home matchups against the Lakers on Nov. 5, Houston on Nov. 9, Milwaukee on Nov. 18 and Portland on Nov. 25th. During that same month, the Bulls will see Milwaukee and Portland for a second time but on the road.
Other notable United Center games for the Bulls include:
- Derrick Rose’s return with the Detriot Pistons on Nov. 1
- Jimmy Butler in the house on Nov. 22
- Hawks in town for the battle of the young cores on Dec. 11
- The Clips come to town on Dec. 16
- Zion Williamson’s first appearance in Chicago on Feb. 8
As for what’s noteworthy on the road, the Bulls will head into April on their longest road trip of the season with five games on the west coast. Yeah, that’s not an ideal way to start the final month of the season, especially if this team is in position to compete for a playoff spot.
Bulls play season-high 5-game trip at Utah on 3/30; at Denver on 4/3; at Phoenix on 4/5; at LA Lakers on 4/7 and at LA Clippers on 4/8/
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) August 12, 2019
The Bulls might have plenty of fun matchups on the board right now, but apparently, only one is good enough to land a nationally televised game.
On Jan. 17, the Bulls road game against the Philadelphia 76ers game will be broadcasted on ESPN … and that’s it. I mean, I know the Bulls won only 22 games last season, but that still feels a bit harsh to me. Games against other young teams like the Pelicans (who have 30! nationally broadcasted games) and Hawks could be super interesting as the season stretches on, so I will admit I’m a little surprised a pairing like that didn’t make the cut on ESPN or TNT.
Speaking of which, the Bulls streak of TNT victories will stay alive thanks to the fact the Bulls have none scheduled on the network right now.
It still stands at 20 straight regular-season home wins on TNT, dating back to Feb. 28, 2013.
Yes, I do care about this.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) August 12, 2019
When looking at the NBA scheduling as a whole, things continue to get a bit more spaced out. Our pal K.C. Johnson over at the Chicago Tribune outlined this for us:
General NBA schedule highlights: Average # of B2Bs is 12.4, down from 13.3 last season and 36% since 14-15; No 4 games in 5 nights for 3rd straight season; No 8 gms in 12 days for 2nd straight season; 5 gms in 7 nights down 80% since 16-17 (0.6 per team as opposed to 3 per team)
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) August 12, 2019
The Bulls fit right into things here with only 12 back-to-back scheduled games over the course of the season, the first of which comes over Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.
Remember how, somewhat surprisingly, the Bulls actually got their hands on a fair number of free agents this summer with Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and Luke Kornet. A return to their previous home will not necessarily fall under a “revenge” game for these type of players, but, regardless, here’s what that looks like:
- Luke Kornet – @ New York on Oct. 28
- Thaddeus Young – @ Indiana on Nov. 3
- Tomas Satoransky – @ Washington on Dec. 18
We can continue to pick apart the schedule more over the coming days, but these feel like the things that stick out most at first glance. With a large chunk of the offseason left to go, there’s plenty of work that needs to be put in off the court before we can really think about these games.
Nonetheless, if one thing is for sure, the schedule we just looked at should help prove whether this young Bulls group is on the rise.