The NBA released the Chicago Bulls’ full schedule earlier this week. And, since I got nothing better to do (lucky you), I thought I might as well share some of the games I’m most excited to see below.
October 19th – at Miami (Season-Opener)
While it may feel a bit obvious to have the season-opener on this list, my excitement has far more to do with the opponent than the beginning of the season itself.
Miami is the reigning No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and they sure looked like it whenever they played Chicago last season. Jimmy Butler beat up on his former team repeatedly, leading Miami to an average margin of victory of 15 points over their four games played. The Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers might feel like the more formidable teams as we enter this season, but we simply can’t forget the Heat were one shot away from advancing to their second NBA Finals in three years last season.
For a team looking to prove they mean business in the East, there is arguably no better opponent to face right off the bat than Miami. They are a savvy veteran-laden group with an established winning culture, and the Bulls are hoping to prove this season that they are one of the same.
November 6th – at Toronto
The Toronto Raptors finished two wins better than the Chicago Bulls in the No. 5 spot last season. I still have questions about their half-court offense and center position, but that shouldn’t still stop them from being right back in the middle of the playoff race this year.
Between ROY Scottie Barnes and All-Stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, there is no lack of talent on this roster. Not to mention, in an era dominated by elite wing play, the Raptors have the top-tier wing defenders to shut down some of the best in the league.
Even though the Bulls took the season series 3-1 last year, I still consider the Raptors a team standing in their way of being considered a true threat in the East. Finishing ahead of them this season will be a must.
December 14th & 16th – vs. New York
How could you not be excited about the idea of beating the Knicks in back-to-back games?
Whenever the Bulls and Knicks get together, it’s usually a good time, and this felt particularly true last season. The teams split the season series 2-2 and the final score in all four matchups sat within six points. Chicago was able to match New York’s physicality as the season went on, and they should head into this back-to-back set fully knowing what to expect from Tom Thibodeau’s squad.
Speaking of which, there is no lack of storylines when these two meet. Whether it be as far back as Derrick Rose or as recent as Patrick Williams’ wrist injury, we’ll have something to talk about when the game(s) tips off.
January 19th – vs. Detroit
Put on your beret and gobble a croissant! We’re going to Paris, baby!
The Chicago Bulls will play the NBA’s first game in Europe since 2020. It will also be the Bulls’ first time back in Paris since Jordan’s squad paid a visit in 1997. I know playing against a rebuilding Pistons team may not be the most enticing, but I can only imagine everyone will bring their best for a game on the international stage.
Plus, I really do think the return of the Bulls-Pistons rivalry could be on the horizon. While the Pistons are still projected to fall out of the playoff race this season, young talent like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Jalen Duren may not have them too far off from re-entering the competitive spotlight.
February 16th – vs. Milwaukee
This isn’t the first time the Bulls will face their northern rival, but it is the first time they’ll host a home game on TNT since 2017!
I’ll leave it at that.
March 20th & 22nd – vs. Philadelphia
Talk about a litmus test.
The Chicago Bulls will end the 2022-23 regular season with a gauntlet. Eight of their final 14 games will come against playoff teams from last season, which will include a back-to-back set against Joel Embiid and the 76ers. If they want to give folks a reason to believe they should be taken more serious in the playoff hunt, these battles with the 76ers could be pivotal.
Chicago went 0-4 against this squad last season, and they dropped the final two games by double digits. We only have reason to believe Philly has gotten better this summer, so it will only feel that much more impressive if Chicago can hang with them this year.