The Chicago Bulls head into the 2013-2014 NBA season with enormous expectations. Not only did they make it to the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs this past year, but they did so without their star point guard, Derrick Rose. This season, though, Rose will finally return to action and will be joined by an improved supporting cast, including an emerging Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy and rookie Tony Snell.
Though it’s extremely early for many predictions, it’s not hard to imagine the Bulls finding themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals, at least, when the 2014 NBA Playoffs are underway. With the release of the 2013 NBA schedule this Tuesday, it seems like the Bulls will find out right out of the gate whether or not Rose is fully healthy and if they should be considered one of the top teams in the East.
Chicago opens the season on Oct. 29, the first day of the season, against the defending and back-to-back NBA Champion Miami Heat. Not only are the Heat the best team in the league and in the conference, but there has also been a rivalry brewing between the two teams in recent seasons. On day one the Bulls will receive an enormous test and will also have a chance to jump-start their season.
Though most people aren’t looking past the Heat, the Bulls’ second game of the year is against another possible contender in the East, the New York Knicks. The Knicks finished the regular season as the second seed in the East last year, though they were bounced in the second round of the playoffs. However, this is another game that the Bulls will be able to measure themselves by early in the year.
It would be a crazy surprise if the Bulls ended up struggling this season, but that’s incredibly unlikely to happen. From their first two games of the season, the Bulls will get a pretty good indication of just how good they can be this year.