X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NBA Chicago BullsLos Angeles Lakers

5 Reasons To Watch Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls Christmas Matchup

1 of 11
NEXT

5 Reasons To Watch Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls Christmas Matchup

Los Angeles Lakers v Chicago Bulls
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

This year, the Chicago Bulls will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day. Most immediate responses were, “Why are the Lakers getting yet another Christmas Day game? They’re terrible again.” It’s a popular, and perhaps truthful stance. The Bulls and Lakers are actually a tantalizing matchup, however. Here are five reasons to tune in.

5. Gauging Lakers' Progress

Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images

5. Gauging Lakers' Progress

Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images

The Bulls and Lakers are obviously going in two incredibly different directions. Sure, the faces of both franchises (Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant) are returning from serious injury, but the scenarios they are returning to are polar opposites. It’ll be interesting to see, a couple months into the season, how the Lakers compare to one of the league’s title favorites.

4. Jordan Hill, Julius Randle vs. Bulls' Frontcourt

Los Angeles Lakers v Chicago Bulls
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

4. Jordan Hill, Julius Randle vs. Bulls' Frontcourt

Jordan Hill, Joakim Noah
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

A major strength of Chicago's attack is the Bulls' physicality and depth up front. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are elite defenders, and the additions of Pau Gasol and rookie Nikola Mirotic more than make up for Carlos Boozer joining the Lakers. This will be one of Julius Randle’s toughest tests in his rookie season, and how he handles it might say something about his development.

3. Pau Gasol vs. His Old Team

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

3. Pau Gasol vs. His Old Team

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Spaniard will undoubtedly go down as one of the most popular Lakers of all time. He helped the Lakers make three finals trips, winning two. His joining the Lakers appeased Kobe Bryant enough to take back trade demands, and the two have become close friends while playing together. It’s only unfortunate the game isn’t at Staples Center so fans could give Gasol a warm Christmas welcome.

2. Kobe Bryant On Christmas

Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

2. Kobe Bryant On Christmas

Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

This year will mark Kobe Bryant’s 17th Christmas Day game, more than any other player in the history of the NBA. He’s scored more points than any other player and has had more than his share of memorable moments playing on that stage. This might be one of his last such games, so here’s hoping he is healthy around that time so fans can sneak away from Christmas tables to watch him, and another returning star, play against each other.

1. Derrick Rose

Kobe Bryant, Derick Rose
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

1. Derrick Rose

Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Derrick Rose’s return is one of the most noteworthy storylines heading into the 2014-15 campaign. His health could help decide the outcome of this season, and the league is more fun with him in it. Rose has played pretty well so far in bursts for Team USA, but the NBA offers completely different competition. It’s fair to assume his health is at the top of many NBA fans’ Christmas wish lists.

Anthony F. Irwin is an NBA writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.