Despite missing one of the game's most popular players for a good chunk of the season, the Chicago Bulls will play 26 nationally televised games in 2012-13, including several can't-miss matchups and a Christmas Day treat against Omer Asik and the Houston Rockets.
Most of the Bulls' national television appearances are bunched up in the second half of the season, with 11 set for after the All-Star break when Derrick Rose is expected to return. The full slate includes two games on ABC, 10 on ESPN, and seven each on NBA-TV and TNT. Local TV schedules have not yet been released.
Overall, the Bulls have one the NBA's easiest schedules based on last season's win-loss records, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Seventeen of the team's first 29 games are against non-playoff teams from a year ago; even the dreaded Circus Trip (November 14-24) is just five games long. There is, however, one grueling stretch with 13 of 19 games on the road between February 1 and March 15. The Bulls then close out the season with just four games against playoff teams in April, but with six of 10 games on the road.
Here's a quick glance at the Bulls' nationally televised games; a full schedule can be found here.
2012-13 National Television Schedule
- Thursday 08 vs Oklahoma City - It's Westbrook and Durante against Hinrich and Hamilton. Who ya got?
- Wednesday 05 @ Cleveland - How good will the Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters tandem be?
- Tuesday 11 vs L.A. Clippers - Can Taj Gibson contain Blake Griffin?
- Friday 21 @ New York - Hello, MSG and Ronne Brewer.
- Tuesday 25 vs Houston - The Turkish Hammer and Linsanity visit the United Center in this surprising Christmas Day matchup.
- Friday 11 @ New York
- Monday 14 vs Atlanta - The Hawks won't be the same without Joe Johnson.
- Friday 18 @ Boston - Even without Ray Allen, the Celts will be too much for the Bulls.
- Saturday 19 vs Memphis - Some fans clamored for Rudy Gay during the offseason, but he wasn't a good fit.
- Monday 21 vs L.A. Lakers - With only one true superstar, this game won't be the same.
- Saturday 26 @ Washington - I couldn't come up with anything worthwhile for the Wizards, especially with no John Wall-Derrick Rose matchup.
- Thursday 07 @ Denver - I always enjoy watching George Karl's teams.
- Friday 08 @ Utah - Coach Tom Thibodeau has never lost to the Jazz.
- Monday 11 vs San Antonio - Two of the Bulls' most impressive wins the past two seasons have come against the Spurs.
- Wednesday 13 @ Boston
- All-Star break
- Thursday 21 vs Miami - Will Rose be back? The NBA's TV execs are hoping so.
- Sunday 24 @ Oklahoma City
- Thursday 28 vs Philadelphia - Can the Bulls get some nationally televised revenge for last season's embarrassing playoff loss?
- Sunday 03 @ Indiana - A game with ramifications for the Central Division title?
- Wednesday 06 @ San Antonio
- Sunday 10 @ L.A. Lakers
- Friday 15 @ Golden State - Will Andrew Bogut be injured yet?
- Wednesday 27 vs Miami
- Thursday 04 @ Brooklyn - Bulls fans will get a chance to C.J Watson in his backup role for the league's "best point guard."
- Thursday 11 vs New York
- Sunday 14 @ Miami
Notes: The Bulls preseason schedule, which opens October 9 and includes games in Champaign-Urbana and South Bend, can be found here….. Fans can, of course, catch all the Bulls 2012-13 action by subscribing to NBA.com's League Pass; prices for the upcoming season have not yet been announced.
Sources: 2012-13 Chicago Bulls schedule, NBA.com
YCN featured sports contributor Steve Merritt is - for better or worse - a lifelong Chicago Bulls, Bears and Cubs fan. He's followed the Bulls since 1969, when he tuned in after bedtime on a cheap dime store radio tucked under his pillow.
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