The good news and bad news about the Bulls schedule

The good news and bad news about the Bulls schedule

Normally, schedule analysis is kinda silly. All the schedules are the same, and the only difference is timing. You might get more home games up front or more on the end, a few more back to backs, but in the end, it's generally the same for every team. This year, the schedule has much more true variance due to the shortened seasons.

Let's get the bad news out of the way first.

The loser? Bulls season ticket holders

Season ticket holders are keenly aware of how much a compressed schedule stinks. With far more games per week it means selling off a lot more tickets or dedicating half the week to heading out to the United center. However, beyond the compressed schedule, the typical round of home games for the Bulls is a bit disappointing.

The only interesting West coast team to travel to the United Center this season is the Mavericks, and despite just winning a ring, they're the least interesting of the "interesting". Especially since they might lose a big chunk of the team rather than truly try to compete for another ring this season.

No Kobe Bryant.
No Kevin Durant.
No Blake Griffin.

Those three stars will play the Bulls out West rather than in Chicago. The Bulls get Dirk Nowitski whom any long time season ticket holder has already seen 10 times rather than one of the two power players that haven't made so many trips to Chicago yet, or the Lakers which up until this past year [Miami] was always the first game to go in the season ticket holder draft.

If Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul move to the Warriors, Clippers, or Lakers [the three teams most likely to bid out west], then the home town fans will miss both of those megastars as well. Heck, even the the lousy teams are uninteresting, as I'd have thought a game against the Timberwolves and watching Ricky Rubio would have been pretty interesting.


That's the Bulls west coast home schedule. The three hottest tickets against the West coast won't be traveling to the United Center this season. The Bulls will get to see the Grizzlies [yay?] and Steve Nash I guess, but it's a pretty lousy split for season ticket holders.

The Bulls will get two home games against most of the Eastern Conference powerhouses, because they play virtually all of them four times. Only Orlando [which might fall from grace with a Howard trade anyway] is played three times, and of course only one of those is at home and its after the trade deadline when Howard will likely be gone already.

Now for the good news

The Bulls probably have one of the easier schedules overall in the NBA to play.

First of all, every team in the NBA plays four games against their division. The Bulls divisional opponents are probably the weakest set of four divisional opponents in the NBA. If Dwight Howard leaves the Magic, the four against Miami would be similarly lousy, but Atlanta is still a decent team.

[update - holy crap, as pointed out by a commenter, the Bulls actually only play the Cavs/Pacers three times a piece, so their schedule is not overloaded with weak divisional opponents, NBA choose to maximize the money by playing the big name teams against each other as much as possible rather than making more lousy matchups and losing a Chicago/Miami game].

Second, the Bulls only have one back to back to back run this season. Every team has at least one and a maximum of three [the Heat also have only one].

The Bulls do have four games against Miami, Atlanta, New York, and Boston [probably the four best teams outside of themselves if Dwight Howard is traded as I expect], but Miami also has four against us [duh], Atlanta, Orlando [if Howard doesn't leave], and Boston.

All in all, I don't expect the regular season to mean much. I'm already in a Dallas Mavericks state of mind. Get me to the playoffs, so we can start the real basketball because I've seen my team go pretty far already and have no concerns about what happens in the next 66 games if I can enter the playoffs healthy.

You can check out the whole schedule here.

Finally, my favorite part of good news, the NBA is back. Schedule release day is a nice day to soak that in. Also, as a fan, I hate traveling to the United Center as often as I'll have to this year, but I love the fact that there are so many games on TV.

Starting Dec 25th, Christmas day, more than half your nights can be filled with Chicago Bulls action. It doesn't get much better than that.

Filed under: Miscellaneous

Tags: chicago bulls, nba, schedule


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  • Doug, Bulls actually play some teams in their division only 3 times, like the Pacers. Kind of odd but I guess divisional matchups aren't as important as TV ratings, so we get the Heat and Celtics 4 times each. It's a tough schedule considering this, check out the April stretch.

  • From Simmons' column this morning:

    "6. Marcus Thornton (restricted)
    Team: Milwaukee
    Price: Four years, $24 million
    Verdict: Properly paid

    Notes: I like this hypothetical signing!"

    If this were true (not sure he can be signed that cheaply), the Bulls should offer the same contract. Although I noticed that Simmons' has the Bulls' full midlevel being approximately 4 years, $22 million. In that case, offer him the full midlevel, see if he bites and the Kings don't match.

    He would make a perfect sixth man. I'm not sure about his ball handling skills but he might be competent enough to run the point for 6-8 minutes a night (and I do know that he is a chucking undersized off-guard). From my understanding, they would not have to renounce Watson so maybe they don't even need him to run the point at all. Brewer (and maybe Korver) can definitely back up Deng at SF. Plus, in an ideal world, Deng never plays more than 33-35 minutes a game unless it's absolutely necessary for the team to get a win.

    Regardless of his flaws, he would make a nice spark plug off the bench for 20-30 minutes a night. He could definitely help ease the offensive burden on Rose a bit.

  • The schedule will look more fun if I think what will happen does. I have a sneaky suspicision the Bulls will trade for OJ Mayo. Why? because Kyle Korver hasn't showed up at the Berto yet and this guy is super prepared and always ready to go.....It could mean nothing but we keep reading articles that management wants a ball handler that can create his own shot to take pressure off Rose and one reason Memphis struggled in the playoffs was not being able to shoot threes. It makes sense for both teams. A quality combo guard is exactly what the doctor ordered for those double and triple teams against Rose!!!

  • In reply to Defense&Rebound13:

    Wow, interesting. I don't remember any recent Korver quotes now that you mention it. He also recently got married though, & these players aren't getting any down time once training camp opens Friday.

  • Another good news, to me at least, is that we have a Saturday game at the UC that starts at 3pm (boring opponent, but nevertheless) on Feb 18. I kinda like early tip-off games on the weekends.
    We haven't seen Saturday early games in a long time during the regular season.

  • Thanks a lot for a that riveting analysis of the Bulls' schedule. Real compelling.

  • LIke Doug said, the best part is that the NBA is coming back....woulda been a long cold winter without the Bulls. Especially now that the Bears season is shot due to injury.

    Cant wait to findout who we pick up (and possibly lose)

    Go Bulls!!!!

  • In 2 week period, we play OKC, Boston, MIA, NYK, MIA, NYK.

  • I heard that Crawford first choice is Chicago. Apparently we'll get him via a trade. And we will still have the mid-level exception. Which other player should we sign ?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    If crawford is our first choice, we should include gar foreman in that trade.

  • Doug & all season ticket holders,
    How do you feel about the Bulls getting screwed on Sunday games? They play 6 nationally televised games, all on the road due to a conflict with the NHL. Does this happen every year?

    Also, does anyone know if WGN America has set its televised schedule? Couldn't find it, but for us out of market fans, Bulls get 26 national TV games. Hoping for about 12 more with WGN & NBA league pass previews.

  • In the 2nd paragraph of the good news, think you meant to say the 4 against Orlando, not Miami?

  • Interesting statistical breakdown of all 30 team schedules, including everyone's opponents

  • In reply to ChiRy:

  • This reads like one big rant because, being a season ticket holder yourself, you're upset about how many games they'll be playing in a short amount of time.

  • I don't like this rumor about Ronnie Brewer to Atlanta in a S&T for Jamal Crawford. IMO, Brewer is a keeper, even with signing a new SG. I'd trade Korver over Brewer any day. Korver cannot compete deep in the playoffs.

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