It might be a perfect storm for Chicago and Derrick Rose. The Bulls will reportedly open the season in Miami on ring night against the defending champion Miami Heat.
Bulls fans have pleasant memories of playing the Heat on ring night in Miami when they crushed the Heat in 2006. Tyrus Thomas had a monster dunk on Shaq, and Chicago was on the rise having its best season since the Jordan era.
Ring night seems like a good night to play a defending champion. The players minds are bound to be elsewhere, the game doesn't mean so much as the ring, and you have a shot to pull off an upset against a team that is bound to be somewhat distracted and emotional.
The Bulls will be focused as hell, Derrick will be looking to prove himself to the league again, in short I like their odds in that game more so than if they were to play the Heat a week later.
That said, it's still a tough opening act for Chicago to start on the road against the best team in the league. Of course even if they lose, there's no where to go but up, and you get one of your toughest games out of the way early.
It will be interesting to see if there is any talk of "easing" Rose back into action or whether he goes full bore in game one. We should get a taste of what Rose can do in preseason, and my hope is that he goes hard in preseason to get his timing/rhythm back.
The natural tendency might be to limit his action a bit right away since it's his first real game back. However, Rose should go at full speed right out the gates given it will have been over 17 months since he had the surgery to repair his ACL, and the long end of the recovery timeline is 12. If he's not, then something has gone quite wrong with his rehab.
We'll see what happens.