The Chicago Bulls open their 2022-23 season on Oct. 19 against the Heat in Miami and face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 22 at home at the United Center.
It has yet to be determined if point guard Lonzo Ball will be ready to go.
We last heard from Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Arturos Kornishavas on Ball’s rehab following January repair surgery torn meniscus in left knee did not go as smoothly as expected.
“He’s getting better—probably not as fast as we’d like, but he’s getting better.” Karnisavas said last month during an NBA TV interview during a Summer League game in Las Vegas. “Hopefully he’ll be ready for training camp, (but) that’s just our hopes.”
The Bulls will need a healthy ball if they plan to compete again in the Eastern Conference. but he has yet to play a full season in his five in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Bulls.
The second half fades and losing in the first round of the playoffs in five games with the Milwaukee Bucks left the Bulls with many question marks heading into the offseason. But they only made minor additions – Andre Drummond and Goran Dragich – besides re-signing Zach LaVine for five years at $215.2 millionhoping that a healthier group can avoid the same end.
With LaVine and DeMar DeRozan back and Patrick Williams ready to play the entire season, the Bulls need to push further into the playoffs to show they’re making progress. This is no longer the team that can make it to the league.
Here are 10 games to watch.
Oct. 22: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers.
The main event will mark the return of LaVine, DeRozan and Co. at the United Center and Dalene Terry’s home debut. Terry, the No. 18 pick in the draft, just turned 20 and is expected to be a valuable part of the rotation for coach Billy Donovan. Terry averaged just 6.2 shots per game as a sophomore in Arizona, but his defense and athleticism should fit well in Donovan’s system. Terry will wear number 25, a nod to Steve Kerr and former Chicago high school legend Ben Wilson of Simeon.
November 1: at Brooklyn Nets
Will Kevin Durant still be in the Nets? If not, it could be another game on the schedule. Stay tuned for updates.
November 23: at Milwaukee Bucks
It will be the teams’ first meeting since April’s first-round playoff series. The early elimination showed just how far the Bulls were from a championship contender. They’ve been outscored by 30, 24 and 16 points, respectively, in their last three games and shot 28.3% from 3-point range in the series. Maybe Bulls fans can go to Milwaukee and recruit Bucks star Giannis Antecum, who recently said, “Everybody would love to play for Chicago.” You never know. Maybe I’ll play for Chicago. But right now, I’m committed to Milwaukee.”
December 23: at New York Knicks
The good news is that the Bulls avoided playing on Christmas Day. Given how they handled the national spotlight last season, they probably didn’t deserve it, though they do have 14 nationally televised games scheduled, including seven on ESPN and three on TNT. The bad news is that the NBA doesn’t think the Bulls are viable enough to merit playing on Christmas Day, the biggest day of the regular season. A pre-holiday game at Madison Square Garden will do.
Dec. 28: vs. Bucks
Booing Grayson Allen is completely unnecessary and probably ill-advised. Bucks guard who sent Alex Caruso aside with a broken left wrist in January, shot 58% (14-for-24) from 3-point range against the Bulls in the playoffs after being booed every time he touched the ball at the United Center. In the Bucks’ seven-game Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Boston Celtics, Allen came back down to earth, shooting 20.8% from beyond the arc.
Dec. 31: vs. Cavaliers
DeRozan spent last New Year’s Eve in Indianapolis throwing a sonic boom at the last second who defeated the Indiana Pacers. Can the lights come back on before the clock strikes midnight?
January 15: vs. Golden State Warriors.
A 42-point loss to the Warriors on Jan. 14 at UC was possibly the lowest point of the Bulls season. LaVine left the game after 3 1/2 minutes with a left knee injury that started in the team’s second half. Avalanche will undergo arthroscopy surgical intervention after the season. The Bulls also lost to the eventual NBA champions by 26 points in the opener on Nov. 12 in San Francisco. This Sunday afternoon game will be a test to see if the Bulls are in the same zone code as the champs.
Jan. 23: vs. Detroit Pistons at Accord Arena in Paris
It’s a throwback to the future for the Bulls, who memorably played in an exhibition series in Paris in 1997 when Michael Jordan ruled the league. Jordan led the Bulls to a 104-78 victory over European champion Olympiacos of Piraeus in the McDonald’s Championship and made several acrobatic moves, including a pass between the legs. “I don’t do it often in the States, but it felt like the right thing to do and I did it,” Jordan said. “It was mustard on a hot dog.” Will LaVine bring mustard to Paris in 2023?
March 3: vs. Phoenix Suns.
After the Dallas Mavericks swept them in seven games and watched a 64-win regular season go up in flames, the Suns should be motivated to make amends. They only beat the Bulls by three points at the United Center last year, but the score was deceiving. The Bulls trailed by 15 with 3 1/2 minutes left.
March 29: vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Whenever LeBron James comes to Chicago, it’s always one of the biggest games on the schedule, whether the Lakers are trailing or not. And they sure look like they’re going to be laggards again. The Bulls beat the Lakers in two games last season, with James sitting out the game in Los Angeles with an injury. James reportedly agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension on Wednesday.
April 9: vs. Pistons
By the time the regular season finale rolls around, we’ll know if the plan to make gradual roster changes was the right one — and if the Bulls have stayed healthy enough and played well enough to make a realistic run at the NBA.