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Bulls 2009-10 Schedule
by Sam Smith
Posted on Aug 4
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It seems like the NBA may be saying to the Bulls something like, “OK, let’s see if that playoff series with Boston was for real.”
That’s because the NBA released its 2009-10 schedule Tuesday, and the Bulls are in for a brutal opening.
The Bulls open at home Oct. 29 against the San Antonio Spurs, whom many experts felt had the most productive offseason with the additions of Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess and rookie DuJuan Blair.
The Bulls then go to Boston and Miami, return home to face the Milwaukee Bucks and then are back on the road to face the Cleveland Cavaliers and Shaquille O’Neal.
That’s just the appetizer in November, which concludes with the always difficult so called “circus trip.”
The Bulls head out to the Western Conference Nov. 13 for five games, concluding with a Thanksgiving Day game in Salt Lake City on Nov. 26, and then finish the six games on the road in Milwaukee Nov. 30. That concludes an opening stretch of 10 of 15 games on the road and road games against contenders like Boston, Cleveland, the Lakers, Denver, Portland and Utah.
It could leave the Bulls early in the season trying to dig out of a deep hole unless they come into the season well prepared and healthy.
And once November concludes, perhaps the most emotional game of the season is on the schedule with Ben Gordon’s return to the United Center Dec. 2 with the Detroit Pistons. Gordon left the Bulls as a free agent after leading the team in scoring the last four seasons, and his success versus how the Bulls and Pistons perform will be watched carefully all season. The Bulls play in Detroit New Year’s Eve.
December, as usual, is a friendly stretch of home games with the highlight consecutive games Dec. 12 and Dec. 15 against the Celtics and Lakers, whom most will be picking to meet in the NBA Finals next June.
The Bulls see Gordon again Jan. 11 in the United Center, just before one of the most brutal stretches of games the team has encountered in years. The usual February Ice Capades trip comes early, starting Jan. 18 at Golden State with seven Western Conference road games through Jan. 29. But that is only part of a searing stretch starting Jan. 14 in Boston with 10 of 12 games on the road through Feb. 5.
The schedule abates some after the All Star game Feb. 14 in Dallas, though the Bulls don’t see the Cavaliers in the United Center for the first time all season until after the break on Mar. 19.
The Bulls close the season, and perhaps in a race for the last playoff spots, with three of four on the road in New Jersey, Toronto and Charlotte sandwiched around a home game against Boston.