The 2012-13 NBA Schedule is now out, and Chicago Bulls fans everywhere know what their team will face next season.
The Bulls will be tested right out of the gate as they deal with losing Derrick Rose, plus Luol Deng's residual wrist injury. Chicago has plenty of home games to start the season, but will also struggle with a long November road trip and a tough slate of Eastern Conference games in December.
Here is the full monthly breakdown of the Bulls' 2012-13 NBA schedule.
Wednesday October 31 vs. Sacramento
Friday November 2nd @ Cleveland
Saturday November 3rd vs. New Orleans
Tuesday November 6th vs. Orlando
Thursday November 8th vs. Oklahoma City
Saturday November 10th vs. Minnesota
Monday November 12th vs. Boston
Wednesday November 14th @ Phoenix
Saturday November 17th @ Los Angeles
Sunday November 18th @ Portland
Wednesday November 21st @ Houston
Saturday November 24th @ Milwaukee
Monday November 26th vs. Milwaukee
Wednesday November 28th vs. Dallas
Thursday November 8th vs. Oklahoma City is the Bulls' first crack at an NBA title contender.
Monday November 12th vs. Boston is a key game against an Eastern Conference rival and will set the tone for Chicago's status in the conference's pecking order.
Wednesday November 14th vs. Phoenix will be the start of a brutal five-game road trip, so Chicago will need a win to set the tone.
Win-Loss Prediction: 10-3
Wins: Cleveland, New Orleans, Orlando, Minnesota, Phoenix, Portland, Houston, Milwaukee (x2), Dallas
Losses: Oklahoma City, Boston, Los Angeles
Best One on One Matchup:
Luol Deng vs. Kevin Durant in a battle of defense versus offense on Thursday November 8th against the Thunder.
Bulls' Best Case Scenario:
Beating lots of easy teams on the schedule and getting through the West Coast trip with wins over lottery-bound Houston, Phoenix, and Portland.
Bulls' Worst Case Scenario:
Injuries rob the team of Luol Deng or Joakim Noah, the Bulls lose to several easy teams and can't match up against their playoff-bound foes.
Getting through the five game road trip will be tough but there are a lot of easy pickings on the schedule to tide Chicago over to December.
Saturday December 1st vs. Philadelphia
Tuesday December 4th vs. Indiana
Wednesday December 5th @ Cleveland
Friday December 7th @ Detroit
Saturday December 8th vs. New York Knicks
Tuesday December 11th vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Wednesday December 12th @ Philadelphia
Saturday December 15th vs. Brooklyn
Monday December 17th @ Memphis
Tuesday December 18th vs. Boston
Friday December 21st @ New York Knicks
Saturday December 22nd @ Atlanta
Tuesday December 25th vs. Houston
Wednesday December 26th @ Indiana
Saturday December 29th vs. Washington
Monday December 31st vs. Charlotte
Tuesday December 4th vs. Indiana: It's critical to secure a win against the main rival in the Central Division.
Saturday December 8th vs. New York Knicks: Wins against the Knicks are always special for Bulls fans.
Tuesday December 18th vs. Boston: A key matchup against the Bulls' top rival in the Eastern Conference, besides the dominant Miami Heat.
Friday December 21st @ New York Knicks: Beating the Knicks in Madison Square Garden is always a big win for Chicago.
Wednesday December 26th @ Indiana: Beating their Central Division rival on the Pacers' home turf would be a great way to end the month.
Win-Loss Record: 11-5
Wins: Philadelphia (x2), Cleveland, Indiana, Detroit, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, Charlotte
Losses: New York Knicks, Brooklyn, Memphis, Boston, Indiana
Best One-on-One Matchup: Joakim Noah against Tyson Chandler twice in the month, giving the Bulls two chances to defeat the Knicks.
Bulls' Best Case Scenario: Close wins over playoff-bound rivals New York, Brooklyn, and Boston propel Chicago to a strong record for December.
Bulls' Worst Case Scenario: The schedule toughens, and Chicago falters without Derrick Rose and, if his wrist acts up, Luol Deng.
Trying to get through a month of matchups with playoff-level rivals in the Eastern Conference will test the Bulls while Rose continues to recover from injury.
Wednesday January 2nd @ Orlando
Friday January 4th @ Miami
Monday January 7th vs. Cleveland
Wednesday January 9th vs. Milwaukee
Friday January 11th @ New York Knicks
Saturday January 12th vs. Phoenix
Monday January 14th vs. Atlanta
Wednesday January 16th @ Toronto
Friday January 18th @ Boston
Saturday January 19th vs. Memphis
Monday January 21st vs. Los Angeles
Wednesday January 23rd vs. Detroit
Friday January 25th vs. Golden State
Saturday January 26th @ Washington
Monday January 28th vs. Charlotte
Wednesday January 30th @ Milwaukee
Friday January 4th @ Miami will be the Bulls' first test against the reigning NBA champions and their top rivals in the Eastern Conference.
Friday January 11th @ the New York Knicks will be another tough, entertaining battle in the Garden.
Friday January 28th @ Boston will provide a key test of the Bulls' mettle against the Celtics' defense.
Monday January 21st vs. the Los Angeles Lakers will be Chicago's first test against the favorites in the Western Conference.
Win-Loss Prediction: 10-6
Wins: Orlando, Cleveland, Milwaukee, New York, Phoenix, Atlanta, Toronto, Detroit, Washington, Charlotte
Losses: Miami, Boston, Memphis, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State
Best One on One Matchup: Watching young Marquis Teague take on Rajon Rondo as he matures into the starter with Rose injured until spring.
Bulls Best Case Scenario: Wins against Miami, Boston, and Los Angeles fuel a strong month as the Bulls blaze to the playoffs.
Bulls Worst Case Scenario: Injuries hit as Rose remains sidelined, Deng wears down, Noah and Boozer are limited (as they are historically injury-prone players) and Chicago loses all its important games.
January Summary: Games against marquee teams will present tough challenges, but the Bulls have cupcakes in-between to rest and recover.
Friday February 1st @ Brooklyn
Saturday February 2nd @ Atlanta
Thursday February 7th @ Denver
Friday February 8th @ Utah
Monday February 11th vs. San Antonio
Wednesday February 13th @ Boston
Tuesday February 19th @ New Orleans
Thursday February 21st vs. Miami
Friday February 22nd @ Charlotte
Sunday February 24th @ Oklahoma City
Tuesday February 26th vs. Cleveland
Thursday February 28th vs. Philadelphia
Monday February 11th vs. San Antonio is a big chance for Chicago to notch a win on the Western Conference elite.
Thursday February 21st @ Miami is the Bulls' best shot at beating Miami since the game will be at the United Center.
Sunday February 24th @ Oklahoma City is Chicago's opportunity to beat up the defending NBA Finalists.
Win-Loss Prediction: 7-5
Wins: Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Charlotte, Boston, Cleveland, and Philadelphia
Losses: Brooklyn, Utah, San Antonio, Miami, Oklahoma City
Best One on One Matchup: Luol Deng vs. LeBron James in a battle of small forwards on Thursday February 21st.
Bulls' Best Case Scenario: The Bulls beat Miami at home and tough out a bunch of road wins in preparation for Derrick Rose's March return.
Bulls' Worst Case Scenario: Injury-riddled and depleted, the Bulls can't handle several road stints and lose their momentum heading into the playoffs.
Eight road games in the month will be tough, but the Bulls should be in playoff contention and could get Rose back to complete the month.
Saturday March 2nd vs. Brooklyn
Sunday March 3rd @ Indiana
Wednesday March 6th @ San Antonio
Friday March 8th vs. Utah
Sunday March 10th @ Los Angeles Lakers
Wednesday March 13th @ Sacramento
Friday March 15th @ Golden State
Monday March 18th vs. Denver
Thursday March 21st vs. Portland
Saturday March 23rd vs. Indiana
Sunday March 24th @ Minnesota
Wednesday March 27th vs. Miami
Saturday March 30th vs. Dallas
Sunday March 31st vs. Detroit
Sunday March 3rd @ Indiana will give the Bulls a good chance to pull away from a divisional rival.
Wednesday March 27th will be critical because the Bulls need to beat Miami at home when headed for the playoffs.
Win-Loss Prediction: 9-5
Wins: Brooklyn, Utah, Sacramento, Golden State, Portland, Minnesota, Indiana, Dallas, Detroit
Losses: Indiana, San Antonio, Denver, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami
Best One on One Matchup: A returning Derrick Rose versus LeBron James to decide the season series against the Miami Heat.
Bulls Best Case Scenario: The return of star Rose pushes the Bulls on a pre-playoff run.
Bulls' Worst Case Scenario: Bulls remains injured, the rest of the team is banged up, and Chicago loses critical matchups to playoff opponents.
March Summary: Tough games against the Lakers, Spurs, and Heat will challenge Chicago as the Bulls prepare for the NBA playoffs.
Tuesday April 2nd @ Washington
Thursday April 4th @ Brooklyn
Friday April 5th vs. Orlando
Sunday April 7th @ Detroit
Tuesday April 9th vs. Toronto
Thursday April 11th vs. New York Knicks
Friday April 12th @ Toronto
Sunday April 14th @ Miami
Monday April 15th @ Orlando
Wednesday April 17th vs. Washington
Sunday April 14th @ Miami will give the Bulls a great chance to finish the season with a crowning achievement; beating the Heat at home on the eve of the playoffs.
Wins-Losses Prediction: 8-2
Wins: Washington, Orlando, Detroit, Toronto (x2), New York, Orlando, Washington
Losses: Brooklyn, Miami
Best One on One Matchup: Derrick Rose vs. LeBron James to decide the last meaningful game of their respective seasons.
Bulls' Best Case Scenario: Finally at full health, Chicago steamrolls its opponents en-route to the playoffs.
Bulls' Worst Case Scenario: Rose suffers a setback, and the Bulls are left to limp to the finish without him.
April Summary: The Bulls will be sparked by the return of Derrick Rose as they run a tough gauntlet preparing for the NBA Playoffs.
Total Win-Loss Prediction: 55-27
The Chicago Bulls have a tough season ahead because of the loss of Derrick Rose in the 2012 NBA Playoffs to a nearly year-long injury.
However, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer will lead a well-coached veteran team that is still filled with valuable bench contributors. Kirk Hinrich will stabilize the point guard position until Rose returns, and young Marquis Teague will add youthful upside.
If Rose returns early enough, Chicago could still earn over 50 wins and a top-four seed in the East.