While the goal of any sporting contest is to be the victor, there are games in which winning carries a special significance.
The case is no different with the Chicago Bulls.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau has brought a champion’s swagger back to this franchise by instilling a toughness and intensity unmatched by most other teams.
After a season of trials and growth during the 2012-13 run, the Bulls are back at full strength now that Derrick Rose has officially returned.
With a championship being the one goal in mind, they are looking to break through this year and turn their regular-season dominance into playoff success.
Health will certainly be a determining factor in their quest, but so will the numerous other squads who have improved and are looking to attain the same prize.
The Bulls will have a number of tests in the first part of the season. Here are some teams they must beat if they are going to return to contender status.