The team is filled (for the most part), the coach is in place, now it's all about playing the games for the Chicago Bulls.
After the official release of the NBA schedule Tuesday, we can finally see when and where those games will occur.
And, of course, with every NBA team there are certain games that are circled on schedule release day, and the Bulls are no different.
With that, here are the top ten most intriguing matchups for the Bulls for the upcoming 2010-11 NBA season.
Every season every team wants to take a shot at the champs.
The Bulls get their chance December 10 when Kobe and his 7-footers waltz into the United Center.
And while no one is talking about the Lakers right now (after all, they don't have LeBron so why would they?), they're still the team to beat.
Even though Miami now has a "big three", the Lakers have a literal one. And let's not forget that their biggest loss this offseason was Jordan Farmar (who will instead be replaced by free agent acquisition Steve Blake).
They also added Kobe foe and NBA bad boy Matt Barnes to fuel the nastiness that Ron Artest brought with him last season.
The Lakers are still the champs until someone beats them, and the Bulls get a chance to show them what they've got December 10th.
Okay, I understand that the All-Star Game is an exhibition, but a season after Derrick Rose became the first Bulls player to be selected since the Air Man, they are primed to do something they haven't done in over a decade...send two players to the mid-season festivities.
With the addition of Carlos Boozer, a two-time Western Conference All-Star, the team will try to send two players to the All-Star Game for the first time since 1997 when the dynamic duo themselves, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were selected to the Eastern Conference squad.
And who knows, if Joakim Noah can continue to improve, the nightly double-double threat could sneak in and give the Bulls three All-Stars for the first time since 1994 (Pippen, B.J. Armstrong and Horace Grant).
Either way, the team is hoping to have at least one player selected this season, so February 20th should be a date to remember.
Usually a team wouldn't circle a matchup with another team that finished 26-56 the previous season, but special circumstances should have the Bulls looking forward to the Chicago visit by the Wizards on November 13th.
Above all, the team will be excited to welcome back Kirk Hinrich to the United Center. Hinrich, who played all seven of his NBA seasons for the Bulls, was traded just prior to the draft for basically nothing other than cleared cap space.
The Bulls will also enjoy hosting a potentially great young point guard matchup.
2008 first overall pick Derrick Rose will get his first look at 2010 first pick and former Caliparian point guard John Wall.
The battle should be fun to watch and with the return of Hinrich to Chicago, the building should be in a heartwarming mood.
I know what you're thinking. How are the Wizards and Knicks intriguing matchups if you're not, say, the Nets?
Well first, New York did improve, slightly. Okay, they're still going to be bad (sorry Knicks fans, Raymond Felton and Anthony Randolph aren't enough for Amar'e to do anything with).
But the fact that the people in charge of NBA scheduling chose the Bulls to play on Christmas (even if it's the opener for such matchups as Boston/Orlando, Miami/L.A. Lakers and Denver/Oklahoma City) is special any way you look at it.
Two franchises like Chicago and New York mixed with a little MSG (the arena, not the food additive), a few wise men and baby Jesus have to make this matchup intriguing enough to be mentioned on this list.
Continuing the string of poor opponents, I include the Bulls' most intense rival, Detroit, in their first 2010-11 meeting at the United Center.
The rivalry was further fueled last season when the Pistons signed the Bulls' leading scorer Ben Gordon to a lucrative deal in the offseason.
And while they shouldn't be much better (if any better) than they were last season, it should be fun for Chicago to rub in their polished new roster and hopes on its brethren that has recently had the most success.
I thought it would've been more interesting to have Chicago visit Salt Lake City in their first few games to see if the fans in Utah would falsely cheer for a Kyle Korver three or a Carlos Boozer jam.
Too bad for the Bulls, they don't get the chance to show off their Chicago Jazz roster that now has three players that played in Utah last season (Boozer, Korver and Ronnie Brewer).
Seeing as Deron Williams now has nothing more than Al Jefferson and Mehmet Okur, the tension could be high, and the boos could be heavy at EnergySolutions Arena on February 9th, making for what should be a very intriguing matchup.
The date that many teams will have circled on their 2010-11 schedule is their first meeting at home against the newly structured Miami Heat.
If the names LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aren't enough to get your blood boiling, the publicity that each received so far this offseason should be.
All three had at one time at least considered coming to Chicago, and a late attempt by the team to dump enough cap space to accommodate two of them resulted in the departure of longtime Bull Kirk Hinrich.
Like many of the cities that these three play at this season, Chicago should welcome Miami Thrice with plenty of boos and a very hostile environment.
Add in the intensity of the new hard-nosed Bulls team and you should have a very fun January 15th game.
Like every season, the circus has to come take over the United Center in as unpleasant of a way as a circus can.
No matter what their record is previous to their trip, the Bulls always seem to come away with some kind of losing streak or a pretty nasty record when they return.
And seeing the lineup for this season's trip, it doesn't look as if the teams' fortunes (or lack thereof) will change.
They begin with the Texas three-pack (Houston, San Antonio and Dallas) then head to L.A. to face the defending champion Lakers. Then they go to Phoenix, Denver and close out with a young and improving Sacramento team.
So that's five out of the seven games where the Bulls face a 2010 playoff team, away from home, at about two in the morning central standard time.
If they can survive their trip out west however, it could be a great confidence boost and momentum builder at the beginning of the season. That's something that's always nice for a young roster like Chicago's.
Shying away from the word "intriguing", we'll now look at what may be the most important games for the Bulls in the 2010-11 season.
This tough trio of games starts with the team's fifth-to-last game of the season when they welcome the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics to the United Center on April 7th.
They then travel to Cleveland the next day (April 8th) and finish up two days later (April 10th) at Orlando.
The stretch, that includes the three powerhouses of the Eastern Conference for the last couple of years, couldn't come at a more important time for Chicago, when every game means the most.
It may be deluded a little bit by the inevitable slide that Cleveland will experience A.L. (After LeBron), but they should still be a playoff team. They may even find themselves in a position much like the Bulls did this season in which they're on the playoff bubble.
The way that Chicago plays through this tough stretch could give them the momentum heading into the playoffs, or it could absolutely kill it.
Luckily for them though, they finish up the season at New York and against the New Jersey at home. Phew.
It's tough to think that one game at the very beginning of the season against a Western Conference team would be more important than a string of games against Eastern Conference foes at the end of the season, but who doesn't love some opening night?
The first chance for the fans to see the new-look Chicago Bulls will be October 27th when they take on the resurgent Oklahoma City Thunder on national television (ESPN).
Not only should this be a good game between two of the best, young teams in the league, but it'll also show where the Bulls stand right out of the gate. If they can really challenge the Thunder on the road it could be a huge confidence boost for the remainder of the season.
They'll also get to show off their new defensive minded style under new coach Tom Thibodeau against one of the quickest, high-powered offenses in the league.
No matter which way you look at it, the team and fans alike will be counting down the days until they get to show off their new talents October 27th at OKC.