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Bulls open on road, mostly stay off national TV.

As the Bulls enter Year 3 of their rebuild, the national buzz is on the quiet side.

The NBA released the 2019-20 schedule Monday and the Bulls are on the docket for one national television appearance, on Friday, Jan. 17, at Philadelphia on ESPN. They weren't given any TNT games once again, so their 20-game win streak in TNT home games remains on hold.

There is one other ESPN game in preseason, when New Orleans visits the United Center on Wednesday, Oct. 9, for a visit by No. 2 draft pick, Zion Williamson, if he hasn't been shut down for preseason by then.

But an 82-game schedule features plenty of interesting twists, so here's a rundown of the highlights.

* The Bulls will begin the season with two road games. The opener is at Charlotte on Wednesday, Oct. 23, followed by a game in Memphis on Oct. 25. The Bulls haven't opened with multiple road games since the lockout season of 2011-12, when they started out West. The last normal season to begin with two road games was 2006-07, when they started in Miami and Orlando.

* The home opener will feature the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Saturday, Oct. 26. Then the Bulls get two more road games in New York and Cleveland.

* The second home game on Nov. 1 will feature another return of Derrick Rose, this time with the Detroit Pistons. Rose signed with Detroit as a free agent this summer.

* Some notable opponents will visit the United Center early in the season. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers are here Nov. 5. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets visit on Nov. 9. Some other notables are Milwaukee with MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on Nov. 18, Rose and Pistons again on Nov. 20, Jimmy Butler on Nov. 22 with his third team (Miami) since leaving the Bulls, and Golden State on Dec. 6.

* The Bulls get a mini-circus trip, visiting Golden State, Portland and Sacramento over Thanksgiving weekend. In an unusual twist, they'll make a rare late-season West Coast trip, playing at Utah, Denver, Phoenix, the Clippers and Lakers, ending on April. 8.

* The Los Angeles Clippers, one of the preseason favorites with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, visit Dec. 14. Williamson and New Orleans make their regular season appearance Feb. 6.

* The end of the season appears rough. Eleven of the Bulls' final 13 opponents made the playoffs last season, eight of those games are on the road, and eight of the opponents play in the Western Conference.

* The two Eastern Conference teams that visit the United Center just once are Philadelphia and Orlando. In typical oddball NBA fashion, the Magic arrive for the final regular season home game on April 13. The Bulls close the schedule at Boston two days later.

* For the first time, all 82 games this season will be televised by NBC Sports Chicago. No WGN games under the new local TV deal.

* Opening night for the NBA is Oct. 22 with a doubleheader on TNT: New Orleans at Toronto, followed by the Lakers at the Clippers.

* Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Aug 13, 2019
Words:519
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