Bulls-Cavs set to kick off the start of the NBA regular season

SHARE Bulls-Cavs set to kick off the start of the NBA regular season
SHARE Bulls-Cavs set to kick off the start of the NBA regular season

The Bulls just can’t seem to escape the shadow of LeBron James.

Opening night of the NBA regular season will be just another reminder of that.

With the NBA schedule released on Thursday, the Bulls will host James and the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center on Oct. 27, in what will also be the first game played of the 2015-16 NBA season.

It’s also the first of four matchups with the four-time MVP, as the Bulls will face the Cavs in Cleveland on both Jan. 23, and Feb. 18, before finishing off the season series on April 9, at the United Center.

The Bulls always seem amped up to play a James-led team in the regular season, but it’s the postseason where things have gone very wrong, as James has dismissed them from the playoffs four out of the last six seasons.

As usual the Bulls will have two significant road trips with the annual “Circus Trip’’ scheduled for November, and Phoenix, Golden State, Portland and Indiana on the schedule, and then a seven-city road trip at the end of January, facing the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, as well as Utah, Sacramento, Denver, Minneapolis and Charlotte.

Nationally, the Bulls will also have a lot of eyes on them, just one of three teams that will max out their appearances for both the NBA on TNT (10) and NBA TV (nine).

The Bulls will end the regular season at home against Philadelphia.

FIVE KEYS TO THE SCHEDULE:

Cleveland at Bulls – Oct. 27 – A lot of tough talk from the Bulls over the years about what could have been and what should have been against James, but the bottom line remains until they can slay the King, tough talk is all it will be.

Bulls at Golden State – Nov. 20 – As good as the Warriors were last season, they watched a 19-game home winning streak come to an end on Jan. 28, as Derrick Rose scored 30 points in a win at the Oracle Arena. It was one of the more bizarre stat lines for Rose, as he also had 11 turnovers in the win.

Bulls at Oklahoma City – Dec. 25 – Candy Canes, unwrapping presents and Kevin Durant. Some Christmas for the Bulls. Playing in OKC at 1:30 p.m., a healthy Thunder could be an awful matchup for Rose and Co., with not only Durant expected back after an injury-plagued 2014-15, but also MVP candidate Russell Westbrook.

Home-and-home against New York – Mar. 23-24 – Nice of the NBA to give the Bulls a bye week in March, having them play the Knicks in a home-and-home on back-to-back nights. Nothing better than getting a lottery team in March, while Carmelo Anthony continues to pretend he made the right decision in turning his back on Chicago last summer.

April showers – April 3-11 – Forget home cooking down the stretch for the Bulls, as they will close the regular season with four of their last six games on the road, and not exactly in easy venues. At Milwaukee on April 3, in Memphis on April 5, in Miami on April 7, an April 9 game with the Cavs back home, and then off to New Orleans to face Anthony Davis on April 11.

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