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updated: 8/6/2013 7:20 PM

Rose, Bulls to net plenty of national attention

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  • The Bulls' Derrick Rose attempts a last-second shot that the Heat's LeBron James blocks.

      The Bulls' Derrick Rose attempts a last-second shot that the Heat's LeBron James blocks.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • The Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Heat's LeBron James should get the NBA season off to a rousing start Oct. 29 at Miami.

      The Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Heat's LeBron James should get the NBA season off to a rousing start Oct. 29 at Miami.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

This much was obvious with Tuesday's release of 2013-14 NBA schedule -- the league expects Derrick Rose to be back.

The Bulls were given a heavy dose of national television appearances -- 24 total -- starting with opening night at Miami on Oct. 29 on TNT. That will be ring ceremony night for the Heat and local fans probably remember when the Bulls opened the season in Miami after the Heat's 2006 title, they rolled to a 108-66 victory.

Two days later, Rose's return tour stops at the United Center for a Halloween home opener against the New York Knicks, again on TNT. When the season begins, Rose will be roughly 18 months removed from the knee injury that kept him sidelined last season.

The Bulls will also play in Brooklyn on Christmas Day, host the Lakers on Martin Luther King Day and have five Sunday afternoon ABC dates later in the season. Here's a look at some of the schedule highlights:

•It's all about Miami these days. The Heat play twice at the United Center, on Thu., Dec. 5 (the second half of a TNT doubleheader) and a March 9 Sunday matinee. The Bulls' second trip to Miami is on Sun., Feb. 23 (ABC).

•The annual November circus trip is medium difficulty, six games long. It starts with four games in five nights -- at Denver, Portland, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah -- then back East for Detroit and Cleveland over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Bulls play nine games before the trip begins, five at home and four away.

•The ice show road trip is a long one, with six games over 12 days. It starts in San Antonio on Jan. 29, then winds through New Orleans, Sacramento, Phoenix, Golden State and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sun., Feb. 9 (ABC). Twice, the Bulls get two days off on this trip.

•The Bulls finish with 13 of their last 21 games at home. That stretch begins with a challenging six-game homestand featuring Memphis, Miami, San Antonio, Houston, Sacramento and Oklahoma City. The final 11 games of the season include just three against teams that made the playoffs last year (Atlanta, Milwaukee and New York). The regular season ends at Charlotte on Apr. 16.

•The Bulls will host the revamped Brooklyn Nets, featuring former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, just once on Feb. 13, the last game before the all-star break. Washington also visits the United Center only once, while the Bulls make single trips to Boston and Orlando.

•The Eastern Conference should be very competitive among the projected top five teams. The Bulls play four of their first eight against East contenders -- Miami, New York and Indiana twice. The Bulls don't play the Pacers at all between Nov. 16 and Mar. 21.

•The Lakers' visit on Jan. 20 is often a highlight, but these days, the Clippers (Jan. 24) are probably a more anticipated opponent.

•There aren't many reunion games for the Bulls this season. Nate Robinson is scheduled to return with Denver on Feb. 21, although the Nuggets will play at the United Center in preseason actin Oct. 25.

•Follow Mike's Bulls reports on Twitter @McGrawDHBulls and check out his All Bull blog at dailyherald.com.

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