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updated: 8/13/2014 9:17 PM

Big games vs. big names to start Bulls season

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  • Derrick Rose and the Bulls will open the season against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks in New York Knicks on Oct. 29.

      Derrick Rose and the Bulls will open the season against Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks in New York Knicks on Oct. 29.

 
 

The Bulls will waste no time saying hello to a couple of old friends this season.

They'll open in Madison Square Garden on Oct. 29 against the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony, who snubbed the Bulls in free agency last month.

Then the home opener two days later will feature LeBron James, now back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The first two games will be televised nationally by ESPN.

Another highlight is Christmas night, when the Bulls will host the Los Angeles Lakers at 7 p.m. on TNT. The game will match power forwards who swapped teams during the summer as free agents -- Pau Gasol for the Bulls and Carlos Boozer now playing for the Lakers.

A new feature this season is a weeklong all-star break. The final night before the break will feature the Cavaliers' second trip to the United Center on Feb. 12 on TNT. The Bulls will get eight days off during the break until playing at Detroit on Feb. 20.

Here are some other notable points in the Bulls' schedule.

• Anthony and the Knicks will visit the United Center on Dec. 18 (TNT) and March 28.

• Luol Deng will make his first trip to the UC as a visiting player when Miami arrives on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 25, on ABC. Deng was traded to Cleveland last Jan. 6, but the Cavs already had played their two games in Chicago. Deng signed with the Heat as a free agent this summer, and Miami will make just one trip to the UC during the regular season.

• The Bulls were given four more Sunday matinees on ABC -- at home against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1, then at San Antonio on March 8, at Oklahoma City on March 15 and at Cleveland on April 5.

• The circus road trip in November will be a tough one, with seven games over 13 days. It begins against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 17 and continues with stops in Sacramento, Portland, Utah and Denver. After stopping at home for Thanksgiving, the Bulls will head east for games at Boston on Nov. 28 and Brooklyn on Nov. 30.

• The ice show road trip is six games long. That one begins in Golden State on Jan. 27, and continues against the L.A. Lakers, Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans and Orlando.

• The defending champion Spurs visit the United Center on Thursday, Jan. 22, while last year's MVP Kevin Durant makes the trip with Oklahoma City on Thursday, March 5. Chicago native Jabari Parker plays his first NBA game at the UC with Milwaukee on Saturday, Jan. 10.

• The Bulls will get an epic, seven-game homestand in late February-early March, featuring games against Phoenix, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Minnesota, the Clippers, Washington and Oklahoma City. They'll wrap up the season April 15 at home against Atlanta.

The league schedule begins Oct. 28 with two games. The defending champion Spurs will host Dallas in the first game, followed by Houston at the Los Angeles Lakers.

As expected, the Bulls are a popular choice for national TV, with 25 total appearances -- 10 each on TNT and ESPN, with five on ABC.

The Bulls are scheduled to play James and the Cavaliers in the preseason on Oct. 20 in Columbus, Ohio.

• Get the latest Bulls news via Twitter by following @McGrawDHBulls.

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