Friday, Oct. 31: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN)
If you’re in Chicago on Halloween and you’re not at the United Center, you’re doing it wrong.
The Chicago Bulls’ home opener will feature a Cleveland Cavaliers team that figures to be Derrick Rose and Co.’s greatest roadblock to the 2015 NBA Finals and my favorite to win it all this season. Over the summer, Bulls center Joakim Noah told reporters that he was “happy” for LeBron James (in reference to him returning to the Cavs), before saying, “I really hope we can kick his ass as many times as possible.”
The rivalry between James and Noah dates back a half-decade now, and the Bulls center isn’t a huge fan of the city of Cleveland, either. Luckily for Noah, this first of four regular-season matchups between the two squads takes place in the Windy City, where the Bulls faithful will be out in droves to support their squad.
This game will be Rose’s first regular-season action in nearly a year, which should send Chicago fans into a frenzy. (Just listen to the reception he received last regular-season opener, then multiply that by 100 given the stakes of this game.) His matchup against Kyrie Irvingwill pit two of the Eastern Conference’s top floor generals against one another in an outright slobber-knocker.
The matchup between both teams’ new-look frontcourts—Kevin Love for Cleveland and Pau Gasol for Chicago, most notably—only adds to the intrigue of this game. Though the NBA’s opening week is packed with must-see matchups, Friday night’s Bulls-Cavaliers game is the main course and dessert rolled into one.