It’s that time of year!
No, not the start of the NBA regular season. Not even training camp. It’s the middle of August and you know what that means. We basketball junkies are fiending for something to over analyze. Giannis Antetokounmpo gave us some fun earlier in the week, but we need more.
Thankfully, the NBA Schedule was just released! Here’s the official Bulls calendar for the 2022-23 NBA season.
Now we have 82 games to go over and over until we’ve memorized the whole damn thing. And I, for one, can’t wait!
Here are some of my key takeaways and observations from my initial pass at the Bulls schedule.
Notes and takeaways
Bulls will play 14 Nationally televised games in 2022-23 compared to 12 in 2021-22. Seven on ESPN, four on NBA TV and three on TNT.
The season opener will be an away game against Miami on Wednesday, October 19.
The Bulls will face off against the Milwaukee Bucks for the first time on Wednesday November, 23 in Milwaukee. Hopefully it has more Game 1 or 2 vibes and not Games 3, 4 or 5.
Bulls head out for a six-game road trip from November 23 to December 4. They’ll face the Bucks, Thunder, Jazz, Suns, Warriors and Kings over that stretch.
The Bulls get an international game in Paris, France on Thursday January, 19. Then be playing against the Pistons with three days off before and after. Let’s start a GoFundMe so I can travel to the game!
The NBA is implementing a “Rivalry Week”in late January, which I absolutely love. The Bulls will be part of it for the Ball brothers showdown on Thursday January, 26 at Charlotte on TNT.
The Bulls famously went 1-14 against the top four teams in the East (Bucks, Heat, 76ers, Celtics) last season. They’ll have 15 games this year against those top teams with 10 of the matchups coming in their first 41 games (Boston 4x, Miami 2x, Philadelphia 2x, Milwaukee 2x) and four coming in their final 13 games (Philadelphia 2x, Miami 1x, Milwaukee 1x). Strangely top and bottom heavy schedule.
And of course, the first #TNTBulls game since 2017.
Return of the #TNTBulls
In case you’re not one of those who cling onto extremely niche and coincidental stats, the Bulls, when they play at home, during the regular season, on a Thursday night, while being broadcast on TNT, are extremely good. Like 20-0 good.
That’s right, the Bulls are on a 20-0 streak under those very specific parameters. They haven’t played one of these #TNTBulls games in almost six years. But the schedule makers have heard your cries.
The #TNTBulls are BACK
They are invincible. And we will continue to find ways to tweak the specifications to keep this streak alive. By any means necessary.
According to PositiveResidual.com’s schedule summary, the Bulls have the 12th hardest strength of schedule in the NBA and eighth in the East at 0.507.
Breaking it down by month, the Bulls have a really tough stretch in November, March and April while the season is a bit easier for them in January and February.
Positive Residual also tracks the Bulls with the sixth fewest rest advantage games and the fourth most rest disadvantage games. They have eight “rest advantage” games, which are games where they have more rest than their opponent. They have 12 “rest disadvantage” games where the opponent has more rest than they do.
These are games the Bulls may sit starters for load management or simply be tired on the back end of one of their 15 back-to-back games (tied for league lead).
Another interesting note from the site is that the Bulls travel a total of 48,295 miles, second most in the NBA. While the NBA did reduce travel on the whole, the Bulls are actually traveling almost 8,200 more miles than they did last year.
Whether you’re frustrated or excited with the new schedule, you cannot possibly be as optimistic as Trey Kerby: