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Chicago1518253795
Miami17372429107
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107


NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, October 29th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Bulls (0-0) at Miami Heat (0-0), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will hang a third NBA championship banner, and second in a row, when they kick off their title defense Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls.

Commissioner David Stern will be on hand to dole out some fancy jewelry. The Heat players will receive the championship rings pre-game as Miami will begin its quest for a third consecutive title.

"It's an exciting time for us, for our fans, for our franchise," two-time reigning MVP LeBron James said after practice on Monday. "But, we can't prepare for it."

And what about the fact that the Heat get their rings and banner ceremony, on opening night, at AmericanAirlines Arena, and against the Bulls, a team several pundits picked to usurp the Heat in the Eastern Conference?

"It didn't matter who it was," said James, ever the diplomat.

"But, we like the fact that it is the Bulls. It makes us stay on our toes. It's exciting. It's great for the league."

It's definitely great for the NBA, pitting arguably the two best teams against each other on opening night.

It's also great that James will battle Derrick Rose, the former MVP, who missed all of last season when he tore his ACL in the playoffs in 2012.

Rose took his fair share of criticism for sitting the entire season, despite the Bulls announcing he was medically cleared to play. Rose didn't feel ready, but he does now and has had this day circled on his calendar.

"It's just going to be an emotional day," Rose said back in September about this night. "Just playing again and being around my teammates and being in the atmosphere of an arena, playing in front of people...I haven't had that in a long time."

Rose's return should propel a Bulls team that lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. Chicago knocked off the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 at the Barclays Center last season, but Miami then dispatched the Bulls in five games.

That was all without Rose.

The two seasons prior to last, the Bulls were the No. 1 seed in the East. Rose won the MVP in 2011 and Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year. Yet, the Bulls never made it past the Heat.

This season, the Bulls still boast an incredible defense (third last season in points allowed), a great starting unit with former All-Stars Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng alongside Rose and Jimmy Butler, who emerged in the postseason.

But, all roads to championship banners run through Miami.

James is the best player by miles and is the odds-on favorite for a fifth MVP. At 28, James is still in the prime of his career, although this season might be taxing at times. He can opt out of his contract with the Heat and become a free agent, but James doesn't want to discuss that during the season.

(Good luck.)

Dwyane Wade had an awesome regular season last season and an awful playoff run. Same goes for Chris Bosh. Both can also vacate their contracts, but both should be much improved from their disastrous postseason performances.

The biggest additions in Miami this offseason came in the form of Greg Oden and Michael Beasley. They went first and second in the 2007 and 2008 NBA drafts, respectively. Oden's career seemingly ended due to bad knees and Beasley's looked to be over thanks to poor decisions, but the Heat are giving them a chance.

The two teams have been evenly matched the last seasons, going 4-4 against each other. Chicago did win in Miami on Jan. 4 and the two sides won't meet again until Dec. 5 in the Windy City.

10/29 10:28:21 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
1st
CHA 24
LAL 26
 
1st
GT 11
UNC 27
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
7th
ARI 2
ASU 0
 
1st
CLE 23
BOS 16
 
1st
CHA 24
LAL 26
 
1st
NYK 10
SAC 18
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
1st
UMO 9
AKR 11
 
1st
NAVY 15
ARMY 17
 
1st
BST 12
EMICH 18
 
1st
BUT 17
GEOR 13
 
1st
IND 17
IOWA 13
 
1st
FLGC 21
JVU 19
 
1st
USCU 19
KNST 8
 
1st
BGU 17
KSU 15
 
1st
NKENTUCKY 11
LIP 13
 
1st
HC 9
GHND 4
 
1st
RUTG 20
MD 21
 
1st
GT 11
UNC 27
 
1st
BUF 25
OHIO 18
 
1st
ALA 19
MISS 16
 
1st
DAY 18
RIU 20
 
1st
CMICH 17
TOL 22
 
1st
DET 19
YOUNG 20
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
1st
PHI 0
CAL 1
 
1st
NJD 2
NAS 0
 
1st
CLB 0
WAS 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS