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95
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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

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

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Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
Final
PHI 91
BRK 99
 
Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
 
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
 
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
 
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
 
4th
DAL 95
NYK 93
 
Final
ATL 115
TOR 126
 
4th
MIN 83
MIL 89
 
4th
HOU 85
SAC 79
 
4th
OKC 92
UTA 75
 
3rd
SAN 68
IND 68
 
2nd
PHO 62
DEN 64
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
 
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
 
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
 
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
 
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
 
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
 
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
 
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
 
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
Final
MARS 68
MORE 77
 
Final
TCU 74
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
Final
UTAH 85
TXPA 48
 
2nd
LMU 63
UCR 60
 
Final
SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
 
2nd
UWGB 49
FLGC 36
 
2nd
IOWA 54
NILL 39
 
Half
ORST 35
AUB 42
 
2nd
MONT 36
CARROLLMT 23
 
2nd
SUTAH 34
EKENT 33
 
2nd
NMST 40
FAM 15
 
Half
WYO 33
STET 16
 
2nd
EWASH 53
NKENTUCKY 28
 
2nd
IDST 34
WLVRN 41
 
1st
GEOR 21
UF 20
 
1st
GONZ 21
UGA 12
 
1st
NIOWA 22
NW 18
 
1st
CAL 2
CPSL 2
 
1st
UCD 5
UTST 9
 
10:20pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
 
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
 
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
3rd
TAM 4
NYR 3
 
3rd
DET 5
PHI 2
 
3rd
PIT 3
TOR 3
 
3rd
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
2nd
COL 0
CHI 0
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL