(One last point before we get to the list: I would like to note my sadness in the Bulls not playing any games on TNT in the 2019-'20 regular season. They've won 20 straight regular-season home games on TNT, a streak dating back to Feb. 28, 2013. We should all be in mourning.)
The Bulls set a franchise record for futility in going 9-32 at home last season. That also tied the Knicks for the worst home record in the NBA, and the Bulls' struggles included a franchise-worst 56-point loss to the Celtics at the United Center ... after which the infamous mutiny did or didn't happen, depending on whom you talk to. The Raptors' visit to the United Center on Oct. 26 is the Bulls' home opener, so it represents a new chapter for Chicago. No one is asking for the Bulls to go 41-0 at home. Fans simply want to see more success and better efforts.
There will be superstar sightings at the United Center on this evening, as LeBron James and new teammate Anthony Davis visit. And lucky for basketball fans in Chicago, this game is close enough to the start of the regular season that load management shouldn't be an issue. James has always taken pleasure in beating the Bulls throughout his career, and Davis will be trying to trounce his hometown team. I can hear the Davis boos already. The Lakers will be in the early stages of looking to build chemistry for a deep playoff run.
Both teams are in a similar rebuilding position and could be looking to sneak into one of the final playoff spots in the East. Interestingly, this will be the third and final regular-season game between them, before the calendar even flips to the new year. It's deep enough into the season that we should also be able to compare and contrast how the rebuilding process is going for the Bulls and Hawks, who treated us to an epic four-overtime game between the teams last season. Chicago won that game.
This is a "don’t embarrass us in front of company" game for the Bulls, as it's their only national television appearance of the season. So it's likely to be the biggest audience the Bulls have all season. For the sake of fans, please show up and put on a good performance, Bulls.
This game intrigues me on a couple levels. The Heat are also now led by former Bulls star Jimmy Butler, whom they acquired because they wanted to return to the playoffs. Beating Butler would certainly please Bulls fans. It will also likely be a big game in the playoff push for the Heat. Though I'm not predicting a playoff berth for the Bulls, if they're hovering in the 7/8/9-seed range, it would take on more meaning.