The third of five nationally televised games in the NBA's season-opening showcase on Christmas Day is a matchup between two teams on distinctly different paths. The Chicago Bulls, led by the youngest-ever Most Valuable Player in Derrick Rose, seem to be on the rise, and they've even added a useful veteran with a ring in Richard Hamilton. The Los Angeles Lakers traded away Lamar Odom for practically nothing to the Dallas Mavericks, signing Josh McRoberts to replace his spot in the lineup.
The Bulls and Lakers split their games each other last season, each winning their respective home games. However, the Bulls weren't at full strength for either of those games as they were dealing to the injury Carlos Boozer. This time around, the Bulls are at full strength and the Lakers, as evidenced by their showing against the Clippers against the preseason, are far from it, especially with Kobe Bryant playing through a torn ligament in his wrist.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 25, 5 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
TV: ABC (National)