Heat vs. Bulls slated to open NBA season, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat will open their title defense against one of the squads looking for revenge for an early playoff exit -- except this time the Bulls will likely have Derrick Rose. Miami will also play on Christmas against the Lakers.

The Miami Heat will get their rings for their second consecutive championship on Oct. 29 against the Chicago Bulls, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel -- but a Chicago team likely featuring Derrick Rose for the first time in a year and a half will try to spoil their celebration.

Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reports that two of the marquee dates on Miami's calendar have been decided: they'll play Chicago opening night, as the league likes to feature the defending champion in a primetime slot for the first game of the new season, and they'll play against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas,

Both matchups have a bit of history. The Bulls, then led by Ben Wallace, were the Heat's opponents on opening night as they got their rings for their first NBA title in 2006 but ruined the evening by destroying Miami, 108-66. And the Heat-Lakers matchup was a staple of Christmases during the mid-2000s, as it pitted Kobe Bryant against his old teammate, Shaquille O'Neal.

Obviously, both situations are different. Rose is expected to play normal minutes this season after taking all last year off to recover from a knee injury, while the Lakers, now without Dwight Howard, will probably be getting Bryant back from his Achilles injury around the holidays after the 34-year-old targeted November or December as a return date. The Bulls will be hoping to get back at the Heat after being eliminated in a chippy 4-1 second-round series, with Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler guiding Chicago to one surprise victory in the opener before being dominated for the rest of the series.

The Heat have played five straight years on Christmas. Last year's season-opener for Miami came against the Boston Celtics, who they beat 120-107.

More from SB Nation:

The top 60 rookies at NBA Summer League

Carmelo Anthony sidesteps Lakers rumors

3 teams observe Greg Oden's workout

Kyrie Irving "had a lot of growing up to do"

Flannery: Analytics and coaching in the NBA

Q & A: Denver Stiffs talks to Nuggets GM Tim Connelly

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.