The NBA released the Bulls schedule for the upcoming season (as well as the rest of the league, obviously), and while I have a hard time getting excited about an 82-game schedule, there was one aspect of it that concerned me.
The Bulls will play on consecutive nights 19 times next season.
Now, when you do the math, that means 38 of the 82 games on the schedule, 46% of them, will come as part of a back-to-back. Furthermore, 14 of the 19 back-to-backs will involve both a road and a home game, which means the Bulls will have to travel from one city to another the night after a game, and then play another game that next day.
Considering the minutes Tom Thibodeau has made his players play in the past, this concerns me a bit. Throw in the fact that Derrick Rose is coming back from two knee injuries, as well as Joakim Noah’s history of foot injuries, and this schedule distresses me a bit more.
Since putting together the roster for next season the Bulls have talked about the depth they now have, and I guess we better hope Tom Thibodeau remembers to utilize it. For the first time in years I feel like the Bulls have a legitimate shot to reach the NBA Finals — should Rose’s knees not explode — and I’d hate to see the chance cut down by tired legs or injuries before the playoffs.
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