Top Home Games of 2013-14: No. 5 vs. CHI


Saturday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m.

Other 2013-14 games between these two teams
Monday, Dec. 2, New Orleans at Chicago

Why it’s on the list
On the night before Super Bowl XLVII, the Bulls and star point guard Derrick Rose will make their only visit to New Orleans of the 2013-14 NBA season. Rose missed the entire 2012-13 campaign due to his recovery from an ACL injury, but when healthy, he’s been one of the league’s most athletic and exciting players. The Chicago native also was the last player to win league MVP prior to LeBron James earning the honor each of the past two years.

Another intriguing aspect of Pelicans-Bulls is the coaching matchup between Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau. Both men were hired by their NBA franchises during the summer of 2010 and were named assistant coaches for USA Basketball this year. On July 25 in Las Vegas, they squared off against each other as coaches in the Blue vs. White USA showcase game (incidentally, Williams’ White team prevailed, partly behind the play of Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson).

Chicago has given New Orleans fits in recent years, including winning each of its last five visits to the Big Easy. The Bulls have not lost in Louisiana since 2007-08, the best season in New Orleans franchise history.

What’s new in Chicago
The Bulls’ core group of Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah has been together throughout Rose’s five-year pro career, but Chicago has frequently been forced to make tweaks to its bench. That was the case again this summer, when the Bulls lost key 2013 postseason contributors Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli in free agency to Denver and San Antonio, respectively. Some of that departed production could be replaced by Mike Dunleavy (free agent from Milwaukee) and rookie first-round pick Tony Snell.

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