It is finally here, well, almost. The NBA regular season kicks off on Tuesday, but the Chicago Bulls' season starts on Wednesday down in South Beach against the Miami Heat at FTX Arena.
As Chicago prepares for the 2022-23 season, there are still questions about how far this team can go in such a deep conference.
The Bulls will get that opportunity to prove themselves against a team that was just one win away from making it to the NBA Finals last season.
Chicago wrapped up the preseason with a 3-1 record with victories over Denver and Milwaukee and beating Toronto on the road. During the exhibition games, the Bulls changed up their starting lineup to see what works best for the team in the absence of Lonzo Ball.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls announced Patrick Williams will start at power forward against the Miami Heat. During the preseason, it was unclear if Javonte Green or Williams would get the starting gig. It is worth mentioning, Green suffered a hip pointer injury late last week but returned to practice in full Monday.
A Look at the Miami Heat
This Miami Heat team looks very much the same as it did last year. Of the 14 players signed to standard contracts, 13 of them are returning from last year's season-ending roster, led by Jimmy Butler.
Miami finished the preseason with a 4-1 record and looked very commanding at times. One player who shined and proved himself is Tyler Herro. Herro earned a spot in the starting lineup after averaging 22 points in the two preseason games he played. Additionally, he shot 58 percent from behind the arc.
There are a lot of expectations for the Wisconsin native. During the offseason, Herro was involved in trade rumors, but he signed a four-year extension with Miami – meaning with all of that money comes great responsibilities.
Similar to the Bulls, many questions need to be answered about Miami. The obvious one is: can Jimmy Butler win a championship with this core?
As mentioned, Miami's roster looks vastly the same. Butler recently turned 33 and is not getting any younger. So, this team is in win-now mode.
The Bulls Need a Hot Start
The Chicago Bulls will start the season off without Lonzo Ball and could be without him until the winter. The Bulls are trying to build on the momentum they had before last year's All-Star break and not take a step backward.
To do so, Chicago needs to win games like this one against Miami to prove to themselves that they are one of the better teams in such a deep conference. Almost every night in the East, the Bulls will play against a team that is either going to make it to the playoffs or could at least make the Play-In Tournament.
Chicago will tip-off against Miami at 6:30 PM CT on Wednesday, Oct. 19. This game is one of two Chicago will play on the road to start the regular season. The Bulls will then travel to the nation's capital to play against the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Tune in to the Bulls On Tap podcast for postgame reaction and further Bulls commentary all season.