Kings vs. Bulls preview: Chicago opens a season with big changes

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears have led the league in regular-season wins for two years running, but major personnel changes means their expectations for 2012-2013 have to have shifted.

The Chicago Bulls will play the first half of the 2012-2013 season without Derrick Rose, leaving a lot of questions for the squad to answer in Wednesday's season-opener against the Sacramento Kings. Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich will be starting for the Bulls, and to say that's an adjustment for the team is too ridiculous to qualify as an understatement.

Hinrich isn't the only new face. Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah return to the starting lineup, but gone from the bench are Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver. Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed and Marco Belinelli are some of the names in their place, but Bulls fans can't expect the same results. After leading the league in winning percentage for the previous two years, expectations for the 2012-2013 season likely come in a bit lower.

Deng is another of the players who will have to drive Chicago in Rose's continued absence. The forward dealt with a torn ligament in his wrist and opted against surgery in the offseason.

The Kings went 22-44 last season and have lost seven of their last eight games against the Bulls. They add Thomas Robinson to their squad. The fifth overall pick from the 2012 draft had 17 points in the Kings' final preseason game.

Game Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: United Center, Chicago IL
Television Coverage: WGN

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