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Chicago Bulls Schedule: Afternoon Game Avoids Christmas Conflict With Chicago Bears

CSNChicago reports that the NBA has finalized its opening day schedule, giving the Chicago Bulls a 4 p.m. CST tip off at the Staples Center on Christmas Day. The Bulls will begin their season facing Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on December 25.

There were concerns that the game might be scheduled during the Sunday night NFL football game between division rivals the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but the NBA avoided that by giving the Bulls a late afternoon start. The Bears games will not begin until 7:20 p.m. CST, so the Bulls and Bears will only overlap if the Bulls go into overtime.

Also playing on opening day, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks face off in Dallas, the Boston Celtics play the New York Knicks, and the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Orlando Magic.

For updates on free agent moves, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For in-depth coverage of the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull. For up-to-the-minute coverage of all of the key personnel moves, check out the SB Nation NBA free agency StorySteam.