Chicago Bulls vs. LA Lakers: TV Schedule, Spread Info, Predictions and More

The Chicago Bulls will travel to Hollywood on Christmas Day to take on a banged-up Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The matchup will mark the season tip-off for each team, and should provide NBA fans with a closer look at the 2010-11 league MVP Derrick Rose as well as two bona fide championship contenders from each conference.

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, 5:00 p.m. ET

Watch: ABC 

Listen: Chicago: ESPN 100 (WMVP-AM) Los Angeles: KSPN 710 AM

Betting Line

Chicago -1.5 over Los Angeles, according to The Bulls finished with the better record last year and looked a lot stronger down the postseason stretch despite falling in five games to the Miami Heat in the ECF. The Lakers have question marks in the starting rotation and that should produce a favorable matchup for Chicago on the road Sunday.

Key Injuries

Kobe Bryant's injured right wrist will the be the biggest injury concern in this matchup Sunday. Bryant averaged 25.3 PPG last season, which led the Lakers, so he will be called upon to carry the scoring load early and often against Chicago, especially now that sixth man Lamar Odom is in Dallas. 

What's At Stake? 

It's ridiculous to suggest that one team's season is on the line in the opening game of the year, but Christmas Day's epic showdown between two of the league's most storied franchises could go a long way in determining what becomes of the Lakers. 

They are a much different team than the one fans have grown used to seeing, and it starts with first-year head coach Mike Brown patrolling the bench. 

Meanwhile Chicago won 62 games last season, more than any other team in the league, which means the target will be on the Bulls' back all season long. A win over the Lakers would instantly put pressure on Eastern Conference foes Miami and New Yor...

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