Christmas Day Preview: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls

After their turbulent offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking forward to starting the regular season versus the Chicago Bulls on Sunday and leaving the events of the past month behind them. With a new season come new challenges, and believe me, there are plenty. But Mike Brown and his troops are surely up to the task.

Let the games begin in earnest.

Date: Sunday, December 25, 2011

Time: 2:00 PM PST

Location: STAPLES Center

TV: ABC (National)

Radio: 710 ESPN


Projected Starting Lineups:

Los Angeles Lakers Chicago Bulls PG Derek Fisher PG Derrick Rose SG Kobe Bryant SG Rip Hamilton SF Devin Ebanks SF Luol Deng PF Josh McRoberts PF Carlos Boozer C Pau Gasol C Joakim Noah


Game Notes

Kobe Bryant says he "should be fine" for the season opener after suffering a ligament tear in his right hand in Monday's preseason tilt versus the Clippers. Bryant's teammates never doubted his availability despite sitting out of practice and their final preseason game this week. The best closer in the game will have to find a way to overcome yet another obstacle to start the season.

Pau Gasol will be shifting down to center in place of Andrew Bynum, who is serving a four-game suspension due to the flagrant foul committed on J.J. Barea in last year's playoffs. McRoberts will fill in at PF.

The NBA reduced Bynum's suspension from five games to four on Friday to account for the 20 percent decrease in games this season. Bynum will be expected to return for the Lakers' game versus the Denver Nuggets on December 31.

Head coach Mike Brown named Devin Ebanks the starter late Friday after deciding between Ebanks and Matt Barnes.  

Rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock were named to the Lakers' 15-man roster and will be available to play Christmas Day...

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