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What to know before the NBA season returns

December 13, 2011|RedEye

We don't blame you if you can't recall much about the NBA lockout. Mainly it was a bunch of guys arguing about how to divide a huge sum of money. Booorrring. But don't worry, soon we'll see everything we love about pro hoops; the Bulls open the preseason Friday and the regular season on Dec. 25. In the meantime, we'll get you up to speed on the NBA pre- and post-lockout.

Then: The Bulls amassed the most wins in the 2010-11 regular season (62) before losing Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. Derrick Rose looked like he needed help in the scoring department.

Now: The roster hasn't changed much, but if the buzz is true, three-time All-Star shooting guard Richard Hamilton is poised to join the Bulls Wednesday. Could he put them over the top?

Then: Four games in five nights was considered a super busy week for an NBA team. You also would never see teams play back-to-back-to-back games.

Now: The Bulls play on three consecutive nights only once this season. But to pack 66 games into four months, playing five games in seven nights will be almost routine. Hope the Bulls are in shape!

Then: The Bulls dealt with injuries all season, including the broken leg center Omer Asik suffered in the playoffs.

Now: The "Turkish Hammer" says he's good to go. "I don't have any pain," Asik told the Tribune recently. "I have no problems during practice."

Then: New Orleans guard Chris Paul and Orlando center Dwight Howard lifted their respective teams to the playoffs.

Now: If your head hurts, it's likely because you've heard all the trade rumors surrounding these two. Both players are staying put for now. That's bound to change—just don't hold your breath for the Bulls to make a deal.

Then: The Miami Heat were by far the most despised team in the league. A raucous cheer went up when Dallas beat them for the NBA title in June.

Now: The Heat are STILL the most despised team in the league. Thank goodness we were spared the cheesy, over-the-top preseason celebration this time.

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