Chicago Bulls: Season Openers in The Last Five Years

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Feb 10, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) dribbles the ball against Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

2012-13: Bulls dethrone Kings in opener without Derrick Rose

In terms of grit and sheer will, the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls might be the purest definition of both previous descriptions.

The Bulls took a couple shots in the mouth during the 2012 postseason. Derrick Rose tore his ACL in the first game of the playoffs against Philadelphia, Joakim Noah would later roll his ankle in the series, and the Bulls would give away Game 6 in the final minutes to lose.

But, even without their superstar point guard all year, the Bulls made it a mission to not let any team outwork them in the 2012-13 season, starting with the season opener against the Sacramento Kings.

Through all of the injuries, throughout all of the chaos surrounding a potential Rose return, the Bulls still managed to win 48 games, a playoff series (including a Game 7 win on the road), and stole Game 1 of the next series away from the eventual champion Miami Heat.

In the 2012-13 season opener, Joakim Noah outplayed soon-to-be superstar big man DeMarcus Cousins and scored 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the 93-87 Bulls victory. Noah grabbed 10 rebounds and racked up five steals in the opener to lead the way. Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton combined for 37 points and the Bulls kicked off the season on a high note.

Future Bulls guard Aaron Brooks even lost a tooth diving for a loose ball as a member of the Kings on this night.

Next: 2011-12: Derrick Rose gives L.A. a present on Christmas Day