In a season that though many believe to be a bridge year before trying to land the services of Kevin Durant, the Washington Wizards are still in a prime position to continue their upward descent in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards will again, fourth year in a row, start the season on the road. Last year they were in South Beach, this year they are again returning to Florida to face off against division foe Orlando Magic on October 28th at 7 pm. The team’s home opener will not come until their third game of the season when they face the New York Knicks on Halloween, Saturday October 31st at 7 pm. The home opener will also serve as backup center Kevin Seraphin’s return to the nations capital. The Wizards will end the regular season on Wednesday, April 13th at 8 pm at home against another division foe in the Atlanta Hawks, which may have playoff implications on the line.
After having 10 games nationally televised by either ESPN or TNT last season, the Wizards will only have five chances to display their talent across the country this time around. This does not include the additional eight games that are scheduled for NBATV. The five games this year are:
- February 3rd (vs. Golden State Warriors)
- February 9th (at New York Knicks)
- February 24th (at Chicago Bulls)
- March 4th (at Cleveland Cavaliers)
- March 29th (at Golden State Warriors)
Two games that will be of special note to Wizards fans come on November 10th and December 28th. The first is when the Verizon Center will play host to DMV native Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, it will surely be a game where you see the KD2DC slogan everywhere. Second is when our short time friend Paul Pierce returns to DC with the LA Clippers. Although some might not like his decision to leave, the chance to go home and a three year deal was too much to pass up. The Truth will forever by a legend and should be applauded when announced in the starting lineup days after Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, no the Wizards will not take part in the jolly festivities this year. After dominating the New York Knicks last season in a game highlighted by John Wall’s 360 layup, the Wizards were passed on the chance to possibly face the Heat in a noon time matinee (the New Orleans Pelicans got the nod instead). The Wizards will however play on New Year’s Day and MLK Jr. Day against the Magic and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively. Both encounters will take place in Chinatown.
Luckily the team will only have two road trips longer than three games. The first will take place from 12/11 to 12/16 against the Pelicans, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Spurs, while the second will occur 3/27 to 4/3 versus the Lakers, Warriors, Kings, Suns, and Clippers. Unlike the league trend that saw the average NBA team’s number of back-to-back games drop from 19.3 to 17.8 over the past two seasons, the Wizards will play 19 (an increase from 18 last season). In some good scheduling news, the Wizards will only have to play four games in five nights once this season after having to struggle through the gauntlet four times last year. This will result in two sets of back to back games sandwiching a Thanksgiving day off (11/24 to 11/28) against the Pacers, Hornets, Celtics, and Raptors.
Each team in the Eastern Conference will be hosted by the Wizards twice with the exception of the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls, while the Wizards will only visit the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers once during the regular season.
The full Washington Wizards schedule can be found below if you wish to start making plans to go to games now.