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10 must-see games from the Wizards' 2017-18 regular season schedule

10 must-see games from the Wizards' 2017-18 regular season schedule

The Wizards' new 2017-18 regular season schedule was announced on Monday. Here is an early ranking of their 10 best games...

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10. Oct. 27 at Los Angeles Lakers

In just their fourth game of the season, the Wizards will get an early look at No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball. Back in May, when asked by CSN's Chris Miller about the Big Baller Brand shoeline, John Wall quipped that Ball's father, LaVar, has "all the answers." Don't be surprised if Wall serves up a few 'welcome to the league, rookie' moments in their first head-to-head matchup. The game is also on ESPN, which will offer Wall a chance to show out at the Staples Center.

9. Nov. 3 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The first meeting between the Wizards and Cavs, two titans of the Eastern Conference, this game will also be on ESPN. Remember what happened last year when the Wizards played the Cavs on national TV? One of those games was described immediately afterwards as an "instant classic" by head coach Scott Brooks. The other saw Wall drop a career-best 18 points in the first quarter.

8. March 13 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

This will be the only time the T-Wolves will visit Washington this season. One of the most aggressive teams this summer, Minnesota will come to town with Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague in store. They have a chance to make a major leap this season and should be fun to watch.

[RELATED: Morris says Celtics rivalry should continue, even with his brother]

7. Feb. 27 at Milwaukee Bucks

Wizards-Bucks may be one of the most underrated rivalries in basketball, but there is definitely some real beef between them. Much of that is rooted in a game this past season when Giannis Antetokounmpo remained in a blowout game to set a career-high in points scored. That did not sit well with Wall and the Wizards. On Feb. 27 they will play at Milwaukee and on national TV. Expect some extra motivation from the Wizards.

6. Oct. 18 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The first game of the regular season for both teams, the Wizards will host the Sixers on national TV. That game will be the first ever NBA appearance for No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and it happens to come in his hometown. He is from nearby Upper Marlboro, Md. It should be a special night for Fultz and the Sixers and it will give Wall and the Wizards a good chance to spoil the party.

5. April 3 at Houston Rockets

The one time the Wizards travel to Houston could be a massive game. It's the fifth-to-last game of the regular season and we know the Rockets will be super good with James Harden and Chris Paul. If the Wizards are battling for playoff position, this could be a very tough matchup at a crucial time.

[RELATED: Four thoughts on Wizards' 2017-18 schedule]

4. Feb. 28 vs. Golden State Warriors

This is the one time the defending champs will come to Washington. Last year the Wizards beat the Warriors in D.C. in a game that Kevin Durant got injured. Any time the Dubs come to town, it's a spectacle. This game will also be on ESPN.

3. Jan. 25 at Oklahoma City Thunder

The Wizards don't play the Thunder until Jan. 25, but they will see them twice in a span of five days. The first meeting is a road game at OKC on national TV. The Wizards will see Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the latter of which was involved in trade rumors with the Wizards back in June and July.

2. April 5 at Cleveland Cavaliers

Another late season matchup, the Wizards will play the Cavs in their fourth-to-last game. They will go at Cleveland in a game that could have major playoff implications. It could be a playoff series preview, or it could feature a lot of stars resting, depending on how the standings have shaken out.

1. Dec. 25 at Boston Celtics

This is a pretty easy choice. The Wizards will play their rival Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, the NBA's most prominent regular season stage. It's at 5:30 p.m., right after people finish Christmas dinner, and it's on ABC. This will almost certainly be the most-watched game the Wizards play during the regular season. It also happens to be the first time the two teams meet this season following their brutal, seven-game playoff series this spring. 

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA Today Sports Images

Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m.
TV: ESPN (coverage begins at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington)
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

It all begins

The long, crazy, unprecedented NBA offseason is officially over. It's time to watch some Wizards basketball. This year Washington enters the season with the highest expectations they have had in a while. Coming off their best season since the 1970s, a year in which they won 49 games, their division and reached the second round of the playoffs, the goal is to go further. They want to win more than 50 games and reach the Eastern Conference Finals or beyond.

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris are all coming off the best seasons of their careers and will hope to take another step. Marcin Gortat will look to continue being a double-double machine. Ian Mahinmi will hope for better health. Kelly Oubre, Jr. will seek a breakout season. And their new-look bench will try to improve on last year's group. The Wizards have the tools to be one of the best teams in the NBA, but they have to stay healthy and prove it now that the rest of the NBA knows what they are capable of.

[RELATED: OTTO PORTER ON HANGING WITH J. COLE]

A different Wall?

Wall made All-NBA for the first time last season, but there are many reasons to believe the best is yet to come. Wall earned that honor despite sitting out much of last offseason following two knee surgeries. This summer he was healthy and benefitted because of it. He was able to focus on his conditioning like never before and reported in fantastic shape. Now he has his sights on the MVP award and first team All-Defense. We get to see the new version of him on Wednesday night.

Wall, of course, is still finding motivation in the littlest of things. He took issue this summer with ESPN not ranking him in the top 10 among NBA players. And on Tuesday he tweeted what seemed to be a gripe with ESPN not including him in their tweet welcoming back the NBA. Wall, again, appears to be on a mission and the rest of the league should watch out, perhaps especially if you're a rookie point guard getting a lot of hype. While we're on the subject...

[RELATED: HOW MAHINMI LOST WEIGHT, WHY HE LOVES D.C.]

High profile NBA debuts

The Sixers will have two, not one, but two No. 1 overall picks making their NBA debuts on Wednesday night. It's not often you see that and it's a big reason why this one is slated for a national TV audience, that and because big things are expected of Joel Embiid. Markelle Fultz was the top selection in 2017 and will be playing his first game in his own backyard. He grew up in nearby Upper Marlboro, Md. and went to DeMatha Catholic. He won't start, but this is a huge night for him. He is playing his first game on ESPN at home and against Wall, one of the game's best point guards. No pressure, kid.

The other No. 1 pick is Ben Simmons, whom the Sixers took in the 2016 draft. He missed all of last year with a foot injury but is back and ready to remind us of why he went first overall. Simmons had a tremendous preseason and showed off his rare talents as a 6-foot-10 guy who can run the floor with anyone and pass like a point guard. He is going to make an impact in this league, but we don't know exactly what type of player he will be. Watching his debut should be fascinating.

[RELATED: KELLY OUBRE CAN SEE WHY DURANT MADE A FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT]

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Food guide for the neighborhood around Capital One Arena

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The Partisan

Food guide for the neighborhood around Capital One Arena

Chinatown and Gallery Place are two of Washington D.C.'s most bustling spots for dining and entertaining.

Here is a guide to the area around Capital One Arena for restaurants and bars before and after Wizards games (or Caps games, Mystics games, Valor games, or concerts).

These recommendations were made on a special episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast. The full episode can be found below.

The quotes in this guide are from Jose Andrés, a world-renowned chef with restaurants in the area, Washington City Paper food editor Laura Hayes and yours truly, a sports reporter who spends a lot of his time at Capital One Arena... and bars.

RELATED: RANKING THE MUST-SEE WIZARDS GAMES OF 2017-18

Drink before the game

— City Tap House of D.C. - 901 9th St. NW

Hayes: "Really relaxed. They have a bunch of flat screens in case there is a good game on... they have a good happy hour before weekday games... really comfortable environment with reasonable prices and it's walkable to the arena."

— Daikaya - 705 6th St. NW

Andrés: "Katsuya Fukushima, who used to be a team member of mine, we worked many years together. Finally, when he moved away from D.C. and he came back, he opened Daikaya, which has some of the best ramen anywhere in the country. Then he opened Izakaya and Bantam King."

Nice place to get a drink and impress someone

— Denson Liquor Bar - 600 F St. NW

Hayes: "Hard to find... so it's never crowded down there. It's really dark and kind of sultry with a beautiful design to it. The cocktails are usually dominated by the brown liquor classic cocktails... they have higher-end snacks."

— Red Apron/The Partisan - 709 D. St. NW

Andrés: "They do amazing hot dogs to amazing burgers to amazing cocktails to amazing beer."

Hayes: "It's a really good time. Lots of good sour bears. It's a great hang."

Nice dinner for a date

— Succotash - 915 F St. NW

Hayes: "A mix of southern cuisine... and then some touches from [the chef's] Korean heritage... it's southern food, but not like you know it. There's some cool twists."

— Zaytinya - 701 9th St. NW

Andrés: "Zaytinya is an homage to Greece, to Turkey and to Lebanon... Mr. Ted Leonsis, I know, loves the place because he has a Greek background himself... it has become a favorite of Washingtonians."

— China Chilcano - 418 7th St. NW

Andrés: "This one is my love for everything Asian and everything Latin... This is one of the most amazing melting pots. You can find Chinese, Japanese, and Peruvian cooking all in one country. Right here, I wanted to bring that story to everybody in Washington."

Best place to go out after a game and get hammered

— Jackpot - 726 7th St. NW

Hayes: "It's good before and after games. No frills. You're not going to be packed in there like sardines. They have a really good beer selection... it's laid back, with cheap beer and you can still hear each other."

— Irish Channel - 500 H St. NW

Hughes: "A favorite of sportswriters. Live music, open late with a late night menu (important)."

Best-kept secrets

— Free State - 501b G St. NW

Hayes: "They have $10-12 cocktails. It's very relaxed. They have the orange crush, the signature cocktail of the Eastern Shore. They have a huge slate of local beers."

— On Rye - 740 6th St. NW

Hayes: "It's a new Jewish deli that opened on sixth street. It's extremely close."

Chinese food in Chinatown

— Full Kee - 509 H St. NW

Hayes: "It's reliable. I spend most of my time interviewing chefs and whenever I ask what their dirty little secret is, they say Full Kee."

Fast casual

— Cava - 707 H St. NW

Hayes: "I still can't get enough of it... you can usually get in and out there very fast. I personally love the lamb sliders."

— Honeygrow - 716 7th St. NW

Hayes: "It's more healthy. You can build your own salad or stir fry noodles."

Best burger

— Grand Trunk - 641 Indiana Ave. NW

Hayes: "They stick two patties that are spiced with ginger, cumin, green chiles, onion and cilantro and they put them inside some grilled naan. Then, it's smeared with some kind of an amazing sauce and it comes with dippers like a creamy yogurt sauce and tamarind. It's just a messy, messy good time."

— The Smith - 901 F St. NW

Hayes: "They have a nice, big, fat burger deluxe for $17 that is just loaded with everything you can imagine."

— Red Apron/The Partisan - 709 D. St. NW

Hughes: "Burgers are awesome. Beers are awesome. Awesome."

Best pizza

— Graffiato - 707 6th St. NW

Hayes: "It's a Mike Isabella restaurant and he spent a lot of time growing up on the Jersey Shore. So, he has a Jersey Shore pizza that has fried calamari on top with tomato, provolone and then this really zesty cherry pepper aioli. It's not your normal margherita or pepperoni, but they have some really good pizza that they're cranking out there."

Best family spot

— Nando's Peri-Peri - 819 7th St. NW

Hayes: "They have five different options for kid's meals. They have grilled chicken strips, grilled cheese; they all come with a side... everything a kid would like."