12 Wizards games you can't miss
Circle these games
A look through the Wizards' 2016-17 schedule reveals plenty of gems. Here are the dozen you absolutely can't miss -- for a lot of different reasons.
Oct. 27 at Atlanta Hawks
This will be the first opportunity to see the Wizards coached by Scott Brooks. They team will play in Atlanta, where Dwight Howard will be debuting for his hometown team. It should be a spectacle for sure, but may also give Washington an idea of what to expect from a Hawks team without Jeff Teague and Al Horford.
Nov. 11 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Wizards get a look at the defending champion Cavaliers early in the season. LeBron James will be a big draw for the Verizon Center.
Nov. 30 at Oklahoma City Thunder
New Wizards head coach Scott Brooks will return to Oklahoma City for the first time since being dismissed by the Thunder after the 2014-15 season. It will be a reunion of sorts for Brooks and Russell Westbrook, now the face of the franchise after Kevin Durant's departure.
Dec. 10 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Washington basketball fans will get their first look at the 2016-17 Bucks, who drafted mix-tape hall of famer Thon Maker and Virginia star Malcolm Brogdon. This roster already included Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton. The NBA will be a more fun place once Milwaukee can put all the pieces together.
Jan. 6 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves are worth watching in person for the same reason as the Bucks: incredibly athletic, young talent. No one would be surprised if Karl-Anthony Towns established himself as one of the league's best players this coming season. Add to the mix Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and rookie Kris Dunn. Minnesota's games should be a show.
Jan. 11 at Boston Celtics
Ahhh, the Celtics. The team that openly courted Kevin Durant, then signed Al Horford out from under Washington this summer. Don't think the Wizards have forgotten Jae Crowder's boast about dominating them in his pitch to Horford. John Wall and company would love nothing more than to win at TD Garden in this nationally televised game on ESPN.
Jan. 19 at New York Knicks
Lots of great ingredients here. The Wizards will go up against Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and the rest of the "super team" Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Players always get excited to compete on the big stage at MSG, but will have extra motivation knowing they're getting the Inside the NBA treatment on TNT. If you can make the road trip, do.
Feb. 6 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Real talk: every time the reigining NBA champion comes to town, it's worth your attention. LeBron James and crew should give the Wizards a good barometer for where they stand approaching the All-Star break.
Feb. 28 vs. Golden State Warriors
This will be the most anticipated game of the 2016-17 season. Hands down. Hometown hero Kevin Durant will return to Washington as an NBA villain. And it's not just KD. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green make four max-level players in one starting five. The Warriors are perhaps the greatest super team ever assembled. And they're possessed by the drive to reclaim the title.
Mar. 10 at Sacramento Kings
John Wall faces off against his close friend and college teammate DeMarcus Cousins. Wizards fans love Boogie. The Wizards should also have a decent chance to win this game with an NBATV audience watching.
Mar. 22 vs. Atlanta Hawks
Yup, this is the second Hawks game on our list, but for good reasons. The Wizards will play their division rival with 11 games remaining, a crucial time in the season. If Washington finds itself teetering on the edge of the Eastern Conference playoffs, this stakes will be high. The drama will also play out in front of a national audience on ESPN.
Apr. 2 at Golden State Warriors
The Wizards go up against Kevin Durant for the second and final time. Assuming he opts out of the second year of his contract with the Warriors, he will hit free agency again in the summer of 2017. Will Washington fans go crazy for him again?