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CSN to broadcast 75 Wizards games in 2017-18 season, feature new shows

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CSN to broadcast 75 Wizards games in 2017-18 season, feature new shows

LIVE COVERAGE TO INCLUDE 3 PRESEASON AND 72 REGULAR-SEASON GAMES; 18 CONTESTS TO BE PRESENTED NATIONALLY ON ABC, ESPN, TNT

WIZARDS HANGTIME AND WIZARDS OVERTIME TO JOIN WIZARDS GAMETIME AND WIZARDS EXTRA TO DELIVER 2.5 HOURS OF LIVE GAMEDAY NEWS, ANALYSIS AND ENTERTAINMENT

EXTENSIVE WIZARDS CONTENT TO BE FEATURED ACROSS WEBSITE, APP AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

NEW FEATURE SHOWS TO PROVIDE IN-DEPTH STORYTELLING AND INSIDE ACCESS

BETHESDA, Md. (Sept. 27, 2017) – CSN Mid-Atlantic, which will become NBC Sports Washington on Oct. 2, and the Washington Wizards have announced the team’s 75-game regional television schedule for the 2017-18 NBA season, which features 72 regular-season games and three preseason contests. As previously announced, ABC, ESPN and TNT will combine to present national coverage of 18 Wizards games, 10 exclusively, this season.

LIVE-GAME COVERAGE
CSN’s live Wizards coverage, which will continue to be available to stream live on CSNmidatlantic.com and the NBC Sports app, will begin with the second preseason game against New York on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. and will include three of the team’s five exhibition games. Monumental Sports Network will stream live coverage of the Oct. 2 preseason opener against the Guangzhou Long-Lions, a team from the Chinese Basketball Association, beginning at 7 p.m. as well as the Oct. 11 game against the Miami Heat, which tips-off at 7:30 p.m. The Network also will simulcast CSN’s live coverage of the Oct. 8 preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at 3 p.m. CSN’s regular-season schedule will start Oct. 20 when the Wizards host the Detroit Pistons at 7p.m.

CSN’s live coverage will be led by play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz, game analystKara Lawson, and courtside reporter Chris Miller

GAMEDAY PROGRAMMING
This season, CSN will expand its gameday coverage to include 2.5 hours of live Wizards news, analysis, commentary and entertainment with a pair of new shows. Wizards HangTime will be presented for a half hour leading into pregame show Wizards GameTime. After games, Wizards Overtime will extend postgame coverage for up to an hour followingWizards Extra. The new shows will be fan-focused, allowing Wizards fans to participate in coverage of the day’s most compelling topics and storylines. 

Led by Julie Donaldson and Tony MassenburgWizards GameTime and Wizards Extrawill include analysis from Phil ChenierDrew Gooden, Buckhantz, Lawson and Miller.Wizards HangTime and Wizards Overtime will be moderated by Travis Thomas and will feature a panel of rotating contributors, including Chase Hughes

MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT
CSN’s coverage this season will be greatly expanded across every platform throughout the day. CSN’s website, mobile app and social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, will serve fan-focused video, audio, editorial and interactive content through every day-part. In the morning, the podcast Wizards Tipoff will join Wake Up Call, a short-form interactive Wizards experience delivered via alerts, social media and email that will provide “on-the-go” content on multiple platforms throughout the day.

CSN’s digital media properties, including CSNmidatlantic.com and the CSN Mid-Atlantic mobile app, will also be rebranded under the NBC Sports Washington name on Oct. 2. Fans can follow Wizards coverage on Twitter at @CSNWizards and can follow CSN on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat at @CSNMA. On Oct. 2, the official website for NBC Sports Washington will become NBCSportsWashington.com and Wizards coverage will be available on Twitter at @NBCSWizards. Fans can follow the Wizards on Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat at @NBCSWashington.

FEATURE SHOWS
In addition to expanded game-day and multiplatform content, CSN will also deliver more Wizards-related feature programming this season. These specials, presented primarily on non-game days, aim to keep fans engaged with behind-the scenes coverage of the team and players with a focus on storytelling and will include new programs like 1-on-1 with Chris Miller and The Hoops Wizards.

1-on-1 with Chris Miller goes inside the baseline with the biggest names in Washington basketball, featuring behind-the-scenes access and one-on-one interviews with top players, coaches and key members of the organization.

The Hoops Wizards features former University of Maryland teammates Walt Williams and Massenburg, who combined to play 24 years in the NBA. Now these two legends are sharing the real stories about yesterday, today and what the future looks like in the Association. It will feature former teammates, current Wizards and local fans as Williams and Massenburg breakdown the Washington basketball scene.


You can download the 2017-18 Wizards TV schedule here.

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CSN Mid-Atlantic, part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, is the official sports network of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NFL’s Washington Redskins and ACC. CSN Mid-Atlantic – the leading multiplatform sports media organization serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia – delivers more than 400 live events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNmidatlantic.com, is the region’s top source for written, video and interactive sports content.

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam Wójcik

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Marcin Gortat dedicates big game against Sixers to late former Polish teammate Adam Wójcik

Marcin Gortat is a legend in his home country of Poland and on Wednesday night he paid homage to one of his predecessors.

Adam Wójcik, one of the most decorated Polish basketball players of all time, passed away in August after a battle with Leukemia. Months later, in the first game of the 2017-18 season, Gortat took the floor with Wójcik's initials, the date of his death, a cross and 'RIP' inscribed on his shoes.

Gortat went out and delivered one of the best games of his career. He had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks, just the third time in his 11 NBA seasons he has posted those numbers. His production was pivotal in the Wizards' 120-115 win over the Sixers in their season opener.

"I'm just glad I did that wearing the initials of the greatest players from Poland, Adam Wójcik," Gortat said. "I'm glad in the first game, we came up with a win."

[RELATED: WALL, BEAL RECALL THEIR NBA DEBUTS]

Ten of Gortat's points came in the fourth quarter, as he consistently fed off pick-and-roll mismatches. John Wall found him over and over, including for a big dunk that allowed Gortat to do his signature Polish Hammer celebration.

That Wall-to-Gortat combination is something head coach Scott Brooks wants to see more of.

"It’s simple for him. I’ve been telling him for about a year and at the start of this season," Brooks said. "You run into your screen and you roll out, and you’re going to get open looks. We have some special players handling the ball. They’re going to have to guard with an extra man and if he rolls hard, he’s going be able to finish."

Wójcik died at just 47 years old after a long and successful basketball career. He won eight Polish League championships and won MVP three times. Gortat and Wójcik played together for the Polish national team and Wójcik is someone Gortat looked up to for a long time.

"I dedicate this game to him," he said.

[RELATED: PODCAST - WIZARDS TIPOFF SEASON PREVIEW]

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John Wall, Bradley Beal catch fire as Wizards take out Sixers in season opener

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John Wall, Bradley Beal catch fire as Wizards take out Sixers in season opener

The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 120-115 in their regular season opener on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena.

How it happened: As fun and talented as the upstart Sixers are, with two No. 1 picks making their NBA debuts in Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons and an enigmatic star in Joel Embiid, they didn't have enough on Wednesday night, as the Wizards let their seasoned veterans go to work in the second half to pull out a season-opening victory. 

Bradley Beal and John Wall found their rhythm in the third quarter, helping the Wizards outscore the Sixers 34-23 in the frame. Beal had 11 points and shot 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while Wall put up 14 points. The two combined for 25 of the Wizards' 34 points in the fourth quarter.

Beal finished with 25 points, six rebounds and four assists and Wall with 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds, including this dunk that was pure, unaldurated disrespect:

The Sixers made a push in the fourth quarter, opening the frame with a 13-2 run. But as the quarter continued, the Wizards put on a display of dunks that kept the crowd on their side. Kelly Oubre, Jr. threw down a putback slam on a Beal missed three that helped key a 12-4 run. Marcin Gortat (16 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks) had 10 points in the fourth quarter, several assisted by Wall including a big dunk that inspired a Polish Hammer celebration.

The Wizards were in command in the first quarter, leading by nine at the end of the frame. Otto Porter scored their first eight points on 4-of-5 from the field. But the Sixers charged back, shooting 56 percent in the second quarter to take a three-point lead at halftime.

Robert Covington (surprise) led the Sixers in scoring with 29 points. Simmons (NBA debut) and Embiid each had 18, while Fultz was limited to 10 points in 17 minutes in his first game.

The Sixers cut it to two with a minute left before Jerryd Bayless threw an earrant pass into the hands of Beal. Beal then stole the ball on a save by Otto Porter with 20.5 seconds left. He was fouled and hit one free throw. Philly couldn't answer, as J.J. Redick missed a three from straightaway center.

The Wizards later closed it out at the free throw line with Beal knocking down two with just 2.0 seconds remaining. He went 12-for-16 from the charity stripe for the night. The Wizards shot 30-of-38 from the line, exactly double the attempts Philly got.

RELATED: GORTAT PLAYS WITH HEAVY HEART

What it means: The Wizards are off to a 1-0 start, which is important considering their travel-heavy schedule early on. They want to avoid what happened last year, when they started 2-8, and Wednesday night was a good first step.

Early returns good from bench: It was one game, but the Wizards' bench looked solid, especially considering they are a group depleted by injuries. Jodie Meeks was the offensive spark they signed him to be. He made it look easy with 14 points in 19 minutes. Tim Frazier mainly played the role of distributor with five assists and zero points. Oubre did a little bit of everything with 14 points, seven rebounds and three three-pointers in 32 minutes. He carried a heavy load once Smith went out. Mike Scott scored inside and out and finished with seven points in 14 minutes. 

Gun shy early: Scott Brooks could not have been happy with the Wizards attempting just eight threes as a team in the first half. Beal and Porter combined for one attempt, while Oubre and Wall led the team with two attempts apiece. Brooks wants guys like Beal and Porter to attempt at least five threes a game. It was likely a point of emphasis at halftime, because Beal knocked down a triple just 1:36 into the third quarter. Oubre stole the ball and found Beal, who swished one over Embiid.

Injury news: Jason Smith got the start at power forward, but only played 7:04 before exiting with a sprained right shoulder. He jogged to the locker room with trainers and never returned. This is extra noteworthy considering he was the replacement for Markieff Morris, who is out for several more weeks following sports hernia surgery. He will get an MRI on Thursday, per Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington.

Up next: The Wizards stay home for their second game, hosting the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. That game will be on NBC Sports Washington. After that they head west for a four-game road trip.

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