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

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USA Today Sports Images

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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NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division

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USA TODAY Sports

NBA offseason grades: Wizards, Magic highlight Southeast Division

Here is a look at how the 2018 NBA offseason went for teams in the Southeast Division...

Washington Wizards, B+

2017-18 finish: 43-39, 1st round of playoffs
In: C Dwight Howard, G Austin Rivers, G Troy Brown, Jr., F Jeff Green, C Thomas Bryant
Out: C Marcin Gortat, F Mike Scott, G Ty Lawson, G Tim Frazier, G Ramon Sessions, F Chris McCullough

Given the circumstances of their salary cap situation, the Wizards did quite well for themselves this summer. They shook things up by trading Gortat and actually got something solid back for him in Rivers. They then filled Gortat's spot with an eight-time All-Star in Howard and did so at a bargain price, the taxpayer mid-level exception. They also added Green at a nice price and Brown, who acquitted himself nicely in the Summer League. Whether the Wizards made a major leap forward is debatable, but the potential is there for them to re-install themselves as contenders in the East. The possibility things go wrong is also there, but all in all, a strong summer for the Wizards.

Atlanta Hawks, B

2017-18 finish: 24-58, missed playoffs
In: G Jeremy Lin, C Alex Len, G Trae Young, G Vince Carter, G Kevin Huerter, F Justin Anderson, F Omari Spellman
Out: G Dennis Schroeder, C Mike Muscala, C Dewayne Dedmon, G Malcolm Delaney, G Isaiah Tayor

The Hawks did a nice job with the draft by picking up an extra first round pick just to move back two spots (from third to fifth) in their trade with the Mavericks. They added Young with the fifth pick and then got Huerter later on at No. 18. The Len signing at two years and $8.5 million looks like a bargain and they added a nice mix of veteran free agents and young players to develop. It will probably be a few years before the Hawks are back in the playoffs, but they seemed to take a step forward this summer.

Miami Heat, D

2017-18 finish: 44-38, 1st round of playoffs
In: F Duncan Robinson
Out: G Dwyane Wade, G Wayne Ellington, F Luke Babbitt

The Heat had one of the least impactful summers of any team in the NBA. The biggest addition they have so far, and this is true, is Robinson. They didn't make any draft picks and struck out in free agency. What they did do is let go of Wade, Ellington and others. The only way the Heat improve year-over-year is if their young guys like Bam Adebayo or Justise Winslow take a big step forward. 

Charlotte Hornets, C+

2017-18 finish: 36-46, missed playoffs
In: C Bismack Biyombo, F Miles Bridges, G Devonte' Graham
Out: C Dwight Howard, G Michael Carter-Williams, G Treveon Graham

New Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak quickly turned the franchise into a different direction this offseason by trading Howard to the Nets. They then added Biyombo in a deal with the Magic and acquired Bridges through the draft. There isn't a lot to love or hate about the Hornets' offseason, so they fall in the middle of the grading scale. The real question now is what they do with Kemba Walker, who has just one year left on his contract.

Orlando Magic, B+

2017-18 finish: 25-57, missed playoffs
In: C Mohamed Bamba, C Timofey Mozgov, F Justin Jackson, F Jarell Martin, G Jerian Grant
Out: G Mario Hezonja, C Marreese Speights, G Arron Aflalo

The Magic had a strong summer. The re-signed forward Aaron Gordon, a rising young player, and drafted Bamba, who has the tools to become an All-Star and a dominant defensive force. They had some questionable moves, like trading for Mozgov, but the future looks a lot brighter for the Magic than it did just a few months ago.

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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

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Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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