The Wizards play the Pacers Tuesday night at Verizon Center (6:30 p.m., CSN and CSNmidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra) in the first of four games in five nights for Washington.
It figures to be one of the most grueling stretches of the 2015-16 season.
Here's the week in question:
Tuesday, Nov. 24: Wizards vs. Pacers
Wednesday, Nov. 25: Wizards at Hornets (6:30 p.m.; CSN+ and CSNmidatlantic.com)
Thursday, Nov. 26: Thanksgiving off
Friday, Nov. 27: Wizards at Celtics (7:30 p.m., CSN+ and CSNmidatlantic.com)
Saturday, Nov. 28: Wizards vs. Raptors (6:30 p.m., CSN and CSNmidatlantic.com)
Each of these teams has a winning record and the Celtics already beat the Wizards 118-98 in the first week of November.
At Monday's practice, Kris Humphries talked about how easy they've had it so far relative to the next four games.
"It's a grind," he said. "You look at the schedule? The season starts tomorrow. We’ve had vacation almost, really."
But Wizards coach Randy Wittman sounded confident when asked about how his players will handle the workload.
"What’s the most [minutes per game] somebody’s averaging, 35? So we’re good," he said. "Bench is giving us good minutes that we can get guys rest, which would fit into like a situation like the four games in five nights."
Bradley Beal leads Washington with 33.8 minutes per game. Starters Otto Porter (32.9), John Wall (32.7), Marcin Gortat (27.5) and Kris Humphries (20.8) fall in order behind him. Reserve forward Jared Dudley actually plays 21.7 per game, more than Humphries.
So far this season, Wizards reserves are averaging 18.7 minutes, contributing a combined 35.2 points and 17.7 rebounds per game. Those numbers put them in the middle of the pack as far as NBA benches go, but they'll have to chip in more over the next week.
There is a Silver lining in this stretch of four games in five nights: It's the only one on Washington's schedule.
Minimizing the number of back-to-backs and four-in-fives was a priority for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who vowed to address player fatigue and physical stress over the 82-game season.
According to USA TODAY Sports, teams average 0.9 four-in-fives this year, a decrease from 2.3 last year. Back-to-back games are also down.
That's a major improvement compared to 2014-15, when the Wizards played four games in five nights on four separate occasions -- two of them coming a week apart in January.
The fatigue of playing so many games so close together wasn't a big problem, though.
Washington finished with a cumulative record of 9-7 in those games despite playing 11 of the 16 on the road. That .563 win percentage was actually a hair higher than the Wizards' overall win percentage of .561.
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