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Wizards open 2016-17 regular season at Hawks and Grizzlies

Wizards open 2016-17 regular season at Hawks and Grizzlies

The last time the Wizards saw the Atlanta Hawks, their season literally was over. They won the regular-season finale to finish 41-41 but were out of the playoffs and their coach was fired within an hour later.

On Oct. 27, the Wizards, with a retooled roster that will have as many as seven new players and Scott Brooks as the coach, will open the 2016-17 season at the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. ET when the regular-season schedule was released Thursday.

The first two games are away from Verizon Center with the second one coming Oct. 30 at the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Wizards’ home opener comes Nov. 2 vs. the Toronto Raptors at 7. Of their 32 games in the calendar year, just 13 are on the road. They haven't had a game at home to open the season since 2011 because of availability at Verizon Center.

The Wizards will get their two meetings with the San Antonio Spurs out of the way quickly, with a home game Nov. 26 and a rematch there Dec. 2.

The highlights:

  • Grand opening: There's an even split in the first 10 games. Half are home vs. the road. 
  • Back-to-backs: There are 16 with most of them (11) occurring in 2017. The first one happens Nov. 4 vs. Atlanta and the next night at the Orlando Magic. The second one comes Nov. 11 and 12 vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers and at the Chicago Bulls. Following a three-day rest, they’re at the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 16 and home vs. the N.Y. Knicks for Nov. 17.
  • There’s no New Year’s Day game which has been standard the last few years at Verizon. Instead, the Wizards play Dec. 30 vs. the Brooklyn Nets and don’t play again until a two-game road trip, at the Houston Rockets on Jan. 2 and at the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 3.
  • Longest home stand: It’ll be four games over seven days, but it doesn’t come until Jan. 31-Feb. 6 vs. the N.Y. Knicks, L.A. Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Longest road trip: That’s for five games over nine days, from March 25-April 2 at the Cavaliers, Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors.
  • MLK Day. Last year the 2 p.m. start vs. the Portland Trail Blazers was at Verizon. This year it’s against the same team at the same time but just two days earlier on Jan. 16.

 

  • Champion meet-ups: The first meeeting with Kevin Durant and his new squad, West conference champion Golden State, doesn't happen until Feb. 28 in D.C. They play them again April 2. The NBA champion Cavaliers come here Nov. 11 and they don't play again until Feb. 6. The only meeting in Cleveland is March 25. 

 

  • Grand closing: Ten of the Wizards’ last 14 games to end the regular season are on the road – two sets of back-to-backs-- and that includes the final two games at the Detroit Pistons (April 10) and Miami Heat (April 12) which could have major playoff implications.

Check out the complete schedule below. 

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Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

Swaggy Picasso's Sole Talk had the Wizards taking notice opening night

The connection between athletes and their fans is a powerful thing in sports. The NBA is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward leagues in the world. From shoe design to overall wardrobe to eccentric personalities...the Association has it all on display for fans across the globe to consume. 

Lloyd Ferguson, a fan himself and native of Silver Spring, Md., is bursting onto the customized sneakers scene as an up-and-coming artist. 

His Instagram (@SwaggyPicasso) serves as his personal laboratory and a platform to share his creations. 

Prior to the start of Thursday night's Wizards-Heat game, NBC Sports Washington invited Ferguson to Capital One Arena for what would become a memorable night for the 23-year-old. 

Chris Miller and Drew Gooden featured Swaggy Picasso on the pregame show for an interview and sneaker showcase.

"The inside of my body was jiggling and moving. I was like 'I gotta keep composed and stay cool. You're on national televison, Lloyd.'" 

You would have never known it. 

Ferguson, who was a basketball player himself locally, grew up a Wizards and D.C. sports fan all around. 

Little did he know several Wizards would take notice of his artwork. 

Kelly Oubre, Devin Robinson and John Wall - each known for their wardrobes and respective styles - stopped by to take a peek at Ferguson's kicks. 

"Their reactions to my art was all I needed, honestly. They see the potential and growth. It's very overwhelming." 

It was a groundbreaking night for a young talent with lofty dreams and aspirations. 

Swaggy Picasso has no plans of stopping anytime soon. 

"I've been busting out these shoes day and night. I don't sleep. My desire to paint shoes is ridiculous." 

 

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Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Raptors: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards take to the court Saturday night looking for their first win of the season against the Toronto Raptors. 

In their first game of the season the Wizards laid an egg after the Miami Heat were missing three rotation players on the second end of a back-to-back. Similar problems emerged even with new offseason additions Jeff Green and Austin Rivers having stellar debuts. Dwight Howard did not play in the contest, still dealing with a butt injury. 

Now, the Wizards will go up against one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference, the Raptors. They also acquired a former All-Star in Kwahi Leonard this offseason, trading away DeMar DeRozan. Besides the switch, this is pretty much the same squad that knocked the Wizards out of the First Round of the playoffs last season.

On Saturday the Raptors will be coming off a back-to-back after hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Once again, another big opportunity for the Wizards against an Eastern Conference foe early in the season.

The Wizards-Raptors will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Capital One Arena and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors, 2018 NBA regular season Game 2
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Raptors on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS TV SCHEDULE
6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: Toronto Raptors @ Wizards (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Redskins GameDay: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard (questionable)
Raptors: Delon Wright (day-to-day), OG Anunoby (probable)

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS PLAYERS TO WATCH

John Wall, Wizards: After speculation on if Wall would return to his peak form, he showed out on Thursday night. With 26 points, nine assists, and four blocks, the point guard was all around the court for the Wizards. 

Otto Porter Jr./ Jeff Green, Wizards: Covering Leonard is going to be a tall task. It is anticipated that the taller Otto Porter Jr. and Jeff Green to be the duo that will be covering the lengthy guard.  Neither guy are going to light-up the stat sheet on the offensive end, but after a nice showing by Green on Thursday look for them to split time defensively. 

Khawi Leonard: Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his debut with the Raptors, picking up right where he left off before his injury. Will a back-to-back affect the star that hasn't played consistently since 2016? 

WIZARDS vs. RAPTORS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 95 games
Regular Season Record: Raptors lead 48-37
Postseason Record: Wizards lead 6-4
Last Meeting: Raptors won 102-92
Last 10: Raptors lead 6-4

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