The Washington Wizards' 2019-20 regular season schedule is now out with Opening Night set for Oct. 23 at the Dallas Mavericks. Here are five takeaways from the Wizards' slate...
1. The Wizards open with three straight away games and seven of their first 11 on the road. Last season, they had a long Western Conference road trip that began with their third game. They returned to Washington 1-6. Starting out on the road will be especially difficult for the Wizards this year with a roster full of young players.
2. Washington only has one national TV game. There may be some aired by NBA TV and, depending on how things shake out, they could have more added as the season goes on. But as of now, they only have one.
That game is on Nov. 8 and it is against the Cleveland Cavaliers. ESPN will air that game, which isn't the marquee match-up one might expect for that window. The Wizards and Cavaliers, though, do feature top-10 draft picks in Rui Hachimura and Darius Garland.
3. December is going to be brutal from a travel perspective. The Wizards will play seven of eight games on the road from Dec. 10-26. Their only home game in that stretch will be on Dec. 18 against the Bulls. That is a lot of time away from D.C. during the holidays. The only consolation perhaps is that many of those games will be winnable match-ups. They see the Hornets, Grizzlies, Knicks and the Pistons twice.
March will also be difficult with four back-to-backs. That includes going from Sacramento to Portland overnight, Oklahoma City to Philly, Atlanta to Milwaukee and Milwaukee to D.C. That last one will be Bucks on the road and then the Lakers at home on back-to-back nights.
The Wizards, by the way, play 13 total back-to-backs. Also, speaking of holidays, they play on New Year's Day. The Wizards will host the Magic at Capital One Arena. The best news is that tip-off isn't until 6 p.m. That will give fans plenty of time to watch football and recover from going out the night before.
4. Important to note is how this schedule meshes with John Wall's injury rehab timeline. He had Achilles surgery on Feb. 12 and was prescribed an 11-to-15 month rehab.
If Wall returns after 11 months, the Wizards will have 44 games remaining on their schedule. If he comes back after 12 months, there will be 30 games left. If he takes 13 months, 18 games will be left. There would even be two-to-three games left if he takes 14 months.
5. The Wizards will have to wait to face off with No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The Pelicans and Wizards do not square off until April 1 with both of their match-ups this season taking place within a 13-day span. They will travel to New Orleans on April 13 in the rematch.
By April, the league will know plenty about Williamson. There will be less mystery about what he will be as an NBA player. By then, Wizards' Hachimura will have nearly a full season under his belt as well.
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