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Wizards 2019-20 schedule: Notable stretches and matchups, including Isaiah Thomas' return to Boston

Wizards 2019-20 schedule: Notable stretches and matchups, including Isaiah Thomas' return to Boston

The NBA released the 2019-20 regular-season schedule at 3 p.m. on Monday, with the Wizards opening up on the road against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

After a three-game road trip to begin the season, the Wizards host the Houston Rockets at Capital One Arena for the home opener on Oct. 30

Click here to viewing the Wizards' full 2019-2020 NBA regular-season schedule.

Here are the easiest stretches, hardest stretches, and notable matchups from the Wizards 2019-20 season.

EASIEST STRETCHES:

-For a team that lost 50 games a season ago, it's difficult to find a stretch of games where the Wizards could pack together multiple W's in a row. But to close the calendar year, the Wizards have a five-game stretch that features two games against the Knicks, a road clash with the Pistons, and home contests with both the Magic and Heat. This could be the Wizards best chance to put together a three-game winning streak all season.

-Right before the All-Star break, the Wizards have three consecutive home games against the Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Bulls before traveling to Madison Square Garden to close out the first half of the season against the Knicks. Facing four teams that missed the playoffs a year ago could give the Wizards a solid opportunity to enter the break on a high note.

HARDEST STRETCHES:

-- The Wizards start off the season on the road, facing three Western Conference teams to open up the season. After their clash with the Mavericks, they face Oklahoma City and San Antonio on Oct. 25 and 26 for their first back-to-back of the season. Washington opens the season with seven of their first 11 contests on the road.

-- Washington will play 13 back-to-backs this season, which is down from 14 a season ago. Four of those will come in March, with the last pair facing the Milwaukee Bucks on the road before hosting the Los Angeles Lakers. That is rough. 

-- The Wizards close out November and begin December with a four-game west coast road trip. In a span of six days, they'll play the Nuggets, Suns, Clippers, and Lakers, three of which are projected to be championship-contending teams. Yikes.

NOTABLE MATCHUPS:

-- Isaiah Thomas returns to Boston on Tuesday, November 13. He returned to Boston for the first time as an opposing player when the Denver Nuggets traveled to the TD Garden last season, but couldn't muster a point in under seven minutes of action.

-- Perhaps no teams will look more different from a year ago than the two teams from Hollywood. The Wizards get their first taste of the new-look Clippers and Lakers early on in the season when they play them consecutively in Los Angeles on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, respectively.

-- The Wizards open up their home slate with a clash with the Houston Rockets on Oct. 30. Only a trio of teams will face the new Russell Westbrook-James Harden backcourt before the Wizards take the court against them.

-- The Wizards lone National TV game is against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 8. The game will be shown on ESPN. 

-- Washington will get their first look at the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Dec. 20 when the Wizards travel north of the border.

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After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

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After setbacks in rehab, John Wall is appreciating the little things in life

WASHINGTON -- John Wall has been all smiles in public when discussing his rehab from Achilles surgery. He has even remarked how smoothly this recovery has gone compared to others he's underwent in the past.

But his road back from a ruptured left Achilles has not been entirely free of obstacles. He revealed to NBC Sports Washington on the Wizards Talk podcast recently that he dealt with an infection that delayed him getting out of his walking boot.

That was already weeks after he first had surgery to remove bone spurs from his heel in January. He had a series of infections following that procedure, one of which helped doctors discover his Achilles had torn during a fall in his home.

Wall can admit now after the fact it was a difficult time for him.

"I've just put in a lot of hard work," he said. "For me to be where I'm at right now, with all the setbacks and infections and then finding out my Achilles was ruptured and then going through another infection, it was like 'man, when can I ever get past that point of just getting out of the boot and walking?'"

What made that last part particularly frustrating was where Wall makes his offseason home. He summers in Miami, a place notorious for its humidity.

"I was in Miami during the summertime in a boot. Like, man, I don't want to be in hot Miami in a boot, sweating," he said.

Nowadays, things are much better for Wall. He is doing on-court work at the Wizards' practice facility. He can shoot jumpers and do individual ball-handling and passing drills. He can jog and lift weights.

After months of waiting to just have his walking boot come off, Wall is very appreciative to simply be able to do anything on the basketball court.

"Just to do the ball-handling and be able to shoot and do the weight-lifting, that's a great aspect [of my progress]. It makes it easier for me because I'm in a great space where it's fun," he said. 

"I'm able to do what I'm able to do, even if I'm not playing at a high speed and running up and down, I'm able to shoot and do ball-handling. That's what I love to do."

Wall continues to make progress, now nine months removed from the Achilles surgery he had on Feb. 12. He is likely to be out at least three more months, and he could miss all of the 2019-20 season.

At some point, Wall may get restless, but he continues to preach patience towards his return. When asked by Chris Miller if he will start bothering the coaches soon to play, he said he's just happy to be back on the court in practice.

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Moe Wagner isn't the only Wizards with a questionable golf swing

Moe Wagner isn't the only Wizards with a questionable golf swing

With the grind of the NBA season preparing to get underway, the Washington Wizards are spending some time off the court as a way to relax and have some fun. On Monday, the team headed to Top Golf to take some hacks, and we were treated to a breakdown of each player's swing.

As you can see, some like head coach Scott Brooks have a pretty smooth swing. However, the same cannot be said about others.

Take for example Moe Wagner. 

The newly acquired Wizard started off promising with a solid stance, bent knees and all. But, the wind up showed that there were clearly some quirks in his mechanics. Then, the worst thing possible happened: a missed ball. No one will really judge if the swing isn't the prettiest, considering his job is to play basketball, but to come up empty hurts.

Wagner wasn't alone in his misfortunes, however. Jordan McRae also had some trouble getting his club to connect with the ball. But, as they say, third times the charm.

As for other poor swings, Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant had success hitting the ball, it just didn't look all too pretty.

For Bryant, he may be taking the concept of getting a low, solid base, quite too literally. With Bertans, the movement on his back leg followed by a quick swing is, well, interesting to say the least.

But, fear not, Washington does have a few players who at least look like they've picked up a golf club before. 

Even rookie Rui Hachimura showed off a pretty decent stroke.

While the videos did provide a good laugh, it's safe to say that most of these guys shouldn't quit their day jobs.

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