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Breaking down the 2019-20 Wizards schedule
On Monday, the Wizards announced their schedule for the upcoming 2019-20 season. The Wizards will begin the season on the road with two games in Texas and Oklahoma City, before returning home for their home opener against the Rockets on October 30. The team will go out West at the end of November and the end of February. All in all, Washington will play 13 back-to-backs, down from 15 last season. Without further ado, here are some games to look forward to and key notes about the team’s schedule.
October 23 at Dallas Mavericks
The Wizards will open their 2019-20 campaign in Dallas against the young Mavericks. The first game of the season is always exciting, and the league will get their first look at Isaiah Thomas in a Wizards uniform as well as Rui Hachimura’s NBA debut. Led by Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks are one of the NBA’s most exciting teams moving forward. The trip to Dallas will begin a tough three-game road trip to begin the season, as the Wizards will play the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in a weekend back-to-back following the Mavericks game on Wednesday.
October 30 vs. Houston Rockets
After three road games to begin the season, the Wizards will host the Rockets for their home opener. In what’s always a fun night, Wizards fans will get their first live look at the 2019-20 team. This game will begin a three-game homestand for the Wizards, who will also host the Timberwolves and Pistons during that stretch. Teamed up once again, Russell Westbrook and James Harden lead the Rockets in what will be an explosive, MVP-caliber backcourt. The Wizards and Rockets have played some memorable games over the years at Capital One Arena, and there’s no doubt this will be another must-watch game.
West Coast Trip over Thanksgiving: November 26-December 1
Before heading out West, the Wizards will face the Nuggets and Suns in a road back-to-back. Not only is Denver coming off a breakthrough season, the Nuggets also had the best home record in the NBA last year. The Suns’ young players have another year of experience, and Devin Booker could score 50 points on any given night. After the game on Wednesday against the Suns, Washington will spend Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. The Wizards will face the Lakers and Clippers over that weekend, getting their first-look at LeBron James and Anthony Davis’s Lakers and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George’s Clippers.
New Year’s Day: January 1 vs. Orlando Magic
The Wizards will bring in the new year against the Magic in a New Year’s Day game. As part of a six-game homestand, tying Washington’s longest of the season, the Wizards will celebrate 2020 with their third matchup of the season against Orlando. During this stretch, the Wizards will also play eight out of nine games at Capital One Arena. Led by All-Star Nikola Vucevic, the Magic are bringing back almost the same team as last season.
MLK Day: January 20 vs. Detroit Pistons
As part of the NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule, the Wizards will host the Pistons in a Monday matinee. Hosting a game on MLK Day has become a tradition in Washington, and the organization always does a great job commemorating Dr. King’s impact. The Pistons will bring back a similar team to last year, anchored by All-Stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Detroit did have two notable additions in free agency: Derrick Rose and former Wizards forward Markieff Morris.
Home in February
February will feature eight of 11 games at home for the Wizards, not to mention a week-long All-Star break. One of Washington’s six-game homestand will take place in February, as the Wizards will take on the Hornets, Nets, Warriors, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Bulls. That includes the Wizards’ first look at Kyrie Irving on the Nets, as well as D’Angelo Russell on the Warriors. Washington will also host Cleveland after the All-Star break and Brooklyn and Milwaukee later in the month.
March Road Gauntlet
February 28 will begin a tough month on the road of the Wizards, who will play almost all playoff-caliber teams away from home. The slate starts with a four-game road trip out West against the Jazz, Warriors, Kings, and Trail Blazers. Not only are all four projected to be playoff teams, they all have tough home environments. Following that trip, the Wizards will also have road games in March in Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. All four of those teams project to be at the top of the standings in the East.
April 1 vs. New Orleans Pelicans
In the middle of an exciting three-game homestand, the Wizards will host the Pelicans for the first time in the 2019-20 season. The Lakers and Sixers are also in town on that homestand, but the Pelicans bring the most intrigue. The Wizards will get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, as well as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, J.J. Redick, and the rest of the new Pelicans joining Jrue Holiday. Washington will play in New Orleans in its final road game of the year later in April.
• 13 back-to-backs
• Longest road trip is 4 games (twice)
• Longest homestand is 6 games (twice)
• Distance traveled: 39,895
Games by day
• Monday: 11
• Tuesday: 8
• Wednesday: 18
• Thursday: 4
• Friday: 19
• Saturday: 10
• Sunday: 12
• Weekend home games: 20