Top 10 games to watch on the Wizards' 2021-22 schedule

On Friday afternoon, the NBA unveiled the full regular season schedule for the 75th anniversary 2021-22 season. The upcoming Wizards’ season, presented by Capital One, begins on October 20 and runs through April 10 – a return to the NBA’s usual slate of 82 games. Here, we break down 10 of the most notable games of the upcoming season.

Wednesday, October 20 at Toronto – 7:30 P.M. ET

Exactly two months away, the Wizards open their 2021-22 season in Toronto against the Raptors. For Washington, it will be the first opportunity to show off a re-vamped roster that includes new arrivals Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Holiday, who were acquired via trade this offseason – and draftees Corey Kispert and Isaiah Todd. For Toronto, it will be the first regular season game played in Canada since the 2019-20 season. The Raptors played their 2020-21 home games in Tampa, Florida due to pandemic restrictions.

Friday, October 22 vs. Indiana – 7:00 P.M. ET

Washington opens its 41-game home slate two days after its season opener in Toronto, hosting the Pacers at Capital One Arena. Wizards’ fans will get their first look at the team’s new faces in a weekend rematch of one of Washington’s most exciting series last season. The Wizards won all three of their matchups with the Pacers in 2020-21, scoring an average 139.7 points per game. The most recent meeting was a 133-132 overtime win in which Bradley Beal scored 50 points. The game will be Washington’s only home game of the opening week as they start with three of four on the road.

Sunday, November 7 vs. Milwaukee – 6:00 P.M. ET

Capping off a three-game homestand in early November, the Wizards will host the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on Sunday, November 7 at Capital One Arena. Out of three scheduled matchups between Milwaukee and Washington, the November 7 matchup will be the only one in D.C.

Monday, December 13 at Denver – 9:00 P.M. ET

In mid-December in Denver, the Wizards will play their first game of a six-game road trip, their longest of the season. The excursion starts against the Nuggets and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic before stops in Sacramento, Phoenix, Utah, Brooklyn and New York; returning home just before Christmas.

Sunday, December 26 vs. Philadelphia – 6:00 P.M. ET

Just after the dust settles on NBA Christmas Day, the Wizards will host one of the Eastern Conference’s premier teams, taking on the Sixers on December 26 in a rematch of last season’s first round playoff series. Led by MVP runner-up Joel Embiid, the Sixers are primed to follow up on a 2020-21 season in which they finished first in the East. The game against Philadelphia will open a stretch of home games in which Washington will play 13 of 16 at Capital One Arena, including eight consecutive, its longest homestand of the season.

Wednesday, January 19 vs. Brooklyn – 7:00 P.M. ET

Part of that extended homestand will be a January 19 matchup with the Nets, Washington’s first of two home games against Brooklyn this season. Headlined by Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn boasts one of the most star-studded rosters in the league – and took part in one of the most thrilling games of the Wizards’ 2020-21 season. On January 31, 2021, Washington won 149-146 over Brooklyn, capped by an 8-0 run in the final 12 seconds of the game. Beal finished the game with 37 points, 22 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter, highlighted by a pull-up 3-pointer to spark the game-winning run. The matchup will also be Dinwiddie’s first at Capital One Arena against his former team.

Saturday, March 19 vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 8:00 P.M. ET

Just eight days after the Wizards’ first matchup of the season with the Lakers, the teams will meet again at Capital One Arena on March 19. The game will mark the return of Russell Westbrook to Washington D.C. after one season with the Wizards. That season was highlighted by 38 triple-doubles in 65 games, the highest “triple-double rate” in NBA history. Westbrook surpassed Oscar Robertson for the most triple-doubles in NBA history in a May matchup with the Hawks last season. The game will also pit Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope and Harrell – acquired by the Wizards in the deal that sent Westbrook to LA – against their former team.

Sunday, March 27 vs. Golden State – 6:00 P.M. ET

Opening up a four-game homestand in what could be a decisive stretch of games late in the season, the Wizards will host the Warriors for the only time on Sunday, March 27. Golden State, already one of the league’s most exciting teams, will get a boost this season as five-time All-Star Klay Thompson returns to action after missing the 2020-21 season with a torn Achilles tendon and the 2019-20 season with a torn ACL. The Wizards won both of their games against the Warriors last season, including a 110-107 victory on a game-winning four-point play from Beal with six seconds left in the game.

Friday, April 8 vs. New York – 7:00 P.M. ET

In first game of the final weekend of the regular season, the Knicks will visit Capital One Arena for the Wizards’ final home game of the season. In a tightly packed Eastern Conference in which playoff seeding will likely come down to the final games, the matchup against New York could have significant implications. The Knicks are coming off their first playoff appearance since the 2012-13 season and added four-time All-Star Kemba Walker this offseason.

Sunday, April 10 at Charlotte – TBD

To close out the 2021-22 regular season, the Wizards will head to Charlotte to take on the Hornets. It will mark the second season in a row that Washington has closed the season against Charlotte. Last season, the Wizards capped the year with a 115-110 win, securing the pivotal eight-seed in the Play-In Tournament, a format that will return for the upcoming season, and bumping Charlotte back to 10th.

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