Things About the 2013-14 Wizards Schedule That You Must Know Because It’s The Internet | Truth About It.net

Things About the 2013-14 Wizards Schedule That You Must Know Because It’s The Internet

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Updated: August 7, 2013

The 2013-14 Washington Wizards schedule has been released and can be found on the team’s official website. The TAI staff has busted out their calculators, magnifying glasses, beakers, and Bunsen burners. The result: answers from four of us on five calendar-ific, NBA-tastic, #SoWizards questions.

John Wall Debuts the 2013-14 Washington Wizards Schedule! (original image via ESPN the Magazine body issue)

John Wall Debuts the 2013-14 Washington Wizards Schedule! (original image via ESPN the Magazine body issue)

1) Top 3 Wizards games you’re most looking forward to watching

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20):

Wizards vs. Nets, November 8th: The knee-jerk reaction is to say that the November 3rd matchup against the Heat will be the Wizards’ first real test. But most NBA champions not named the 1996 Chicago Bulls tend to start slowly and pace themselves before the month of January, which makes it tough for the Wizards to really glean anything from a single win or a loss. But the Brooklyn Nets, with their perfect mix of  older veterans with something to prove (Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Paul Pierce), players in their prime who are hungry to win now (Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson) and former Wizards wanting to play well (Shaun Livingston and Andray Blatche), promises to make for an entertaining and high-scoring game.

Wizards vs. Warriors, January 5th: Steph Curry and Klay Thompson vs. John Wall and Bradley Beal. I think I’m offended if you think I need to type anything more.

Wizards vs. Heat, March 10th: By this time the Heat should be in full “we’re three-peating” mode, and the Wizards should be jockeying for playoff position, which means both teams will play hard, my man. A strong showing against the champions playing like champions will breed confidence—along with grandiose and unrealistic predictions from bloggers (present company excluded, of course).

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend):

Washington’s early-season matchup against Spurs in San Antonio, mostly for the stylistic differences between the two teams, and because the Wizards have never won in the AT&T Center.

The Wizards vs. the Warriors in January (either game), because that’s a fun backcourt matchup (advantage: Bay Area ball). Last year John Wall’s tough guy routine in Golden State, while entertaining, fell flat.

The January 13, 2014, run-in with the Bulls at the Madhouse on Madison. Rose will be back, Wall will have arrived, and highlights will happen.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It):

The very first game, a road game in Detroit. I don’t care what type of out-of-the-box excuses a coach might be willing to make in ‘just’ or ‘only’ the first game. The Pistons destroyed the Wiz last season with a four-game sweep, and with most of the Wizards back (Detroit, a slightly different story), they better be ready and with a sour taste still in their mouths. Other than health, the next goal for Washington should be to win on the road. The Wizards will be opening the season away from home for the fourth time in five seasons, so when better to start taking care of business out of town than game one?

Otherwise, very much looking forward to game five against the Nets in D.C. Both teams will have four games under their belts (plenty!) with even more to prove. Plus, how much will Blatche get booed, still?

On December 9th, 1953, came the birth of World B. Free (born Lloyd), and on December 9th, 2013, one JaVale McGee comes to D.C. (and his Denver Nuggets—yes, Epic ‘Vale drives them now). How surprised will we all be when Washington passes Denver in ESPN.com’s NBA future power rankings? In the August after the 2012 trade that sent McGee out West, Washington was ranked 28 out of 30 NBA teams, while the Nuggets ranked 7th.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis):

Most that follow me know that I’ve been a supporter of Jordan Crawford and felt that he got a raw a deal when shipped out of D.C. for essentially nothing. (Sorry, it was a few months of Jason Collins fouls and a ruptured Barbosa ACL for a guy the team once showcased in new-look uniforms just 20 months prior.) On January 22, 2014, Boston visits Verizon Center, and it will be first game for Steez back in Washington. Bring your skittles and shorties for the show.

On December 14, 2013, the L.A. Clippers come to the Phone Booth. Blake Griffin is the Wizards’ No. 1 villain, with a history to back it up. Trevor Booker is probably itching for the Oklahoma Bully to pull his usual cheap shot, whiney play, so there is potential for real fireworks. Wall has yet to beat Chris Paul, and until he does, Wall cannot credibly argue to be the NBA’s best point guard.

In Toronto, Friday, November 22, we will know if this team is for real. Odd game to pick, but it is for the “what we got” reason. It’s the twelfth game of season, so early-season rust will no longer be an excuse; it is a winnable road contest. The Grunfeld era of lottery-bound squads normally lose this game, but Washington’s talent is superior than the Raptors’, and Wall & Co. must take them down to signal the team’s road woes are part of the past.

2) What’s the toughest run of games for the Wizards?

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20):

As tough as the month of November will be for the Wizards (at OKC, at Miami, at Cleveland, at San Antonio, at Indiana) the stretch of games from January 24th to February 12th (the All-Star break) will be quite the test as well. First, the Wizards play four games in five nights on the road against Phoenix, Utah, Golden State and the Clippers. Then they have two days off to fly cross-country from California to D.C. only to play four games in six days against OKC, San Antonio, Portland, and then Cleveland on ESPN. They get a bit of a reprieve at home against the Sacramento Kings, before traveling to Memphis and Houston on consecutive nights. The game against the Rockets will be tough, not only because of James Harden, Dwight Howard and the stretch of games the Wizards will have played the last three weeks, but also because the game before the All-Star break tends to be mentally challenging given all the fun All-Star games tend to bring (it is in New Orleans this year).

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend):

The team’s first West Coast road trip from January 24-29, where they take on Phoenix, Utah, Golden State, and the L.A. Clippers. Why? Because the Wizards have not been a good team away from the Verizon Center (over the past two seasons, the Wiz won 16 road games … while losing 58). The toughest game will be against the Clippers, of course. It’s the final game of the set and the Clippers have won eight of the last nine games against the Wiz (Griffin was a scratch and Paul was out with a bruised kneecap in the one Wizards win).

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It):

The stretch of eight games to close out 2013 looks pretty tough to me, or at least unideal. Entering a game against the Hawks in Atlanta on December 13, the Wizards will have played 20 games, 10 at home and 10 on the road, and a good time to judge how serious the team wants to get. But starting in Atlanta, they end the calendar year with six of eight on the road, closing out 2013 with a home-and-home series against the Pistons. And your memory serves you correctly, Washington had a home-and-home with Detroit in December of 2012, too (didn’t turn out well). With a game in Boston on December 21st and the next in Minnesota on the 27th, at least the gang will get to spend Christmas at home.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis):

This is not close. The Wizards’ run of five games in a week (January 10-17), with all four opponents being title contenders, easily takes the prize. They will face back-to-back champions in the Heat once, Derrick Rose and Bulls twice, the Rockets once, and the Pacers once. The toughest game may be against the Heat, because LeBron often seems extra salty against the Wizards (#OldTraditions), but it’s more likely that the more difficult contest will come against the Rockets on Saturday night after a Friday night game in Indiana. Dwight Howard and James Harden will be a handful. Throw in McHale and Wittman’s history of ‘Sota beef and there is extra motivation there.

3) What stretch of games should the Wizards dominate (if they expect to be in the playoffs)?

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20):

The Wizards are still a young team, so the thought of them dominating any month this season is a bit of a stretch. The more realistic goal should be a .600 winning percentage in the month of December. They have tough games against Brooklyn, Denver and the Clippers, but there are plenty of winnable games against the Pistons (twice), Orlando, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Atlanta. A winning record in the month of December will put the Wizards firmly in the playoff race, but if they continue the trend of losing against subpar to bad teams, the “Curse of Les Boulez” and a dreaded 9-20 record could loom large.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend):

I don’t know that there’s one particular stretch, but I’m curious to see which Wizard the team unveils at the end of 2013. They play five games in eight nights, beginning with the Timberwolves in Minnesota on December 27. Then they’re scheduled to take on the Pistons in D.C. on the 28th and the Pistons in bankrupt Detroit on the 30th (remember, the Wiz have lost 15 of the last 17 to Detroit). They’ll then ring in the new year with home games against the Dallas Mavericks and the Toronto Raptors.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It):

OK, I’ll go with Rashad, ‘dominate’ should not be used in reference to the Wizards in any sense. But if this team has expectations, beating the 76ers twice in the first four games, first at home then on the road, is a must. Eight out of the first 12 games are on the road, and I can already hear the voice of Randy Wittman whining about such in my head. If the Wizards win just three of those eight roadies, then there’s a chance they could actually be for real about the postseason.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis):

The Wizards should go 7-0 or 6-1 from February 18 to March 1—all winnable road games and home gimmes considering how dominant Superstar 2013 Wall was in Chinatown. This run of curly dubs solidifies their position in the playoff hunt, especially coming right out of All-Star break.

4) The Wizards started 0-12 last season and 1-12 the season before… So how do you see the first dozen games playing out in 2013-14?

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20):

The Wizards will start off 6-6.  They may win some games they shouldn’t win (at Miami or at OKC), and lose the ones they should win handily (home against Minnesota and at Toronto), but they will settle into a .500 record, which is still a vast improvement over the past two dismal starts.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend):

Four wins, eight losses.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It):

I see Washington winning just two of their first eight games, causing panic and blogger angst, but then winning four in a row to make it an even .500 in their first 12, causing many to skeptically practice the preaching of patience.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis):

I totally can see 6-6 or 5-7 out of first dozen games. Four or three wins in that time span will send #WizardsTwitter into a death spiral and I will be along for the ride, inciting the cynical flames. It is cliché to say everyone needs a good start, but jeez, if there is such a thing as “being due,” it is Washington’s time for a decent, no drama start to next season.

5) What about this schedule surprises you? (could be good or bad)

Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20):

Washington has just one, non-NBA TV, nationally televised game and that’s on February 7th against the Cavaliers on ESPN. The Wizards have been the whipping boys for the TNT crew (Charles Barkley in particular), and it would be nice to see them have a shot at redemption. And with Wall, Beal, the third overall pick Otto Porter, and Nene, the Wizards definitely have enough star power to warrant some national exposure. Then again, when you’ve spent four of the past five years in the lottery the way the Wizards have, this should not comes as a complete shock.

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend):

No surprises, but I know that over the next few days hardcore hoops fans in D.C. will be grumbling about how the home team only has one nationally televised game. When the team was coming off a 19-63 season, they got 16 such games. After disappointing with a 26-56 campaign, the NBA handed them eight. Another failed run at relevancy (23-59) dropped that total to six. Last season, the Wizards had none. So, Wizards faithful, take your one big-time TV game and enjoy it.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It):

Just four of Washington’s last 12 games are on the road, which certainly balances playing just four of the first 12 games at home… so not that much of a surprise, I guess.

The Wizards play seven Friday games at home, 17 total games on Fridays. Two of the home Friday games come in the first five games of the season, and there’s only one after the All-Star break. The Wizards play on Saturday 17 times and 13 of those come in Washington. So, 20 total home Friday/Saturday games in the District.

Last season, Washington played 19 total games on Friday, 10 at home; and they played 17 games on Saturday, 11 at home. Not sure why any of this is a surprise other than Ted Leonsis would probably prefer more Friday/Saturday night games, not one less.

This is in contrast to the Los Angeles Lakers, who played 23 Friday games, 11 at home; just two Saturday games, both on the road; but of course, 17 Sunday games, 14 at home (and one ‘road’ game against the Clippers). The Wizards play six times on Sunday, twice at home.

Also not a surprise but worth noting: just four of the first 10 post-All-Star break games come against 2013 playoff teams—two on the road against shaky squads from the East, Atlanta and Milwaukee, and two at home against teams from the West, a strong Memphis team and a retooling Utah club. What the Wizards do before the break is important, but what they do coming out of it is perhaps more so.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis):

I am pleasantly surprised that Wizards will be back hosting a matinee game on MLK Day after last year’s hiatus. The 76ers will come to town on Monday, January 20 for a 2 pm tip-off. With the league-wide honoring of the iconic civil rights leader, it makes sense for there to always be a professional basketball game in Washington, D.C. on that day of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and with the new Matrin Luther King, Jr. Memorial within a few miles of Verizon Center.

The in-game commemoration is always neat, and in the past, players have given TAI answers about what playing on the holiday means to them. The Wizards have historically fared well on MLK Day, with Agent Zero’s walk-off game winner over Utah still being a cherished memory. I am eager for John Wall to carry on the winning tradition.

BONUS #1:

Of note via TAI’s Adam Rubin:

For those who are hoping for a Wizards playoff appearance, they play four teams in the Eastern Conference only three times each (as opposed to four): Indiana, Chicago, New York, and Brooklyn. Outside of Miami (whom the Wizards have to play four times because they are in the same division), those are probably the four best teams in the East. So, that actually gives the Wizards a slight advantage over teams they will be battling for a playoff spot (and seeding).

BONUS #2:

The Wizards have also released their preseason slate (below) and will be playing a game in Baltimore for the first time since October 1999. Check out this post for more on the relationship that the franchise has had with Baltimore, where it spent a decade of its existence.

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME  (ET)
Tuesday, Oct. 8 vs. Brooklyn Verizon Center (Washington, D.C.) 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12 vs. Chicago HSBC Arena (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 15 vs. Miami Verizon Center (Washington, D.C.) 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 17 vs. New York Baltimore Arena (Baltimore, MD) 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19 at New Orleans Rupp Arena (Lexington, KY) 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Detroit Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, MI) 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Cleveland U.S. Bank Arena (Cincinnati, OH) 7:00 p.m.

 


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