As was promised yesterday, here’s some extremely professional, intrudingly detailed analysis on the 2011-12 Washington Wizards schedule.
1) The NBA will hold precisely 0 Washington Wizards games on national television. (However, six will appear on NBATV.) Not sure why the league thinks nobody wants to see John Wall. He’s one of the top 10 most exciting players that the NBA should really bank on letting fans get familiar with if they want an easy investment on the future.
2) Overall, the slate looks as brutal as any cramped 66-game schedule was expected to be. The Wiz kick things off with a grand, rude awakening, a four game in five day stretch, beginning January 10th and ending the 14th. In this particular run, Washington will face Toronto at home, travel to Chicago, and end with a home and home against Philadelphia. Not so fun.
From December 26th to April 26th, the team has 18 back to backs, which is obviously a brutal development, but hopefully one Washington can endure with their young legs and decent depth. It’ll still be a lot to ask of John Wall, and if he goes down for any stretch of time as he did in his rookie season, the season could be flushed down the toilet before it even begins.
3) Washington has two back to back to backs: The first is from March 24-26 (home against Atlanta, at Boston, home against Detroit), and the second comes April 4-6 (home against Indiana before flights to Detroit then New Jersey). Two days before the fourth, the Wizards actually have a back to back to start the month, on the first and second, at Toronto and against Milwaukee. If you’re counting, that’s five games in six nights. Fun, fun, fun!
4) As far as pseudo west coast road trips go, two in particular stand out. The first starts on February 12 and ends the 20th, with games against Detroit, Portland, the Clippers, Utah, and Phoenix. If they somehow manage to return home breathing, the Wizards get back on the road for a second stretch starting March 12th and ending the 21st. This one brings stiffer competition in the form of San Antonio, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, and New Jersey.
Not to speak too negatively on these two stretches, but on paper they spell nails in Washington’s coffin.
But forget about that for a second. We all know this season most likely won’t be the prettiest, and with that in mind here are five games you should circle on the calendar.
1) January 1st. Home against Boston: Two young Wizards, Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford, have interesting pasts with Kevin Garnett. Here’s their first shot to get the season started right against a legitimate opponent, and to finally stand up to the aging division bullies.
2) January 11th. In Chicago: A first opportunity to see John Wall matched up against Derrick Rose, the player we all want him to become sooner than later.
3) February 22nd. Home against Sacramento: The score of this game could total 300 points, and that’s not being hyperbolic. Sacramento resembles a west coast version of the Wizards, and it’ll be interesting to see how the two match up with no defense played and the shot clock treated as if it’s six seconds long.
4) April 26th. Home against Miami: The last game of the regular season. Will it mean something? If not in 2012, a win might make Washington feel good heading into 2013.
5) February 4th. At Los Angeles: Blake Griffin is fun to watch play basketball.