Washington Wizards NBA Schedule: 5 must-watch games from the first-half schedule

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura Lebron James. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura Lebron James. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards James Harden.
Washington Wizards James Harden. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

February 15: Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets

John Wall’s first game vs. the Washington Wizards will be momentous. His first game back in D.C. will be even bigger. Unfortunately, there won’t be any stands in Capital One Arena to give Wall the welcome and thank you he deserves when he returns to the arena where fans once chanted his name. I suspect the Wizards will put together a thank you video even if they play it to a mostly empty arena.

Despite the storylines — Wall and Westbrooks facing off vs. former teams, who won the trade, etc. — these games vs. the Rockets should act as good barometers for the Wizards vs. Western conference foes. The Rockets look a lot different from last season; no Westbrook, no Robert Covington. However, they made some significant offseason additions, including Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Christian Wood. They still have Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, and James Harden (for now).

The situation between the Rockets and Harden, who has yet to show up for training camp after requesting a trade this offseason, is growing increasingly messy. If the two parties can somehow keep Harden in Houston or get a fair return for him in the trade market, the Rockets — who finished 4th in the West last season — will still be a very good team. Two early-season matchups will show just how quickly the Wizards’ new crew is coming together vs. another playoff-hopeful with a reworked roster.