Wizards release 2013-14 schedule
The Wizards better be healthy going into the 2013-14 season, and given their opposition to open that still might not be good enough.
They play six of the first eight games on road, opening Oct. 30 at the Detroit Pistons, and two of them are on the road vs. last season's NBA finalists -- Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
The Wizards also will play at the Oklahoma City Thunder during that opening stretch, too.
Save these home dates: Nov. 8 vs. Brooklyn Nets -- Will play a retooled playoff team that now has Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce; Nov. 23 -- vs. New York Knicks -- When they come to town, it usually feels like a home game for New York. Will that finally change?; Nov. 26 -- vs. Los Angeles Lakers -- Kobe Bryant (Achilles) is talking as if he'll be back to start the season; Dec. 9 vs. Denver Nuggets -- Averaged 116 points per game in two meetings, both exciting victories, last season; Dec. 14 vs. L.A. Clippers -- Only chance to catch Chris Paul and Blake Griffin; Jan. 5 vs. Golden State Warriors -- John Wall and Bradley Beal vs. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson; Jan. 15 vs. Heat -- Two-time champions return after sitting out their stars in last meeting; Feb. 1 vs. Thunder -- Last season's 101-99 victory marked a turning point for Washington; Feb. 5 vs. Spurs -- Given coach Gregg Popovich's tendency to rest older starters on the road, don't be shocked if there's no Tim Duncan, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili.
Longest homestand: Five games (twice). They'll be at Verizon Center from Jan. 15-22 and Feb. 3-9.
Longest road trip: Four games (thee times). The first one comes Dec. 16-27 with three on the East coast and the final game ending at the Minnesota Timberwolves. The second one occurs Jan. 24-29, all on the West coast. The final one is March 18-23, all on the West coast again.
Toughest Stretch: The Wizards will play eight games in 12 day from Nov. 19-30.
John Wall vs. Kyrie Irving: Home games Nov. 16 and Feb. 7. Road game is Feb. 23. Let's see if they finally can get on the same page. The debate will go on and on until these two actually play each other enough to render a result, which is why the February home game is scheduled for ESPN, the Wizards' only national TV game. Both point guards are No. 1 picks, but they didn't meet in three games last season because one or the other was injured. Irving was selected as an All-Star reserve in his second season, something that Wall hasn't accomplished in three years. Irving is a better shooter while Wall, who is the bigger of the two, is better at distributing and rebounding.
Return of Derrick Rose: Jan. 13 and 17. The first one is a road game. The Wizards won two of three games with the Bulls, who didn't have Rose all season because of a knee ligament tear. Rose declared before the season that he was the best overall player in the NBA -- yes, better than LeBron James. Wall didn't go quite that far but said he was the league's best point guard -- yes better than Rose, 2010-11 MVP.
Return of Victor Oladipo: Dec. 2 and Feb. 25. The guard from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., and No. 2 overall pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2013 draft, Oladipo shares the Southeast Division with his home team. He declined a workout invitation from the Wizards and didn't seem too keen on playing here. He was taken one spot before the Wizards picked anyway. Oladipo was projected as a shooting guard but could play some point, too. That means he would be matched up with Wall at some point. If not often.
Otto Porter vs. other lottery picks: Home meetings -- Nov. 16, Feb. 7 vs. Cavaliers (Anthony Bennett); March 12, April 9 vs. Charlotte Bobcats (Cody Zeller); Feb. 9 vs. Sacramento Kings (Ben McLemore); Dec. 28, Jan. 18 vs. Detroit Pistons (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope); March 5 vs. Utah Jazz (Trey Burke); Feb. 3 vs. Portland Trail Blazers (C.J. McCollum); Nov. 1, Jan. 20 vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel); Feb. 1 vs. Oklahoma Thunder (Steven Adams); Jan. 22, April 2 vs. Boston Celtics (Kelly Olynyk); Nov. 19 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (Shabazz Muhammad); and March 26 vs. Alex Len (Phoenix Suns).