The 2017-18 NBA schedule has been released, and now that we know where the team will be for all 82 games, let's break it down.
The NBA league office, with input from the NBPA, has made changes to the NBA schedule with the intent of increasing player rest. The league has gotten rid of four games in five nights, eliminated 18 games in 30 nights, cut down on back-to-backs, reduced five games in seven nights, decreased single-game road trips, and has tried to limit travel surrounding the high profile national TV games. The season will also start a few weeks earlier than in previous years, with a shorter preseason schedule, which has given the league more flexibility to space games out. All of the above was done to not only protect the players, but also to improve the product on the court for the fans.
Some Schedule Notes:
The Wizards will open at home for the first time since the 2011-12 season, when they opened up against the New Jersey Nets. The team will open this season against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 18th at 7pm in the first NBA game at the newly named Capital One Arena. It will be a game that should feature the NBA debuts of the Sixers' two number one overall picks from the past two years, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons.
The Wizards will once again be playing on Christmas Day this year as they'll head to Boston for a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals. It will be the first time the Wiz play on Christmas since the 2014-15 season, when they blew out the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Wiz and Celts will be the middle game of the five-game Christmas Day slate, with a 5:30pm start from the TD Garden.
National TV Games
The Wizards will play on national TV 18 times in 2017-18. They'll play once on ABC (Christmas Day), 10 times on ESPN, and seven times on TNT. All four games against the Celtics will be on national TV.
Early Road Trips
The Wizards will head to the west coast twice in the first six weeks of the season, a change from the last few years when the west coast trips would occur in the middle or at the end of the season. The team will head to Denver, L.A., Golden State, and Sacramento in late October, and then to Utah, Portland, Phoenix, and back to L.A. in early December.
Even with two west coast swings, the longest trip of the season will be in the middle of January, when the team embarks on a 11 day, five-game trip that will take them through Charlotte, Detroit, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta.
The longest homestand of the season will also occur in January, as the team will be home from January 6th-15th, with five games played during that span. Last year, the Wizards went unbeaten at home in January, as part of their 17-game home win streak, so they'll once again look to roll with seven home games in that month.
Weekends at Capital One Arena
The Wizards will play 23 home games on the weekend this season, 11 on Fridays, seven on Saturdays, and five on Sundays, an increase from their 18 home weekend games from last year.
The Wizards will once again play at home on MLK Day, as they'll host the Milwaukee Bucks on January 15th for a Monday matinee at Capital One Arena.
Three Days with No Game
The Wizards will have three straight days with no games four different times during the 2017-18 season, an increase from the two times it occurred last season. Both instances came in November of last season, but this year they will have one in January, one in February, one in March and one in April. This should certainly help the team with rest as they grind through the 82-game schedule.
The Wizards will have 15 back-to-backs for the 2017-18 season, one less than they had last year. The team will play 15 games before they endure their first back-to-back of the season November 19th and 20th in Toronto and Milwaukee. Five of the 15 back-to-backs will be back-to-back road games, nine of the back-to-backs will be either home and road or road and home, and one of the sets, January 12th and 13th, will be back-to-back home games.