On Friday, the NBA released the complete schedule for the 2018-19 regular season. Earlier in the week, we learned that the Washington Wizards will face the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard on October 20 at home on NBA TV as a part of the league’s opening week.
Before that second game of the season, the Wizards tip off the season at Capital One Arena when they host the Heat, on a back-to-back, on October 18 at 8 p.m. Even though last year’s season opener against the 76ers was in D.C., this season will be just the third time in the 21st century that Washington will begin the 82-game season at home (2008 and 2017). Moreover, this is the first time since 1979, then coming off of back-to-back Finals appearances, that the Wizards will begin the regular season at home two years in a row. Washington will finish the regular season at home against the Celtics on April 9.
Washington’s 2018-19 schedule includes just eight nationally-televised games, which is half of the 18 they were awarded last season when they were considered Eastern Conference contenders before taking a step back due to inconsistent play. The Wizards will not play on Christmas despite an entertaining matchup with the Celtics last year and will not be televised nationally on Martin Luther King Jr. day even though they will host the Pistons on January 21. John Wall’s first chance to play on national television this season will come against Russell Westbrook. All eight games that Washington can be watched across the nation are listed here:
- November 2 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN
- January 4 at Miami Heat on ESPN
- January 24 vs. Golden State Warriors on TNT
- January 30 vs. Indiana Pacers on ESPN
- February 6 at Milwaukee Bucks on ESPN
- March 1 at Boston Celtics on ESPN
- March 26 at Los Angeles Lakers on TNT
- April 9 vs. Boston Celtics on TNT
Similar to last season, Washington will have an early West Coast road trip from October 22 to 30 where they place five games in nine days against Portland, Golden State, Sacramento, L.A. Clippers and Memphis. The other West Coast trip will be from March 26 to 31 when they play L.A. Lakers, Phoenix, Utah and Denver. The Wizards will play in 15 back-to-backs, which is slightly higher than the league average of 13.3, but two of the sets are both at home.
In June, the team announced that they will play the Knicks in London at The O2 on January 17, the only game the Wizards play between January 14 and 20. This will cost Washington a home game meaning they will only be playing 40 regular season games at Capital One Arena. NBA All-Star Weekend will be on February 15 to 17.
All non-nationally televised weekday and Saturday home games will tip off at 7 p.m. with the exceptions of the home opener against Miami on October 18 (8 p.m.), the MLK Day game against Detroit on January 21 (2 p.m.) and the game against New Orleans on November 24 (8 p.m.). All Sunday home games will tip off at 6:00 p.m. with the exception of the January 13 game against Toronto (1 p.m.).
The full 82-game schedule for the Wizards can be found here.
In past years, including 2016-17 when they were a game away from the Eastern Conference Finals, Washington has performed best when they believe they have been slighted by the league. The chip on their shoulder and flying under the radar could lead to another successful campaign for the revamped Washington Wizards in 2018-19.