Be careful what you wish for. You just got yourself a couple handfuls of SPECIAL. More nights of feeling compelled to make plans. A bunch of nights where you have to order out instead of eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. Obviously you’ll take all of this stride. The Wizards playing on national television is well worth any uncharted territory, even higher expectations. Are you not entertained!? Is that not why you are here!?
After all of our clamoring and protesting for more exposure in light of last year’s zero, count it ZERO nationally televised games, we received an equally unexpected result. We got TEN. Double digits. Dime time.The results were just as unexpected because well, we the fans of the National Basketball Association rarely get what we want. Salutations, Adam Silver. Let’s do lunch at Au Bon Pain this weekend. Stay beautiful, doll.
The matchups themselves are surely intriguing. Here is a list of the games so that you can easily integrate them into your Outlook calendar.
NOVEMBER 5: vs. Indiana Pacers (8 p.m. ESPN)
NOVEMBER 21: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (8 p.m. ESPN)
DECEMBER 25: at New York Knicks (noon, ESPN)
JANUARY 9: vs. Chicago Bulls (8 p.m., ESPN)
JANUARY 21: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m. ESPN)
JANUARY 28: at Phoenix Suns (10:30 p.m. ESPN)
FEBRUARY 20: vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (8 p.m., ESPN)
MARCH 6: vs. Miami Heat (8 p.m., ESPN)
MARCH 18: at Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m., ESPN)
APRIL 14: at Indiana Pacers (8 p.m., TNT)
As a true fan of the league there isn’t a team I won’t watch or a game that I generally get bored during. However, these aren’t exactly games against Milwaukee and Detroit. The Pacers games were slated before the Paul George injury and even now these games should still be fun to watch given that the Wizards fell to the Pacers in the playoffs. Wall, Beal, Pierce and Co. taking on Lebron, Love and Kyrie twice? Sounds like a classic already.
The games against strong Western Conference teams like Phoenix and Oklahoma City have us salivating with all of the cross matches. With Derrick Rose suiting up this year in his triumphant return to well, relevance, he will look to make a splash against the new East Coast Prince of the Point Position in John Wall. I can easily see them winning six out of the ten games, with both against Cleveland being a toss-up. However, the Wizards going as far as the Eastern Semi-Finals again this year could ensure at least ten or more nationally televised games next year, regardless of how many of these games they win.
Although we’ll miss Phil and Buck as a primary, we’ll still have the chance to enjoy them on our respective local sports channels. Their ability to call games in general is lauded, and they add onto the excitement of watching the Wizards. They had memorable calls during the Gilbert era, enhanced the narrative during the relatively dark era afterwards, and have issued sound bites galore as of late. However, it’s still exciting to hear the opinions and insight of other announcers and analysts that we just aren’t used to hearing. Everyone loves compliments from their friends, but when it’s a stranger it’s a different feeling.
When Jeff Van Gundy gloats about John Wall and Bill Simmons is raving about Bradley Beal, it’s hard not to be excited about this team. I can already imagine the long soliloquy Mark Jackson has planned out when he talks about what Paul Pierce brings to Washington. I can already envision Mike Breen coming back from the TV timeout and going into how the Wizards really revamped their bench in the offseason with the additions of Humphries, Blair, and others. After hearing those few tidbits though, I’ll likely switch back to good ole’ Phil and Buck. Everyone should know by now the Wizards have been knocking at the door. I’ll feel more comfortable hearing the commentary of the guys who knew it last year.