Wizards season schedule breakdown: Part VI
GAMES (Home, Road, Back-to-backs): 8 (4,4,2)
OVERALL: The Wizards will have bookend games this month against Cleveland and two games against the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, including the home finale. Six of the Wizards' eight opponents made the playoffs last season. The Wizards will either be jostling for playoff position or preparing for their third consecutive lottery season.
GAMES TO WATCH
April 3, at Charlotte: Gilbert Arenas probably isn't too excited to see Charlotte on the schedule the final month of the season, considering Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace fell on his knee in April 2007, derailing what had become a promising career. But if Arenas is still playing this late in the season, it would be grounds for a celebration for some Wizards fans since he has been unable to play this late in the year the past two seasons.
April 8 & 11, Boston: The aging Boston Celtics struggle against young and athletic teams and the Wizards gave Boston all that it could handle in two late season games. The Celtics were unable to match up with either Andray Blatche or JaVale McGee. Blatche has scored more points and grabbed more rebounds, but he probably never had a better game than the one he had on April 10 in Boston, where he posted 31 and 11 to lead the Wizards to a surprising win over the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Blatche was especially motivated to have a big performance after engaging in a trash talking session with Kevin Garnett the month before -- and losing the game. But he settled the score and gained some confidence in the process. Like John Wall, Rajon Rondo is a Kentucky alum, but that's probably where the comparisons end. Rondo is arguably the most unorthodox point guard in the league, with his peculiar build, extremely large arms and uncanny ability to fill a stat sheet. Wall will battle with Rondo twice in less than a week, which should be quite entertaining.
April 9, Atlanta:The Wizards will play their final game against a Southeast Division foe as they host the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks can serve as a model in building a playoff contender through the draft. They have made three consecutive trips to the postseason and increased their win total in each of the past six seasons. Smith has been around to witness the complete turnaround from lousy lottery loser to perennial playoff team. Trades for Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby have helped changed the losing mindset that crept within the organization through a nine-year playoff drought, but they owe a lot of their success to the development of Josh Smith, Al Horford and Marvin Williams. And, all-star center Horford has never missed the playoffs since entering the league as the third overall pick in 2007.
April 13, at Cleveland: Wall will finish his first NBA season against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards' former playoff rival from 2006 to '08. But so much has changed for both franchises since that last postseason meeting that Wall certainly won't get nostalgic. Most notably, Wizards antagonist LeBron James is gone, bailing on Cleveland after seven ring-less seasons. Antawn Jamison was around for all three Cavaliers-Wizards series, except he was representing the Wizards at the time. Arenas, Blatche and Nick Young are the only Wizards remaining from the franchise's last playoff roster, while Anderson Varejao and Boobie Gibson are all that remain in Cleveland from that six-game, Jay-Z-and-Soulja-Boy-infused first-round series in 2008.
September 9, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Wizards 2010-11 schedule breakdown
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