The Washington Wizards received their preseason schedule from the NBA on Thursday, a series of eight games in 19 days in the month of October. Out of those eight games only one is set to be played in the Verizon Center, an October 11 contest against the Jeremy Lin-less New York Knicks at 7 pm Eastern Time.
The rest of the Wizards' matchups feature a balanced mix of teams that are either championship contenders or squads in rebuilding mode. The latter can definitely be said of the Charlotte Bobcats, whom the Wizards will face first on October 7. D.C. fans will get their first look at Bradley Beal when he faces off against fellow 2012 first-rounder Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
The following game is their home matchup against the Knicks. The team will then move on to face four squads in different stages of rebuilding.
First up is Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose new GM Danny Ferry was very active during the draft but relatively quiet in the free agency period. The prospective duel between former first overall picks Irving and John Wall should be quite entertaining.
Washington will then travel to the brand new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, where they'll square off against the new-look Nets team. Another great point guard matchup waits for Wall in Brooklyn in the form of Deron Williams, recently back from Great Britain with an Olympic gold medal around his neck.
After that Wall and the Wizards will trek to Canada to face the Toronto Raptors, who were very busy pursuing Steve Nash during the offseason. The Raptors lost out on their hometown hero, but reloaded their roster anyway with the likes of Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields.
They'll travel to Milwaukee next for a game against Monta Ellis and the Bucks, but the Wizards' real test begins almost as soon as the preseason schedule ends.
The final two games are against the NBA championship-winning Miami Heat in Kansas City and the winningest team in the league last season, the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams will present a hefty challenge for the Wizards, despite the fact that Washington won the season series against Miami last year.
Preseason play doesn't start for about seven more weeks, but the release of the schedule has got NBA fans salivating at the mouth for the full season on the horizon.
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