The Washington Wizards will debut John Wall, the number one overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, in a matchup with the Orlando Magic in Orlando’s new Amway Center. Wall, one of the favorites to win the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award, is an excellent athlete with incredible speed and quickness.
Former All-Star Gilbert Arenas (who will miss at least the first two games of the season with an ankle injury) will join Wall in Washington’s backcourt. Arenas (who is trying to get his career back on track after the infamous gun incident) is a dynamic scorer capable of 50-point outbursts when healthy and focused. Arenas and Wall-along with newcomer Kirk Hinrich-will form Washington’s core.
Washington’s starting front line is young and talented. Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Al Thornton are athletic frontcourt players who are still developing and finding their basketball identities.
As long as the backcourt produces and carries the bulk of the load, Washington’s front line can continue to grow at its own pace without the pressures of being primary options. But any success the Wizards experience this season will heavily depend on how much support the backcourt can get from the developing frontcourt.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2010-2011 Washington Wizards:
Game 1, Thursday, October 28 at Orlando- Wizards drop their season opener to the Orlando Magic in Orlando’s new Amway Center (Record 0-1).
Game 2, Saturday, October 30 at Atlanta- Wizards fall to the Atlanta Hawks for the 10th consecutive time (Record 0-2).
Game 3, Tuesday, November 2 versus 76ers- Wizards get an Election Day victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 1-2).
Game 4, Friday, November 5 at New York- Wizards defeat the New York Knicks at the famed Madison Square Garden (Record 2-2).
Game 5, Saturday, November 6 versus Cavaliers- Wizards begin a three-game home stand with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 3-2).
Game 6, Wednesday, November 10 versus Rockets- Wizards fall to the Houston Rockets at the Verizon Center for the sixth straight time (Record 3-3).
Game 7, Friday, November 12 versus Bobcats- Wizards rebound from the Rockets loss with a victory over the visiting Charlotte Bobcats (Record 4-3).
Game 8, Saturday, November 13 at Chicago- Wizards defeat Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at the United Center (Record 5-3).
Game 9, Tuesday, November 16 versus Raptors- Wizards drop a home game to the Toronto Raptors (Record 5-4).
Game 10, Wednesday, November 17 at Boston- Wizards drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden (Record 5-5).
Game 11, Friday, November 19 versus Grizzlies- Wizards fall to the Memphis Grizzlies for the fifth consecutive time (Record 5-6).
Game 12, Sunday, November 21 at Detroit- Wizards drop a road game to the Detroit Pistons at the Palace (Record 5-7).
Game 13, Tuesday, November 23 versus 76ers- Wizards lose to the Philadelphia 76ers as their struggles continue (Record 5-8).
Game 14, Thursday, November 25 at Atlanta- Wizards lose a Thanksgiving Day matchup to the Atlanta Hawks (Record 5-9).
Game 15, Saturday, November 27 versus Magic- Wizards get an impressive home win over the Orlando Magic (Record 6-9).
Game 16, Monday, November 29 at Miami- Wizards fall to the Miami Heat All-Star Trio at American Airlines Arena (Record 6-10).
Game 17, Wednesday, December 1 at Toronto- Wizards begin December with a loss to the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre (Record 6-11).
Game 18, Friday, December 3 versus Trail Blazers- Wizards drop a home game to the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (Record 6-12).
Game 19, Sunday, December 5 at Phoenix- Wizards lose to the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Arena (Record 6-13).
Game 20, Tuesday, December 7 at Los Angeles Lakers- Wizards fall to the Lakers for the eighth straight time (Record 6-14).
Game 21, Wednesday, December 8 at Sacramento- Wizards drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Sacramento Kings (Record 6-15).
Game 22, Friday, December 10 versus Knicks- Wizards drop a home game to the New York Knicks and suffer their seventh straight loss since defeating the Orlando Magic (Record 6-16).
Game 23, Tuesday, December 14 versus Lakers- Wizards lose to the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Record 6-17).
Game 24, Thursday, December 16 at New Jersey- Wizards finally get a December win with a victory over the New Jersey Nets (Record 7-17).
Game 25, Saturday, December 18 versus Heat- Wizards fall to the visiting Miami Heat (Record 7-18).
Game 26, Monday, December 20 versus Bobcats- Wizards drop a close game to the defensive-minded Charlotte Bobcats (Record 7-19).
Game 27, Wednesday, December 22 versus Bulls- Wizards complete a disappointing 1-2 home stand with a victory over the Chicago Bulls (Record 8-19).
Game 28, Sunday, December 26 at San Antonio- Wizards get a road win over the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center (Record 9-19).
Game 29, Monday, December 27 at Houston- Wizards lose the second half of the Texas Two-Step to the Houston Rockets (Record 9-20).
Game 30, Wednesday, December 29 versus Pacers- Wizards defeat the visiting Indiana Pacers (Record 10-20).
Game 31, Friday, December 31 at Indiana- Wizards lose the Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse (Record 10-21).
Game 32, Saturday, January 1 versus Hornets- Wizards ring in the New Year with a victory over the New Orleans Hornets (Record 11-21).
Game 33, Wednesday, January 5 at Philadelphia- Wizards get a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center (Record 12-21).
Game 34, Friday, January 7 versus Nets- Wizards beat the New Jersey Nets for the seventh consecutive time (Record 13-21).
Game 35, Saturday, January 8 at Charlotte- Wizards fall to the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena (Record 13-22).
Game 36, Tuesday, January 11 versus Kings- Wizards beat the Sacramento Kings at the Verizon Center for the sixth straight time (Record 14-22).
Game 37, Thursday, January 13 at Minnesota- Wizards get a road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center (Record 15-22).
Game 38, Saturday, January 15 versus Raptors- Wizards defeat the visiting Toronto Raptors and get their sixth straight home win (Record 16-22).
Game 39, Monday, January 17 versus Jazz- Wizards get a home win over the Utah Jazz on Martin Luther King Day (Record 17-22).
Game 40, Wednesday, January 19 at Milwaukee- Wizards lose to the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 17-23).
Game 41, Friday, January 21 versus Suns- Wizards beat the high-scoring Phoenix Suns (Record 18-23).
Game 42, Saturday, January 22 versus Celtics- Wizards drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics (Record 18-24).
Game 43, Monday, January 24 at New York- Wizards fall to Amar’e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks (Record 18-25).
Game 44, Tuesday, January 25 versus Nuggets- Wizards get the second half of a back-to-back by defeating the visiting Denver Nuggets (Record 19-25).
Game 45, Friday, January 28 at Oklahoma City- Wizards begin a four-game road trip with a victory over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 20-25).
Game 46, Saturday, January 29 at Memphis- Wizards beat the Memphis Grizzlies and get both halves of a back-to-back (Record 21-25).
Game 47, Monday, January 31 at Dallas- Wizards fall to the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center (Record 21-26).
Game 48, Tuesday, February 1 at New Orleans- Wizards play their third road game in four nights and lose to the New Orleans Hornets (Record 21-27).
Game 49, Friday, February 4 versus Magic- Wizards drop a home game to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic (Record 21-28).
Game 50, Saturday, February 5 versus Hawks- Wizards defeat the visiting Atlanta Hawks (Record 22-28).
Game 51, Wednesday, February 9 versus Bucks- Wizards get a close home win over the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 23-28).
Game 52, Saturday, February 12 versus Spurs- Wizards lose to the San Antonio Spurs to close a 2-2 home stand (Record 23-29).
Game 53, Sunday, February 13 at Cleveland- Wizards fall to the Cleveland Cavaliers and drop the second half of a back-to-back (Record 23-30).
Game 54, Wednesday, February 16 at Orlando- Wizards close the first half of the season with a loss to the Magic (Record 23-31).
Game 55, Tuesday, February 22 versus Pacers- Wizards drop a home game to the Indiana Pacers (Record 23-32).
Game 56, Wednesday, February 23 at Philadelphia- Wizards get a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 24-32).
Game 57, Friday, February 25 at Miami- Wizards fall to the Miami Heat (Record 24-33).
Game 58, Saturday, February 26 versus Mavericks- Wizards win a close game over Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks (Record 25-33).
Game 59, Monday, February 28 versus Bulls- Wizards close February with a loss to the Chicago Bulls (Record 25-34).
Game 60, Wednesday, March 2 versus Warriors- Wizards drop a home game to the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors (Record 25-35).
Game 61, Saturday, March 5 versus Timberwolves- Wizards close a 2-2 home stand with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 26-35).
Game 62, Sunday, March 6 at Detroit- Wizards lose to the Detroit Pistons for the eighth straight time (Record 26-36).
Game 63, Tuesday, March 8 versus Bucks- Wizards begin a three-game home stand with a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 26-37).
Game 64, Saturday, March 12 versus Clippers- Wizards defeat Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Verizon Center (Record 27-37).
Game 65, Monday, March 14 versus Thunder- Wizards drop a close game to the Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 27-38).
Game 66, Tuesday, March 15 at Chicago- Wizards drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Chicago Bulls (Record 27-39).
Game 67, Friday, March 18 at Toronto- Wizards get a close road win over the Toronto Raptors (Record 28-39).
Game 68, Sunday, March 20 versus Nets- Wizards defeat the New Jersey Nets and sweep the season series for the second straight year (Record 29-39).
Game 69, Tuesday, March 22 at Portland- Wizards begin a five-game road trip with a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden (Record 30-39).
Game 70, Wednesday, March 23 at Los Angeles Clippers- Wizards play their third game in four nights and fall to the Clippers at the Staples Center (Record 30-40).
Game 71, Friday, March 25 at Denver- Wizards fall to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center for the fifth straight time (Record 30-41).
Game 72, Sunday, March 27 at Golden State- Wizards drop a road game to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena (Record 30-42).
Game 73, Monday, March 28 at Utah- Wizards lose to the tough Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena (Record 30-43).
Game 74, Wednesday, March 30 versus Heat- Wizards get an impressive home win over the Miami Heat (Record 31-43).
Game 75, Friday, April 1 versus Cavaliers- Wizards begin April with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 32-43).
Game 76, Sunday, April 3 at Charlotte- Wizards drop a road game to the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 32-44).
Game 77, Tuesday, April 5 versus Pistons- Wizards lose a home game to the visiting Detroit Pistons (Record 32-45).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 6 at Indiana- Wizards fall to the Indiana Pacers and lose the second half of a back-to-back (Record 32-46).
Game 79, Friday, April 8 at Boston- Wizards fall to the Boston Celtics (Record 32-47).
Game 80, Saturday, April 9 versus Hawks- Wizards drop a home game to the high-flying Atlanta Hawks (Record 32-48).
Game 81, Monday, April 11 versus Celtics- Wizards get a home win over the Celtics (Record 33-48).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 13 at Cleveland- Wizards defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena (Record 34-48).
Prediction: The Washington Wizards will reach the 30-win plateau for the first time since they won 43 games in the 2007-2008 season.
More 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions:
Miami Heat 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Los Angeles Clippers 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Chicago Bulls 2010-2011 Game-by-Game Predictions
Information from ESPN.com’s Washington Wizards Schedule, Washington Wizards Clubhouse, and Yahoo! Sports.com’s Wizards’ Arenas will miss at least first 2 games was used for this article.