After a season that was ravaged by injuries the 2009-2010 Washington Wizards will open the season with some health and greater depth. Starting point guard Gilbert Arenas (who played in two games last season) and starting center Brendan Haywood (who played in six games last season) will both be in the opening night lineup for the first time since October 31, 2007. However, All-Star Antawn Jamison, who partially dislocated his shoulder in an exhibition game, is expected to miss the first 3-5 weeks of the season. Even with Jamison’s injury this season will begin with greater health and promise.
During the offseason the Wizards acquired Randy Foye and Mike Miller in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and used their bi-annual exception to sign former Spur Fabricio Oberto. Foye is a versatile combo-guard who can make plays for others or score the ball himself. Miller is an excellent shooter who will keep defenses honest, spread the floor, and open up lanes for penetration. Oberto is a big body that will give the Washington Wizards some frontcourt depth and veteran leadership.
These new additions along with a healthy Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood give new head coach Flip Saunders and Wizards fans something to look forward to.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2009-2010 Washington Wizards:
Game 1, Tuesday, October 27th at Dallas– Wizards open the season with a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks (Record 0-1).
Game 2, Friday, October 30th at Atlanta– Wizards win a close game against the Atlanta Hawks (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Saturday, October 31st versus Nets– Wizards end October with a victory over the Nets at the Verizon Center (Record 2-1).
Game 4, Tuesday, November 3rd at Cleveland– Wizards drop an exciting game to the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 2-2).
Game 5, Wednesday, November 4th versus Heat– Wizards get a home win over Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat (Record 3-2).
Game 6, Wednesday, November 6th at Indiana– Wizards get a road win over the Indiana Pacers (Record 4-2).
Game 7, Sunday, November 8th versus Suns– Wizards control the pace and get a victory over the Phoenix Suns (Record 5-2).
Game 8, Tuesday, November 10th at Miami– Wizards drop a road game to the Heat (Record 5-3).
Game 9, Saturday, November 14th versus Pistons– Wizards get back on track with a home win over the Detroit Pistons (Record 6-3).
Game 10, Wednesday, November 18th versus Cavaliers– Wizards get a quality win over the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 7-3).
Game 11, Friday, November 20th at Oklahoma City– Wizards lose to the young Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 7-4).
Game 12, Saturday, November 21st at San Antonio– Wizards drop their second game of a back-to-back to the savvy San Antonio Spurs (Record 7-5).
Game 13, Tuesday, November 24th versus Sixers– Wizards get back on track with a home win over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 8-5).
Game 14, Friday, November 27th at Miami– Wizards drop another road game to the Miami Heat (Record 8-6).
Game 15, Saturday, November 28th versus Bobcats– Wizards get a home win over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 9-6).
Game 16, Tuesday, December 1st at Toronto– Wizards begin December with a close loss to the Toronto Raptors (Record 9-7).
Game 17, Wednesday, December 2nd versus Bucks– Wizards drop a home game to the Milwaukee Bucks (Record 9-8).
Game 18, Friday, December 4th versus Raptors– Wizards get revenge for a loss they suffered earlier in the week by defeating the Toronto Raptors (Record 10-8).
Game 19, Sunday, December 6th at Detroit– Wizards fall to the Detroit Pistons at the Palace (Record 10-9).
Game 20, Thursday, December 10th versus Celtics– Wizards lose a home game to the Boston Celtics (Record 10-10).
Game 21, Saturday, December 12th versus Pacers– Wizards get a win over Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers (Record 11-10).
Game 22, Monday, December 14th at Los Angeles Clippers– Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards get a close win over Brandon Davis and the Clippers to begin a four-game road trip (Record 12-10).
Game 23, Wednesday, December 16th at Sacramento– Wizards get their third straight win with a victory over the Sacramento Kings (Record 13-10).
Game 24, Friday, December 18th at Golden State– Wizards beat the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors (Record 14-10).
Game 25, Saturday, December 19th at Phoenix– Wizards visit the Valley of the Sun and drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Phoenix Suns (Record 14-11).
Game 26, Tuesday, December 22nd versus Sixers– Wizards drop a home game to the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 14-12).
Game 27, Wednesday, December 23rd at Milwaukee– Wizards get back on the right track with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center (Record 15-12).
Game 28, Saturday, December 26th at Minnesota– Wizards beat the Timberwolves at the Target Center (Record 16-12)
Game 29, Monday, December 28th at Memphis– Wizards defeat the Grizzlies at the FedExForum and complete a 3-0 road trip (Record 17-12).
Game 30, Tuesday, December 29th versus Thunder– Wizards get the second game of a back-to-back by defeating Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 18-12).
Game 31, Saturday, January 2nd 2010 versus Spurs– Wizards win a close game over the San Antonio Spurs for their fifth consecutive victory (Record 19-12).
Game 32, Tuesday, January 5th at Philadelphia– Wizards drop a road game to Elton Brand and the 76ers (Record 19-13).
Game 33, Wednesday, January 6th at Cleveland– Wizards get their 20th win by beating the Cavaliers (Record 20-13).
Game 34, Friday, January 8th versus Magic-Wizards defeat the Orlando Magic and get their second straight win against elite competition (Record 21-13).
Game 35, Sunday, January 10th versus Hornets– Wizards get a home win over Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets (Record 22-13).
Game 36, Tuesday, January 12th versus Pistons– Wizards continue to roll as they get a win over the Detroit Pistons (Record 23-13).
Game 37, Wednesday, January 13th at Atlanta– Wizards lose a road game to the Hawks and drop the second half of a back-to-back (Record 23-14).
Game 38, Friday, January 15th at Chicago– Wizards get back on track with a win over the Bulls at the United Center (Record 24-14).
Game 39, Saturday, January 16th versus Sacramento– Wizards drop a home game to the young Kings (Record 24-15).
Game 40, Monday, January 18th versus Trail Blazers– Wizards defeat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers to get 10 games above .500 (Record 25-15).
Game 41, Wednesday, January 20th versus Mavericks– Wizards get a win over the Dallas Mavericks (Record 26-15).
Game 42, Friday, January 22nd versus Heat-Wizards get a close win over the visiting Miami Heat (Record 27-15).
Game 43, Sunday, January 24th versus Clippers– Wizards drop a home game to the Clippers (Record 27-16).
Game 44, Tuesday, January 26th versus Lakers– Wizards fall to the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Record 27-17).
Game 45, Friday, January 29th at New Jersey– Wizards lose a home game to the Nets at the Izod Center (Record 27-18).
Game 46, Saturday, January 30th versus Knicks– Wizards fall to the run-and-gun New York Knicks and drop their fourth game in a row (Record 27-19).
Game 47, Monday, February 1st versus Celtics– Wizards start February with a victory over the Boston Celtics (Record 28-19).
Game 48, Wednesday, February 3rd at New York– Wizards drop another game to the Knicks (Record 28-20).
Game 49, Friday, February 5th at Orlando– Wizards continue to struggle as they drop a road game to the Orlando Magic (Record 28-21).
Game 50, Saturday, February 6th versus Hawks– Wizards get back on track with a home win over divisional rival Atlanta Hawks (Record 29-21).
Game 51, Tuesday, February 9th at Charlotte– Wizards drop a road game to the Bobcats to end the first half of the season (Record 29-22).
Game 52, Wednesday, February 17th versus Timberwolves– Wizards open the second half of the season with a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 30-22).
Game 53, Friday, February 19th versus Nuggets– Wizards get a home win over the Denver Nuggets (Record 31-22).
Game 54, Saturday, February 20th at Toronto– Wizards beat the Raptors to win the second game of a back-to-back (Record 32-22).
Game 55, Monday, February 22nd versus Bulls– Wizards fall to the visiting Chicago Bulls (Record 32-23).
Game 56, Wednesday, February 24th versus Grizzlies– Wizards get a home win over the Memphis Grizzlies (Record 33-23).
Game 57, Friday, February 26th versus Knicks– Wizards complete a disappointing 1-2 road trip with a loss to the New York Knicks (Record 33-24).
Game 58, Sunday, February 28th at New Jersey– Wizards end February with a road win over the Nets (Record 34-24).
Game 59, Wednesday, March 3rd at Milwaukee– Wizards drop a road game to the Bucks (Record 34-25).
Game 60, Friday, March 5th versus Bucks– Wizards defeat the Milwaukee Bucks and get their 35th win of the season (Record 35-25).
Game 61, Sunday, March 7th at Boston– Wizards lose a road game to an elite opponent as they fall to the Boston Celtics (Record 35-26).
Game 62, Tuesday, March 9th versus Rockets– Wizards fall to the visiting Houston Rockets at the Verizon Center (Record 35-27).
Game 63, Friday, March 12th at Detroit– Wizards drop a road game to the Pistons (Record 35-28).
Game 64, Saturday, March 13th versus Magic– Wizards lose the second game of a back-to-back to the Orlando Magic (Record 35-29).
Game 65, Monday, March 15th at Utah– Wizards begin a four-game road trip with a victory over the Jazz (Record 36-29).
Game 66, Tuesday, March 16th at Denver– Wizards visit the Mile High City and fall to the Nuggets (Record 36-30).
Game 67, Friday, March 19th at Portland– Wizards drop a road game to the Trail Blazers (Record 36-31).
Game 68, Sunday, March 21st at Los Angeles Lakers– Wizards lose another road game as they fall to the Lakers (Record 36-32).
Game 69, Tuesday, March 23rd versus Bobcats– Wizards get back on track with a home win over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 37-32).
Game 70, Wednesday, March 24th at Indiana– Wizards get a road win over the Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse (Record 38-32).
Game 71, Friday, March 26th at Charlotte– Wizards defeat the Bobcats and win the season series 3-1 (Record 39-32).
Game 72, Saturday, March 27th versus Jazz– Wizards get a home win over the Utah Jazz and sweep the back-to-back (Record 40-32).
Game 73, Tuesday, March 30th at Houston– Wizards fall to the Rockets at the Toyota Center (Record 40-33).
Game 74, Wednesday, March 31st at New Orleans– Wizards drop a road game to the Hornets to close March (40-34).
Game 75, Friday, April 2nd versus Bulls– Wizards begin a three-game home stand with a victory over the Chicago Bulls (Record 41-34).
Game 76, Sunday, April 4th versus Nets– Wizards get a win over the New Jersey Nets (Record 42-34).
Game 77, Tuesday, April 6th versus Warriors– Wizards defeat the Golden State Warriors and get their fifth consecutive home win (Record 43-34).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 7th at Orlando– Wizards fall to the Magic at Amway Arena (Record 43-35).
Game 79, Friday, April 9th at Boston– Wizards get a quality road win over the Celtics (Record 44-35).
Game 80, Saturday, April 10th versus Hawks– Wizards get an important win over the Atlanta Hawks (45-35).
Game 81, Monday, April 12th at New York– Wizards drop another game to the Knicks (Record 45-36).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 14th versus Pacers– Wizards close the season with a home win over the Indiana Pacers (Final Record 46-36).
Prediction: The 2009-2010 Washington Wizards will be deep enough and healthy enough to win 40-plus games for the fifth time in six seasons.
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Information from ESPN.com and NBA.com was used for this article.