- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Wizards may need to pay a rights fee to Willie Nelson. They are on the road again to open the regular season.

October 28, the Wizards will head to Orlando, where they played the second game of last season, to face the Magic in their season opener. Two nights later, they will be in Milwaukee to play the Bucks. This is the fourth consecutive season the Wizards start on the road.

The home opener is Halloween night versus the New York Knicks. Not long after, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder come to D.C. on Nov. 10.

The disliked Chicago Bulls come to Washington on March 16 for their lone visit of the season.

The world champion Golden State Warriors visit Verizon Center Feb. 3. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town Jan. 6 and Feb. 28. After one season with the Wizards, Paul Pierce makes his return when the Los Angeles Clippers visit on Dec. 28.

The Wizards’ 2015-16 schedule includes 13 nationally-televised games (three on ESPN, two on TNT and eight on NBA TV).

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver had promised to look at the schedule and try to reduce back-to-back games, which are universally disliked around the league. The number of times a team plays four games in five nights or back-to-back games is at an all-time low in the new schedule, according to the league.

The league reduced four-in-fives to an average of less than one per team (a total of 27 for an average of 0.9 per team, with a maximum of 2 and down 61 percent from last season), according to NBA.com. The team average for back-to-back games has been trimmed from 19.3 per team last season to 17.8 this season. The league has also tried to set the schedule so teams travel less when they are on a back-to-back.

The Wizards play back-to-back games 16 times next season. They close the regular season at home against the Atlanta Hawks on April 13.

The Wizards ended last season with a 4-2 series loss to the top-seeded Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Point guard John Wall missed half of the games because of five fractures in his left wrist and hand, which occurred when he fell in Game 1.

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