- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

The NBA and NHL seasons is suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, but the Washington Wizards and Capitals may have found the next best thing.

NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports Network will air “NBA 2K20” simulations of previously scheduled Wizards games and “NHL 20” sims of Capitals games on live TV, starting Saturday night.

The experiment begins when the virtual Wizards take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Capitals’ first simulation Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the St. Louis Blues.

“The artificial intelligence (AI) gameplay will be presented in alignment with the teams’ remaining schedules of postponed regular-season games, including opponents and dates,” a press release said.

Further, the games will feature commentary from NBC Sports Washington’s normal Wizards and Capitals announcers and commentators.

“We know that fans are as disappointed as we are not to be able to watch our favorite teams on a nightly basis,” Zach Leonsis, Monumental’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives, said in a statement. “We hope that these fun and engaging video game simulations will entertain our fans and help provide a greater sense of normalcy during these challenging times. We hope that when people tune in and watch these simulated games, they will be able to enjoy some friendly competitive play from the comforts of their own home.”

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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