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Wizards prepare to begin the most difficult part of their schedule

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Today's Wake-Up Call takes a look at the Wizards as they begin a difficult stretch of their schedule that should give us a better idea of just how good the Wizards are this season.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. The easy third of the schedule is over.

Through 28 games, the Wizards are 20-8, but they've played the 29th easiest schedule in the NBA over that span. 17 of the Wizards' 28 games have been played at home, they've only played X teams from the stacked Western Conference, and their longest road trips of the season were a pair of back-to-backs. They haven't even played a Western Conference team on the road yet.

2. Things get much more difficult starting on Monday.

After Saturday's home game against Boston, the Wizards embark on a five game road trip to face Hoston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans to welcome them to the Western Conference. After that, they still have two games against the Bulls, two against the Eastern Conference leading Raptors, two against the Hawks, home games against the Spurs and Thunder, and another four game road trip to face the Blazers, Nuggets, Lakers and Suns before the All-Star break.

3. On the bright side, the schedule is getting tougher for some Eastern Conference foes as well

Toronto and Atlanta are also in the bottom-fourth of the NBA when it comes to strength of schedule, and also face some daunting road trips that will test their mettle. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the Cavaliers, who have faced seventh-most difficult schedule so far this season. Being ahead of the Cavaliers has been fun, but I'm not optimistic it will hold up much longer given how schedules will change in the coming weeks.

4. Is there any reasons for optimism?

Of course! The Wizards are 20-8. There hasn't been a team better equipped to face this daunthing stretch of the schedule than the once you've seen this season. While this tough stretch might get rid of some of the team's shiny veneer, they've already shown some great moments of resolve. Over the next month, we should get to see a lot more of that in action.