clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wizards vs. Jazz preview (#1): Saturday's game postponed due to snowstorm

The storm hitting D.C. has forced the NBA to postpone Saturday's game between the Wizards and Jazz.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE on January 22, 2016: The game has been postponed. The original post is below.

The Wizards are scheduled to play the Utah Jazz on Saturday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the fourth game of their five-game homestand. As you also are aware, the Washington, D.C. -- and the entire Mid-Atlantic region of the United States -- is forecasted to be in a blizzard that lasts from Friday through Saturday night.

According to The Capital Weather Gang, DMV residents are expected to receive anywhere from 16 to 30 inches -- IF NOT MORE -- from the impending nor'easter. The entire metro area is also under a blizzard warning from the National Weather's D.C. bureau in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Does this mean that the Wizards' home game against the Jazz will be canceled? Nope, as of now.

As of the time of this posting, there have been no changes. Therefore, the game is still on for Saturday night.

That said, it's unlikely that the game is still going on as scheduled. The Jazz are in Brooklyn Friday night to play the Nets at 7:30 p.m ET. The game will end at around 10 p.m. ET or so if it doesn't go to overtime. In the meanwhile, the Washington area will be hammered by snowfall rates of two inches an hour or perhaps even more. The snow isn't going to let up until at least Saturday afternoon.

If the blizzard wasn't forecast, the Jazz would fly from New York City to Washington in the wee hours of Saturday morning. But Dulles International, Reagan National, and BWI will probably receive few, if any incoming flights for safety reasons.

If I have to place my bets, the Wizards vs. Jazz game will be rescheduled. But the question is when?

I have two realistic guesses:

1. Sunday, January 24, 2016 - The storm should be heading out of Washington by then for an evening matchup. If the Jazz leave New York at just the right time -- even if they have to have a layover -- it could be enough to make this work.

The Capitals are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier that afternoon, the Verizon Center can be converted from hockey to basketball in just over a couple of hours. However, if the blizzard hits New York almost as hard as it hits Washington, that may not be an option.

UPDATE on January 23, 2016 - The Capitals' Sunday game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was postponed and WMATA services are also cancelled Sunday. The game isn't happening on January 24.

2. Thursday, March 10, 2016 - The Wizards will be on a west coast road trip and the Vivint Smart Home Arena will not be occupied that night though there is a Jeff Dunham concert on the previous night. Furthermore, the Jazz will be back after playing the Golden State Warriors the night before on the road, and the two teams will be scheduled to play each other on Friday, March 11, 2016 anyway.

There will be some logistical issues because the double header will be two road games for the Wizards. Also, their season ticket holders won't be able to go to 41 home games in the 2015-16 season while Jazz season ticket holders suddenly find themselves with an extra game to go to. But the bottom line is that a game isn't cancelled. Sometimes, the NBA may have to do this.

It's either that or the Wizards and/or Jazz may have a back-to-back-to-back, something that the NBA wants to avoid altogether.

TL;dr version: I doubt that Saturday's game will happen on Saturday night. The NBA creates its schedules months in advance and has a vested interest to make sure every game goes on as scheduled. However, the league isn't totally unreasonable. The NBA postponed a Wizards home game on February 7, 2010 against the Atlanta Hawks due to the original Snowmageddon when most of the D.C. area was covered with two feet of snow.

If the weather is as bad as most claim it to be, the NBA won't be totally unreasonable. We'll keep you informed as we learn more.

UPDATE on Friday, January 22, 2016 at 12:53 a.m. ET

David Locke, the radio play-by-play announcer for the Jazz tweeted this:

These scenarios are possible, but will involve a back-to-back-to-back by both teams, as Locke noted.

The implications of a game on March 6, 2016

If the Wizards vs. Jazz game was on Sunday, March 6, 2016, it would be held at Verizon Center since there is no event scheduled there that night.

The Wizards would play three consecutive nights where they would have played the Cavaliers on the road on Friday, March 4 and the Pacers at home on Saturday, March 5. The Jazz would also play the Wizards on the road on what turns into a five-game road trip after playing the Grizzlies on March 4 and the Pelicans on March 5.

The implications of a game on March 22, 2016

If the game was held on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, the game would probably be held at Vivint Smart Home Arena because the Verizon Center is holding a Rihanna concert that night. Vivint is not holding any event that night, so that opens up the peculiar situation of one team's season ticket holders having one less home game while another has an extra game.

In this scenario, the Wizards would play the Hawks on the road on Monday, March 21, travel to Salt Lake City to face the Jazz on Tuesday. After the Jazz game, the Wizards will travel back to Washington to face the Hawks again on Wednesday, March 23.

The Jazz, on the other hand, would host the Wizards on the first game of their back-to-back-to-back on March 22. On March 23, they play on the road to face the Rockets, followed by a road game against the Thunder on March 24.