The Washington Wizards announced on Thursday evening that two games of their now-scheduled three-game road trip have new game times.
The Wizards’ next scheduled game is on Sunday, Jan. 24 against the San Antonio Spurs. The start time is now at 8 p.m. ET, one hour later than originally scheduled. In addition, their game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, Jan. 27 is now scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET, also one hour later than originally scheduled.
It’s unclear exactly why the game times have been changed. That said, it’s likely that the game time for the Pelicans game was pushed back one hour due to Wizards’ players concerns about playing shorthanded while six players remain in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, though it may change by next week.
The Pelicans game is also the second half of a back-to-back where the Wizards would be playing against the Houston Rockets the day before at 8 p.m. ET. By pushing the Pelicans game from 8 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. ET, Washington gets an extra hour to rest after getting “thrown into the fire” as early as Sunday.
Bradley Beal mentioned in a press conference last Wednesday that he was concerned that the Wizards would be at an increased risk of injury because the team didn’t practice in over a week until shortly before the presser. Furthermore, the players were “fighting the league” to make sure that they wouldn’t play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. That game was postponed.
As for the delay of the Spurs game, perhaps it gives the cleared players on the team one extra hour to practice or get their legs back.
Anyway, it’s fair for us to assume that this unscheduled break from play will end this Sunday, barring more positive coronavirus cases on the Wizards’ roster.