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5 Games To Watch, 2 Road-Heavy Months

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Any assessment of the Washington Wizards’ 2019-20 schedule should come with the following caveat: This, most likely, won’t be a good team.

They don’t have a deep roster, and nobody beyond Bradley Beal qualifies as a must-see player.

Given the current state of the franchise, the Wizards are not a marquee opponent on anybody’s schedule, and they don’t have any sort of evenly matched rival to speak of.

All of these points make it challenging to identify Washington’s must-watch games in the traditional sense. That said, they still have plenty of games that will be telling over the course of the year.

Realistically, Washington doesn’t stack up well against some of the more talented teams in the league—the Clippers, Nuggets, Lakers, Bucks or 76ers, to name a few—so they are excluded from this discussion. Instead, listed below are five of the Wizards’ most interesting matchups of the year, along with a fuller review of the team’s 82-game schedule:

The Isaiah Thomas Revenge Game

Nov. 13 at Boston: Thomas says he’s fully healthy now after injuries robbed him of the last two seasons. There’s no better way to reintroduce himself to the league than by burning the team that traded him after he averaged nearly 29 points and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017.

The “Oh, What Could Have Been” Game

Dec. 18 vs. Chicago: Washington welcomes back some old friends in Otto Porter Jr.—whom they traded to Chicago in February—and Tomáš Satoranský—who signed with the Bulls in July. The irony of this meeting is that Porter and the remaining $55 million on his deal were traded for two expiring contracts in Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, thereby theoretically opening up money to spend in free agency; the Wizards then failed to retain not only Parker and Portis, but Satoranský as well.

The Locals Only Game

Jan. 10 vs. Atlanta: Wizards fans can use this game as a means to check out a handful of players from nearby University of Maryland (Bruno Fernando, Kevin Huerter and Alex Len) and University of Virginia (De’Andre Hunter). As an added bonus, this will be the first visit to Washington for Cam Reddish, Atlanta’s No. 9 pick in June’s draft— just one spot after Washington selected Rui Hachimura from Gonzaga. The Reddish storyline is worth mentioning just in case he outperforms Hachimura to start the year, making the Wizards regret their pick—which is entirely likely. As an extra added bonus, this is one of the last times Vince Carter will visit D.C. as his career nears its end after 22 years. He and the Hawks will be back on March 6.

The Measuring Stick Game

March 8 vs. Miami: This is the fourth and final meeting of the year with Jimmy Butler and the Heat, who have the best odds to win the Southeast Division in 2019-20. How the Wizards stack up against the projected division winner will play a large role in determining how the campaign shakes out.  

The Rookie of the Year Game

April 1 vs. New Orleans: Zion Williamson could easily have the Rookie of the Year award wrapped up before April, but he’ll have this contest and an April 13 date in New Orleans to pad his stats against the Wizards, who don’t have many options to slow him down. If nothing else, Williamson coming to D.C. is sure to be one of the hottest tickets of Washington’s season.  

Start Me Up

Washington opens the season with three games on the road—at the Mavericks, Thunder and Spurs—for the first time since the 1983-84 Bullets did so against the 76ers, Knicks and Hawks.

What to watch for in the first three games:

  • The Wizards haven’t won in San Antonio since Dec. 11, 1999, a streak of 19 straight losses there
  • Washington hasn’t won in Dallas since Dec. 12, 2015, a streak of three straight losses
  • Washington only got its first win in Oklahoma City last season, stopping a streak of nine consecutive losses there since the franchise moved from Seattle

December and March are Road-Heavy

The Wizards have eight road games in both December and March. March’s eight-pack is offset by an equal number of home games, but December is more lopsided with six in D.C.

The bulk of December’s road contests come right in a row, which could make the two-game discrepancy between the months feel a little more pronounced.

In the first week of December, Washington has four games—two on the road at the Clippers and Heat sandwiched around home games against Orlando and Philadelphia. The Wizards then play the Clippers at home on Dec. 8 before starting an eight-game stretch that features seven road contests: at the Hornets, Grizzlies, Pistons, Raptors, 76ers, Knicks and Pistons again.

March’s slate may be tougher even if the travel doesn’t come all in a row. At home, Washington gets Atlanta, Miami, New York, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Boston, Phoenix and the Lakers. On the road, they get Golden State, Sacramento, Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Atlanta again, and Milwaukee again.

Road Trips Max Out at 4

In addition to the final four games of that brutal December stretch discussed above, the Wizards have three other four-game road trips on the docket. No road trip during the season will last longer than these four-game sets:

  • Nov. 26­–Dec. 1: Denver, Phoenix, Lakers, Clippers
  • Dec. 21–26: Raptors, 76ers, Knicks, Pistons
  • Jan. 22–28: Heat, Cavaliers, Hawks, Bucks
  • Feb. 28–March 4: Jazz, Warriors, Kings, Trail Blazers

The first four-game road trip, for some reason, doesn’t feature the LA teams in a back-to-back and instead features the Nuggets and Suns on consecutive days. And during the third set, the Wizards will have the unfortunate travel schedule of flying south to Miami, only to fly north to Cleveland, then south again to Atlanta, then north again to Milwaukee before finally heading home.

February: Home Sweet Home

For as difficult as December figures to be, February will be Washington’s reward—eight of the team’s 11 games are at Capital One Arena.

Half of those eight games figure to be against teams that could be among the league’s best—Brooklyn twice, along with Golden State and Milwaukee. But with so little travel that month, the Wizards should at least be well-rested for the matchups.

And the games on the road? Easy flights to New York and Chicago 12 days apart before closing the month in Utah.

Back-to-back woes

The Wizards have 13 sets of back-to-backs this year, one fewer than last season.

Games on consecutive days were a bit of a concern for Washington in 2018-19, but not in the way one might expect.

It sounds more reasonable that teams would be more likely to lose the second night of a back-to-back because they are tired from having played the previous evening. That feeling of exhaustion can be compounded if a team has to travel for the second game.

The Wizards, however, went 2-12 in the first game of a back-to-back and 9-5 in the second game. They further bucked convention by going 4-3 on the road in the second game of a back-to-back.

Overall, Washington split nine of its 14 back-to-backs last year while sweeping both games just once.

On the 2019-20 schedule, three back-to-backs look particularly daunting:

  • Jan. 3-4—vs. Portland and vs. Denver: There’s no travel involved with this one, but facing one of last year’s Western Conference finalists and a near Western Conference finalist on consecutive nights is challenging no matter where you play.
  • March 20-21—at Atlanta and vs. Milwaukee: After wrapping up a three-game road trip at the Hawks, Washington is welcomed home by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
  • March 27-28—at Milwaukee and vs. Lakers: A week later, after facing the Bucks on the road, the Wizards see LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the rest of the retooled Lakers at home. Remember how we learned March was hard?

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Black Shark Technologies Reveals New Brand Identity with New Corporate Slogan “Game is Real”

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Black Shark, the cutting-edge gaming technology company, today announced the launch of its new brand identity, with redesigned visual identity and new corporate slogan “Game is Real”.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200223005033/en/

Black Shark’s new logo and corporate slogan “Game is Real”.

Black Shark aims to provide the unmatched and unique gaming experience by its hardware, software and services, and create the best gaming world with global gamers. The evolution of the brand identity will mark a starting point of the company for marching toward another significant milestone, expecting far-reaching effects on company development, product definition, brand recognition as well as the positive impact on the cooperative partnership in Black Shark’s gaming eco-system.

Brand Positioning Affirmed in Gaming Smartphone Market Segment

As the leader in the gaming smartphone industry, Black Shark has successfully broadened its footprint globally in only two years since its establishment. Thanks to its strong capability of technical innovation and profound understanding of the industry and users, Black Shark has attained more than 1 million global users, occupied the largest market share in the gaming smartphone market segment in China, in the meantime, earned unneglectable brand publicity all over the world. What lies behind the evolution of brand identity is Black Shark’s deep insight of the industry and clear strategy for future development.

Harrison Luo (Yuzhou Luo), the newly appointed CEO of Black Shark, said: “Through two years of exploration and growth in the industry, Black Shark highly affirm the gaming smartphone market segment is proven and well worth expectation. The more subdivided the market segment, the fiercer industrial competition existence, which exactly reflects the path we chose to take is the right way to breakthrough. Black Shark will never place our brand positioning in the traditional smartphone industry. Instead, we keen to embrace and understand our core users, we are willing to develop and evolve together with the gaming industry. For example, Black Shark has announced the new cooperation with Tencent Games last month. In the future, the two companies will join forces in gaming hardware and software development to jointly explore the bright future of gaming mobile industry. With the new brand identity announcement, Black Shark declares our goal is to provide the ultimate gaming experience by gaming devices and accessories, to build the comprehensive Black Shark gaming eco-system, and create the best gaming world with global gamers.”

Brand Personality Traits Related to Gaming Spirits

Gaming is in Black Shark’s genes. To obtain and tighten users’ resonation, there’s greater value for Black Shark to present its brand personality traits in this brand identity upgrade. To change the corporate slogan from “Born to Compete” to “Game is Real”, Black Shark gives the unique perspective with regard to the connection between the brand and game, reality and virtuality, also the youths and games, reflecting that Black Shark stands and shares the same sense of value with the gamers, such as keeping faith, seeking joy, believe in team spirit, be fond of cyberpunk, full of ardor and spiritually rebellious.

New Visual Identity System Inspired by Gaming Features

Along with this new brand identity introduction, Black Shark has renewed the whole brand visual identity system including logo, font and color tone, to enhance brand recognition. The redesigned logo keeps the basic structure of two swimming sharks with smoothly re-shaped enhancement, which remains highly recognized and familiar to the public as the symbol of the brand. The new series of font in flattening design style, significantly evoke a feeling of modern and fashion. To generate a greater scale of impact of the new brand identity, Black Shark has prepared a release of various derivative products featured in strong hard-core gaming style, as the carrier to deliver the new brand identity.

All for Better Gaming Experience and Creating the Best Gaming World with Global Gamers

“With the release of our new brand identity, Black Shark will keep providing the best hardware, software and services, to bring a more integrated gaming eco-system to global gamers. We hope our new brand identity will win recognition from more gamers, bring them closer to us and build a fantastic 5G gaming world together with us,” said David Li (Fan Li), Vice President of Black Shark Global in charge of overseas business.

Black Shark has earned lots of achievements since launched in overseas markets, such as the first Chinese brand to partner with the top two operators in South Korean; proudly ranks the first in the gaming smartphone market segment in Japan and Southeast Asia; successfully enters the powerful sales channels such as Fnac-Darty and Boulanger in Europe. Black Shark interacts with global gamers in daily communication, striving to better understand gamers’ needs and respond the market with better-designed products.

About Black Shark

Cutting-edge gaming technology company, Black Shark, creates gaming eco-system based on hardware, software and services, now mainly carried by smartphones. Black Shark aims to provide the unmatched and unique gaming experience and builds the best gaming world with global gamers. Black Shark is located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit the company’s global website: http://global.blackshark.com/

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200223005033/en/

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liya.huang@blackshark.com
Liya Huang

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