ESPN removes Wizards-Celtics from national TV schedule, replaces it with Grizzlies-Thunder
Despite winning 10 of their last 13 games, the Washington Wizards are still considered one of the teams that has not been able to live up to expectations this season. After successfully re-signing Bradley Beal and adding key pieces to their roster last summer, many believed they had a shot at competing for one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference and making a deep run in the playoffs. However, with a .500 record through 32 games, it was not the start the team had wished for.
Given the team’s current situation, ESPN has decided to remove their game against the Boston Celtics on January 11 from the national TV schedule and replace it with the Memphis Grizzlies–Oklahoma City Thunder match as they believe it can draw more fans to sit at home and watch.
ESPN has removed Wizards vs Celtics from their January 11 NBA broadcast schedule and replaced it with Grizzlies vs Thunder
— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) December 28, 2016
The Celtics may own a better win-loss slate than the Wizards with a 20-14 record, but they have yet to impress the way they did last season and are not considered by a lot of fans as a team that can dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even with Isaiah Thomas having another strong season and the addition of Al Horford, fans still believe they are not doing enough to make them title contenders.
The Thunder and Grizzlies on the other hand have thrived in the Western Conference and are both in the thick of the race for one of the higher seeds for the playoffs. Memphis has had their share of injuries to their rotation players but has maintained a 22-14 record, while Russell Westbrook has simply been unstoppable so far and is on pace to replicate Oscar Robertson‘s feat and average a triple-double throughout the entire regular season.
Should the Wizards be able to maintain their recent roll of success and the Celtics string more wins together, they will surely be given a second look by ESPN or even by TNT and be featured in a nationally televised matchups in the future, but until then, they’ll have to settle on broadcasts covered by their local network until they generate more attention from fans across the country.