Wizards escape Washington, D.C. ahead of Sandy's landfall

The Washington Wizards will open their regular season as scheduled Tuesday night after making plans to leave Washington, D.C., ahead of Hurricane Sandy.

The storm is expected to bring heavy wind and rains to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions Monday and Tuesday, which would have made the team's typical day-before travel routine impossible. Instead of practicing in Washington Monday morning and traveling to Cleveland later Monday afternoon as the team had planned to do, the Wizards made an early getaway, leaving D.C. for Cleveland at 8 a.m. Monday. From the Washington Post:

"It's not ideal but, you know what, safety first No. 1," Coach Randy Wittman said. "Listening to people talk, they're talking about the storm of the last 20 to 30 years that's come across here. Obviously the league also has input on that, making us get out early to secure that we get [to Cleveland]."

The game between Washington and Cleveland is the first of the NBA season, although it takes a backseat to some of Tuesday night's more marquee matchups that will be nationally televised. Sandy likely won't cause any cancellations in the NBA, as the only game in the region Tuesday or Wednesday -- Detroit vs. Philadelphia on Wednesday night -- should be able to go off without a hitch.

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