The Denver Nuggets know their 2016-17 schedule. The NBA released all 30 teams’ full season schedules on Thursday afternoon.
The Nuggets open their season Oct. 26 against the Pelicans in New Orleans. They’ll play their home opener at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 29 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Here are a couple other takeaways from Denver’s schedule, which you can view in its entirety here:
- Six of the Nuggets’ first seven games of the season are on the road. After their home opener against Portland, they’ll travel to Toronto, Minnesota, Detroit, Boston and Memphis. Four of those five teams made the playoffs last year, with the promising young Timberwolves being the only exception. It’s a tough way to start the year — especially for a young team like the Nuggets.
- Denver first plays the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 10 in Denver. The Warriors, fresh off a collapse to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, added Kevin Durant in free agency this summer. Durant will star alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on a Warriors squad that has the potential to be one of the best offensive teams ever. Barring injury, the Nuggets will likely get waxed. But if you appreciate good basketball, it’s a game worth coming out to.
- Weird factoid: Denver only has 40 home games this season. Most teams have 41. The reason why? A Jan. 12 matchup against the Indiana Pacers in London. The game is part of the NBA’s initiative to increase popularity overseas. Pretty dope.
- Anybody want to check out the defending champs? Nuggets fans’ only opportunity to see the Cleveland Cavaliers in Denver falls on March 22. LeBron James has almost the entire team back that shocked Golden State in June. Really, the only major contributor from the championship team we’re unsure will return is J.R. Smith, who’s still a free agent. (Please, God, let J.R. Smith re-sign with Cleveland.)
- Denver has three national TV games scheduled for this season, which is three more than last season. The Nuggets will play Houston Dec. 2 on ESPN, and then will play the Spurs Jan. 5 and Lakers March 13 on TNT. All three games start at 8:30 p.m. MT. Denver ended up having one national TV game last year, but only because it was playing the Warriors, who were going for history.
- The Nuggets’ final six games of the season are crucial to their playoff hopes. Denver closes out the regular season against New Orleans, Houston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Oklahoma City. All look primed to compete for the Western Conference’s No. 4-8 seeds. Denver is gunning for one of those seeds; Nuggets players and coaches have repeatedly said that making the playoffs this season is the goal. If they are to make the postseason for the first time since 2013, finishing strong in these six games is critical.