The 2017-18 NBA schedule has been released. What can Denver Nuggets fans expect and what games should they circle on the calendar for this upcoming season?
The NBA officially released the 2017-18 regular season schedule on Tuesday. With the games themselves still weeks away, basketball fans were eager for NBA related news. The schedule quickly became the talking point of NBA twitter. Although for Denver Nuggets fans, it was more of a collective sigh than it was an excited discussion.
The Nuggets will start the season on the road yet again as they tip the season off in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 18th. Their home opener comes three days later on the 21st, as the Nuggets take on the new look Sacramento Kings.
After another home game on Monday the 23rd against the Wizards, the Nuggets will embark on a four game east coast road trip against the Hornets, Hawks, Nets, and Knicks—not a particularly brutal stretch for the first road stint of the year.
Denver will return to the Pepsi Center for a six game home stand that ranges from November 1st to November 11th. During that stretch, the Nuggets will take on some really exciting teams like Toronto, Miami, the defending champs from Golden State, and they’ll get their first look at Paul George in an Oklahoma City uniform.
The Thunder game, which takes place on November 9th, will be televised nationally on TNT and will be the Nuggets first of nine nationally televised games throughout the season.
In addition to those nine national games, the Nuggets will have six more aired on NBA TV. Here’s a handy graphic breaking down each team’s televised games:
Each team's number of national TV games overall and by network. pic.twitter.com/CZ2ZpGWEo7
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 14, 2017
As the calendar flips over to 2018, things get really tough for Denver:
January looks to be one of Denver’s toughest months on the schedule. They’ll face the Warriors at the Oracle on Monday the 8th. They’ll also play San Antonio on the road in the second game of a back-to-back—not once, but twice before the month’s end. Hang in there, it gets worse.
The most difficult stretch of the Nuggets schedule will come in February, when they will be faced with the toughest month on the schedule for any team in the NBA. This according to Yaya Dubin’s strength of schedule breakdown, ranked by 2016-17 W-L% and Pythagorean expectation:
Five toughest months on the schedule:
5. LAL Apr (.578)
4. OKC Apr (.585)
3. NOP Apr (.596)
2. UTA Dec (.602)
1. DEN Feb (.609)
— Yaya Dubin (@JADubin5) August 15, 2017
The Nuggets will play seven of their ten games in the month of February at home, but the teams they’re facing are going to make it a tough stretch. Here are the teams they will face in order with dates, times, locations, and TV stations for where to watch the game:
Feb. 1st–Oklahoma City Thunder: Pepsi Center 8:30 p.m. nationally televised on TNT
Feb. 3rd–Golden Sate Warriors: Pepsi Center 7 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 5th–Charlotte Hornets: Pepsi Center 7 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 9th–Houston Rockets: Away 6 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 10th–Phoenix Suns: Away 7 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 13th–San Antonio Spurs: Pepsi Center 8:30 p.m. nationally televised on TNT
Feb. 15th–Milwaukee Bucks: Away 6 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 23rd–San Antonio Spurs: Pepsi Center 7 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 25th–Houston Rockets: Pepsi Center 6 p.m. Altitude
Feb. 27th–Los Angeles Clippers: Pepsi Center 8:30 p.m. nationally televised on TNT
The Nuggets will again have their work cut out for them in March. They’ll have to face the Cavaliers twice in just four days. The first game is on March 3rd, in Cleveland, followed by a trip to Dallas on the 6th, and then another match up with the Cavs in the Pepsi center that following night—this one will be played in front of a national audience on ESPN.
While March projects to be a considerably easier month than February, it also features Denver’s longest road trip of the year. It’s a seven game stint, and it lasts from March 17th to March 30th. The road trip starts in Memphis, ends in Oklahoma City, and will feature tough opponents like Miami, Washington, Philadelphia, and Toronto along the way.
The Nuggets then play four of their last six games of the regular season at home. They’ll finish with Portland and Minnesota in their last two match ups. With both of those teams more than likely challenging the Nuggets for a playoff spot, those two games may be the most important ones of the season.
The Portland game will be at the Pepsi Center on Monday April 9th at 7 p.m. . The Minnesota game will be on April 11th at 6 p.m. in Minnesota to close out the regular season.
The schedule as a whole projects to be another tough one for the Nuggets—the sixth toughest in the league in fact, according to YaYa’s strength of schedule breakdown. But the expectations are high, and they’ll have to push through as the fans hope to see them clinch their first playoff berth since the 2012-2013 season.
Here’s a copy of the Nuggets entire schedule. Save it on your phone, print it out and stick it on your fridge, do whatever you have to do to stay up to date on all the Nuggets action this season!
— NuggetsPR (@NuggetsPR) August 15, 2017