Key takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ 2019 preseason schedule
The Denver Nuggets have officially revealed their preseason schedule for the 2019-20 season. Denver’s first game of the season will take place on October 8, when it travels to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers. That contest will take place at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
READ MORE: Nuggets release 2019 preseason schedule
The Nuggets will then continue on the road for their next two preseason games against the L.A. Clippers (October 10) and Phoenix Suns (October 14). Denver will then close out their four-game preseason slate at home against the Trail Blazers on October 17.
The four-game schedule will provide the Nuggets with a couple of opportunities to evaluate some Western Conference competitors. Here are some key takeaways from the 2019 preseason schedule:
1) Denver will become very familiar with Portland
The Nuggets and Trail Blazers are no strangers. Counting the 2019 playoffs, the two teams faced off 11 times last season. While the Nuggets won the regular-season series, Portland was able to outlast Denver in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
With the teams matching up for two preseason games in addition to the four they will play throughout the regular season, the divisional rivalry will continue in the 2019-20 season.
The Trail Blazers had an active offseason, which saw them add players such as Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. However, Portland did part ways with Evan Turner, Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu. With the Nuggets adding Jerami Grant to the mix, fans will get an early glimpse at how the two teams match-up.
READ More: What Grant brings to the Nuggets
2) Nuggets will get an early look at the new Clippers
The Clippers were one of the biggest winners in the 2019 offseason, as they were able to sign Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George. Given their existing depth in the form of Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers are viewed by many to be a title contender.
The Nuggets would certainly like to say something about that, and a preseason matchup against L.A. will be a good test for both teams on different sides of the team-building spectrum. On the one hand, Denver has preached continuity and player development. On the other, the Clippers just added two All-NBA players in one offseason, which forced them to trade key players such as Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
To be the best, you have to beat the best. The Nuggets will get an early look at a team many consider to be the best in the Western Conference.
3) A preseason road trip can further develop chemistry
While preseason games don’t come with the pressure, exposure and expectations of regular-season contests, traveling as a team early in the season can instill team bonding and chemistry. For a Nuggets team that is returning the entirety of their playoff rotation, there is existing chemistry that should help the team early in the season.
Having a preseason road trip to integrate Grant and develop comradery could do wonders for a Nuggets team that is banking on its well-established solidarity to keep pace with the other Western Conference teams that added All-Stars in the offseason.