Denver Nuggets' Schedule Release: Top 10 Games to Watch

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The regular season schedule is out and there are plenty of tantalizing games on the docket for the Denver Nuggets heading into their 2019-20 campaign. With the season just 71 days away, here are the top 10 games to look forward to: 

[All times are MT]

1. Nuggets at Trail Blazers, Oct. 23, 7:00 p.m. 

Credit the schedule makers for knowing how to get the season started off on a dramatic note. Denver opens its season at Portland, its division rival and the team that ended its playoff run last season. The Nuggets’ second-round loss in Game 7 still lingers and they won’t be short for motivation against a team that retooled this summer, adding former Heat star big man Hassan Whiteside and Nassir Little in the first round.

2. Nets at Nuggets, Nov. 14, 8:30 p.m. 

In a summer where several superstars changed teams, the Nets arguably had the biggest offseason in the Eastern Conference as they added two All-NBAers in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency. While Durant is set to be sidelined as he recovers from an Achilles injury suffered during the NBA Finals, Irving’s arrival in the Mile High City shouldn’t disappoint. The last time Irving played at Pepsi Center, Jamal Murray went off for a career-high 48 points – prompting a very angry response from the then-Celtics guard. 

READ MORE: 
Nuggets announce schedule

Key takeaways from the schedule

3. Rockets at Nuggets, Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. 

Russell Westbrook is a Rocket. Read that again. Seeing the 2017 MVP in Red and White will take some getting used to and Nuggets get their first look at the new-look Rockets in late November. 

4. Nuggets at Lakers, Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m. 

The Nuggets will travel to LeBron’s kingdom in what should be an electric matchup between two likely Western Conference contenders. Anthony Davis’ arrival in L.A. has reenergized the Lakers’ fanbase and it will be interesting to see how coach Michael Malone defensively schemes against the All-Star big man. 

5. Pelicans at Nuggets, Dec. 25, 8:30 p.m. 

There’s no bigger sign of the Nuggets’ rise to prominence than their return to Christmas Day action – a slate that’s reserved for the most captivating teams in the NBA. The team hosts 2019 No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson, a player who can affect games with his physical ability alone – he’s a chiseled 6-foot-7 and 287 pounds and boasts a 45-inch vertical leap.

6. Nuggets at Mavericks, Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Denver takes its longest road trip between Dec. 30 to Jan. 8, travel that will see the team span 4,152 miles! The trip ends in a nationally-televised game in Dallas against a Mavericks squad which could make a surprise run to the playoffs. Led by 2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić and 2018 NBA All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, the duo could be among the league’s elite if they click. If there’s an area the Nuggets would like to improve upon last season’s impressive campaign, it’s their road record at 20-21. 

7. Clippers at Nuggets, Jan. 12, 6:00 p.m. 

Malone’s team faces a newly-built contender in the Clippers for the first time in January. Led by Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles should have the best perimeter defense in the league. Denver could have an advantage in its frontcourt with All-NBA first-team star Nikola Jokić, Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee taking on a relatively young group on the opposition. 

8. Nuggets at Bucks, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m. 

With Leonard departing the NBA champion Raptors, the Bucks are now the presumptive favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets take on the 2018-19 MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee for the first time at the end of January. 

9. Warriors at Nuggets, March 3, 7:00 p.m. 

The Warriors might not have Durant, Andre Iguodala or Shaun Livingston anymore, but they will remain contenders as long as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and head coach Steve Kerr remain in the fold. This is the second game of the season series between the two teams and with Thompson likely back at this stage and the addition of All-Star D’Angelo Russell, this will be a good indicator of where Denver stacks up against the 2019 NBA Finalists. 

10. Jazz at Nuggets, April 5, 4:00 p.m. 

Mike Conley’s arrival in Salt Lake City might make Utah to biggest challengers to Denver’s Northwest division title and this late-season tilt could determine playoff seeding. The Jazz were the only team in the division that beat the Nuggets in their season series last season (going 3-1), something Malone and his staff will look to change this season. 

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