Has the summer flown by or what? Just months ago the Nuggets worst season in a decade concluded. Weeks ago the Nuggets completed one of their most impressive drafts in recent memory. And now, only days after European vacation commenced, the Nuggets 2014-15 schedule has been released.
Sticking with this summer’s theme, Roundball Mining Company may or may not analyze this news in great detail. Truth be told, I’ve never been a huge schedule-release guy. I mean, isn’t it sort of the same thing every year? You play the same teams in your division and the same teams in the rest of the league the same amount of times, right? Anyways, a few brief observations…
- The Nuggets open the season against the Pistons on Wednesday, October 29. In the 10 games following opening night the Nuggets will face the Cavaliers, Blazers and Thunder twice, as well as the Knicks and Pacers once. That’s eight games against teams most people have projected to make the playoffs next year.
- From December 8-20 the Nuggets will face the Heat, Spurs, Clippers, Pacers and Rockets (twice) all in a row. Luckily only one of these (Houston) will be on the road.
- The Nuggets’ final 10 games will all come against Western Conference opponents. Four of their last six will be against the Clippers (twice), Warriors and Mavericks. All of these teams will likely be fighting for playoff position, therefore these could be pivotal in deciding the Nuggets’ postseason fate.
- Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m biased, but when looking at the Nuggets’ schedule, I have to say, I don’t see too many teams I’d categorize as definitively better than the Nuggets — those teams being Chicago, Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, Los Angles (Clippers), Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Portland. And even in naming those, I’m not so sure the Nuggets couldn’t nab a higher playoff seed than Portland, Golden State or Houston if everything goes right for Denver this year. Even if you’re a hardened pessimist, I don’t see how you can look at the Nuggets’ roster, compare it to last year’s, compare it to every other team in the NBA, and say the Nuggets aren’t unequivocally better than at least half the teams in the league. The West will be a cat fight as usual, but I think the Nuggets have enough talent and depth to beat up on most of the teams in the NBA and steal quite a few from the heavyweights to mount a solid run at making the playoffs. Of course, this largely depends on the Nuggets’ overall team health and savvy of Brian Shaw, two things that remain fairly obscure at this point in time.