Nuggets release 2014-15 schedule

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.
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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.
  • Heisenberg

    ESPN Forecast has the Nuggets finishing 11th at 38 wins. While I do believe that win total is a tad low, the fact is this team is on the outside looking in for the playoffs. 5 teams (Mavs, Rockets, Suns, Blazers, and Warriors) are quite a bit better than they were 2 years ago. Pelicans have also improved assuming everyone stays healthy.

    Honestly, this team could win close to 50 (I don’t think they will win that many, but that’s beside the point) and still, in my opinion, not make the playoffs.

    • Native Nugget

      The West is again ridiculously stacked, while the Nuggs roster is improved (through trade, draft and time to heal) our coach is the least experienced of all the teams that will be fighting for the last few playoff spots. Kerr is a new coach but his team shouldn’t be at the bottom of the 8 spots. While I believe Shaw will eventually be a good coach, I currently see him as a little below average in most categories with the exception of player development. Hopefully he improves quickly or we will be on the outside looking in two years in a row.

  • gimpcom187

    Kalen thanks for putting the time in to post. The mavs are pretty clearly a better team as they were last year and made some upgrades to team. In addition Memphis. PHX is better too though it is probably relatively close. Realistically the hope is the nugs have 2 of the bottom 5 in the west having bad injury years if they hope to sneak into playoffs.

    Realistic and pessimistic are not synonymous. 8 teams in the WEST you can easily name as better. CLE and chicago definitely better. Miami, Washington, PHX, Toronto are all in a pretty similar range with nuggets and likelier to make the playoffs. New Orleans, Brooklyn, Charlotte and maybe even detroit are in a tier that is very capable of being better than nugs (at least record wise). In addition it doesn’t really matter if they are in the top half of the league in talent/coaching only if they are in the top 8 in the West.

  • mike gomez

    i could see Houston or Memphis falling out of the west. Houston decline and memphis well they didn’t add anything but carter.

    • Heisenberg

      Memphis missed Gasol for a good chunk of last season and still won 50 games.

      Houston’s only true losses were Lin and Parsons (Asik was a non-factor for most of the season). And they replaced Parsons with a solid player in Ariza. They won’t be top 4 but still should make the playoffs.

      • mike gomez

        i still see either one of them falling out. rockets still lost some serious depth and the all round play of parsons. yeah they got ariza and their defends might improve but still is was down grade. history has shown ariza has only played big in contract years so who knows. idk i just could picture the grizzles falling out.

        • gimpcom187

          So memphis is out because………. that conveniently puts the nugs in position to get swept in round 1?

          • mike gomez

            well i believe we could be better than Memphis, but i cant see for sure because i don’t how everybody at, terms of health. if hundred percent sure we could beat out a rocket team or a grizzles team. then you also got the pelicans if they figure out to play together and stay healthy they could playoff team. right it looks like the nuggets,grizzles,rockets, and pelicans are going to be fight for those finals spots,

            • Heisenberg

              Phoenix will be in it too. Upgraded big in getting Isaiah Thomas. Also upgraded at SF with Warren (potential darkhorse for ROY, IMO).

              • mike gomez

                im just not sold on the suns. yeah adding thomas is nice, but was he really a need? well maybe now if they trade bledsoe because he might want to be there no more.

              • Heisenberg

                Thomas really helps their bench. I also expect Plumlee to show improvement. Hornacek appears to be a pretty good coach and the Suns have a talented roster.

              • mike gomez

                i just think they overachieved last season, i just look at the roster, and its doesn’t look like playoff team to me.

  • CD Pascual

    1) Spurs 62 wins
    2) Thunder 60 wins
    3) Clippers 58 wins
    4) Mavericks 57 wins
    5) Blazers 53 wins
    6) Nuggets 52 wins
    7) Memphis 50 wins
    8) Warriors 48 wins

    I don’t see the Rockets reaching the playoffs after how the Blazers exposed them last season. Ariza is a solid pickup yes, but I don’t see him becoming ‘that’ replacement for Parsons. The Rockets don’t have a backup center (Motiejunas?) for Howard, who seems to be the team’s only defensive stud on the low block and James Harden makes Carmelo look like Bruce Bowen. No, seriously, Harden has zero awareness on D. And the Nuggets (despite being too banged up) were able to tie the series against the Warriors last season, and proved that the Iggy signing was a flop-in-the-making.