Denver Nuggets: 5 Must-See Home Games In 2013-14
Denver Nuggets: 5 Can't Miss Home Games
The NBA released its schedule for the 2013-14 season on Tuesday. Hoops fans were no doubt waiting in anticipation to see who their team would face on opening night as well as the other must see games on the docket.
The Denver Nuggets are a team searching for their identity after an unpredictable offseason that left many scratching their heads about just what this team's front office was trying to accomplish. The Nuggets will return most of the same roster that won a Denver NBA franchise-best 57 games. However, there are a few new faces that will take the court including Nate Robinson, Randy Foye, Darrell Arthur and JJ Hickson.
Fresh faces will also be found on the sidelines in Denver, as rookie head coach Brian Shaw replaces George Karl. Shaw will look to institute an actual offensive scheme this season versus Karl's philosophy of "play random." It will be interesting to see what Shaw can get from his young team as he is known for his player development abilities.
JaVale McGee is one player that will benefit from the new coach as he will be a full-time starter for the first time since joining the Nuggets. Another player that will benefit from Shaw's wisdom is point guard Ty Lawson who is going into his third full season as Denver's starting floor general. Shaw was an NBA point guard for 14 seasons and will have plenty of knowledge to share as Lawson looks to become an elite point guard.
The Nuggets start their season on the road October 30 against the Sacramento Kings where they will meet their former assistant GM, Pete D'Alessandro's team. This is just one of many exciting storylines to watch during the Nuggets' season. Another big question for the Nuggets is whether or not they can maintain the home court dominance they displayed in 2012-13 with a 38-3 home record. With that said, here are 5 can't miss games on Pepsi Center's calendar.
Oklahoma City Thunder - 1/9/2014
The Oklahoma City Thunder visit Denver for the second and final time during the regular season on January 4. Russell Westbrook should be back with the Thunder by then and no doubt Nuggets fans will be ready to boo him after last season's antics involving the Nuggets beloved mascot Rocky. The Thunder and Nuggets have had one of the better rivalries in recent years and both teams usually rise to the occasion for an exciting battle. Kevin Durant put up a then career-high 51 points against the Nuggets in 2012.
Houston Rockets - 4/9/2014
After last summer's addition of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, plus the trade for James Harden, the Houston Rockets were one of the most exciting, young NBA teams to watch in 2012-13. With the offseason acquisition of Dwight Howard, the Rockets look to be a contender in the Western Conference. Their lone date in Denver is April 9.
Miami Heat - 12/30/2013
The Miami Heat marched to their second NBA title in a row in 2012-13. They look to be on the road to the first NBA three-peat in a decade. Dwyane Wade had never won a game in Denver until last season with the help of Chris Bosh's 40-point game. The only chance Nuggets fans will get to see the Heat and LeBron James in Denver is December 30, the last Nuggets game of 2013. It will also be a homecoming of sorts for former Nuggets fan-favorite the "Birdman" Chris Andersen.
Golden State Warriors (Tie) - 12/23/2013 & 4/16/2014
The most exciting games that the Nuggets played last season seemed to come against the Golden State Warriors. Add in some playoff bad blood and the defection of Andre Iguodala to Golden State and these two teams will take the rivalry to another level. The Warriors visit Pepsi Center on December 23 and again on April 16 for the regular season finale. These games could likely have playoff implications for both teams as the Nuggets battle to stay in the top eight of the Western Conference and the Warriors look to ascend further.
New York Knicks - 11/29/2013
Carmelo Anthony will visit Denver for just the second time since forcing his way to the New York Knicks via trade during the 2010-11 season. Melo was welcomed back to the Mile High City in the manner most expected - he was booed out of the building with chants of "who needs Melo" that were deafening. Anthony ended up running back to the visitor's locker room with his tail between his legs after a timely injury while the Knicks were down by 20-plus. You can bet that the boo birds will show up for this one as the Knicks make their only stop in Denver on November 29. Former Nuggets JR Smith, Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin also return.