The Denver Nuggets upcoming 2013-14 NBA schedule, like the rest of the league, was announced yesterday at 6pm EDT. Since I believe that the Nuggets will once again be dominant at home this season after coming off a league best 38-3 record at Pepsi Center last season, I believe two critical stretches on the road will define their new season.
Looking at the Nuggets schedule in the 2013-14 season, two long road trips stand out to me. During the first part of the season, Denver will travel to the east coast for a six-game road swing that will start on December 1 with the Toronto Raptors and end against the Washington Wizards on December 9. The Nuggets have had the tendency over the years to struggle not only on the road but on the east coast in particular. The trip will consist of games against the Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and finishes with a game versus the aforementioned Wizards.
In March, towards the tail end of the season, the Nuggets will once again get tested on the road out East. This critical stretch starts with a battle against the New Orleans Pelicans on March 9 and ends with the Atlanta Hawks on March 15. There is no doubt that Denver will be tested on this five-game road trip versus the Pelicans, Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and concluding with the Hawks.
Combined, these two critical stretches on the road featuring eleven total road games could make or break the Nuggets’ season in regards to prime playoff positioning within the Western Conference.
If Denver protects home court, as I trust they will, and can finish around .500 during the course of these critical eleven games on the road, they will find themselves in a favorable place come playoff time.