The Denver Nuggets got the rest of their schedule 31 games into the season.
The NBA released the second half of the season’s schedule Wednesday afternoon. Should all go as planned, the Nuggets will play 36 games, with two others postponed, before the All-Star break and have another 34 scheduled to be played between March 12 and May 16. Five of those games stand out as especially interesting for Nuggets fans.
March 26 at New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans’ highlight-factory forward Zion Williamson is always worth a watch, but there’s more to this game, considering the NBA’s trade deadline is set for March 25.
The Nuggets have been rumored to be interested in a move, but it’s unclear exactly how interested they are in sending out any of their talented young players in a win-now move. We’ll have a better idea what the Nuggets’ rest-of-season roster will look like when Denver visits New Orleans.
March 30 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Reports of the NBA big man’s demise were premature, and Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid will look to prove as much March 30.
Both candidates for Most Valuable Player, Jokic and Embiid will meet for the first time this season in Denver, as Embiid missed the game in Philadelphia.
The 76ers top the Eastern Conference standings behind Embiid’s 29.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
The Nuggets are seventh in the Western Conference, though that’s hardly Jokic’s fault. Denver’s star center is posting 27 points, 10.9 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.6 blocks per game.
May 3 at Los Angeles Lakers
The Nuggets open the final month of the regular season with a road trip that should give them a pretty good idea of where they stand heading into the playoffs.
After a May 1 game against the Clippers, Denver will stay in Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. The Nuggets beat the reigning champions on Valentine’s Day, but that win came with Anthony Davis missing the second half.
Should the Lakers be at full strength and LeBron James playing for the MVP award come May, the Nuggets should have a solid understanding of how they stack up against two of the most talented teams in the conference.
May 7 at Utah Jazz
Division titles don’t get an NBA team much of anything, but they seem to mean something to Denver coach Michael Malone.
The Nuggets have won the Northwest Division each of the last two seasons, but the final trip to Utah this season seems like a must-win if the Nuggets are to make it three in a row.
The Jazz sit atop the Western Conference with a 25-6 record. One of those losses came in Denver, and the Nuggets will look to pick up another game late in the regular season.
May 16 at Portland Trail Blazers
Playoff seeding, or playoff qualification if things go downhill, could be on the line when the Nuggets close the regular season against a familiar foe.
The Trail Blazers eliminated the Nuggets from the 2019 playoffs. After Denver’s win over Portland on Tuesday, the teams are separated by one game in the Western Conference standings.
Should Carmelo Anthony call it a career after this season, this would likely also go down as his final game against Denver, the team that drafted him back in 2003.