clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Predicting the Denver Nuggets 2016-2017 record

New, comments

Now that the schedule has been released, how many games will the Nuggets win in 2016-17?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA released individual team schedules the other day, which brings temporary relief from some of the slowest days of summer as we wait for the season to begin. Much of the offseason is spent speculating and guessing what the outcome of the future will be, but now that we are nearing the actual season a lot of these predictions will begin to have more merit.

One item commonly discussed these days is a team's overall record, and the Nuggets are no exception. ESPN projected Denver to win only 34 games this season, just one better than last year's campaign, and the Las Vegas over/under for Nuggets wins in 2016 is a paltry 26.5.

But now that the schedule is actually released we can at least look at the games and use that as an indicator, as small as it may be, to predict how this season will turn out. So what will the Nuggets record be at the end of next season, and which games will they win? Take a look at my loose predictions below:

October

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
26 New Orleans Away W
29 Portland Home W
31 Toronto Away L

The Nuggets start out strong with wins against New Orleans and Portland, but fall to Toronto at the start of a pretty tough road trip right at the beginning of the season.

October Record: 2-1
Overall Record: 2-1

November

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
3 Minnesota Away L
5 Detroit Away W
6 Boston Away L
8 Memphis Away L
10 Golden State Home L
12 Detroit Home W
13 Portland Away L
16 Phoenix Home W
18 Toronto Home L
20 Utah Home L
22 Chicago Home L
23 Utah Away W
25 Oklahoma City Home L
27 Phoenix Away W
30 Miami Home W

Denver falls flat on the opening road trip, notching just one win in five games. The young team struggles to connect on the court through the first month, showing glimpses of promise but not much is reflected in the win column.

November record: 6-9
Overall record: 8-10

December

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
2 Houston Home W
3 Utah Away L
5 Philadelphia Away W
7 Brooklyn Away W
8 Washington Away L
10 Orlando Away W
12 Dallas Away W
15 Portland Home L
17 New York Home W
19 Dallas Home W
20 LA Clippers Away L
23 Atlanta Home W
26 LA Clippers Away L
28 Minnesota Home L
30 Philadelphia Home W

Things improve as winter rolls in. The Nuggets manage to climb above .500 for a small portion of the month following a strong road trip at the beginning of the month.

December record: 8-7
Overall record: 16-17

January

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
2 Golden State Away L
3 Sacramento Home W
5 San Antonio Home W
7 Oklahoma City Away L
12 Indiana London W
16 Orlando Home L
17 LA Lakers Away L
19 San Antonio Away L
21 LA Clippers Home L
22 Minnesota Away W
24 Utah Home L
26 Phoenix Home L
28 Phoenix Away W
31 LA Lakers Away W

The Nuggets hold down home court during the first half of the month, including a special win across the pond in London. Unfortunately, the second half of the month is all against Western Conference opponents where Denver struggles and puts up a 3-6 record..

January record: 6-8
Overall record: 22-25

February

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
1 Memphis Home L
3 Milwaukee Home W
4 San Antonio Away L
6 Dallas Home W
8 Atlanta Away L
10 New York Away W
11 Cleveland Away L
13 Golden State Home L
15 Minnesota Home L
23 Sacramento Away W
24 Brooklyn Home W
26 Memphis Home W
28 Chicago Away L

Heading into the All-Star break, Denver sits at 25-31 and well outside the playoff reach. The second half schedule, however, presents plenty of opportunity to play catch up, and the Nuggets come out of the gate looking to do so.

February record: 6-7
Overall record: 28-32

March

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
1 Milwaukee Away L
4 Charlotte Home W
6 Sacramento Home L
8 Washington Home W
10 Boston Home L
11 Sacramento Away W
13 LA Lakers Home W
16 LA Clippers Home L
18 Houston Home W
20 Houston Away L
22 Cleveland Home L
24 Indiana Away W
26 New Orleans Home W
28 Portland Away L
31 Charlotte Away L

The Nuggets continue a strong second half of the season but can't sustain momentum to go on extended winning streaks. Playoff hopes start dwindling, but the individual development of a lot of the players continues to impress.

March record: 7-8
Overall record: 35-40

April

Date Opponent Home/Away Prediction
2 Miami Away W
4 New Orleans Away L
5 Houston Away W
7 New Orleans Home W
9 Oklahoma City Home L
11 Dallas Away W
12 Oklahoma City Away W

April will be a hot month for the Nuggets as they finish the season strong with some big wins over other potential playoff teams. If the Nuggets are still in contention by then, these games will certainly be must-win.

April record: 5-2
Overall record: 40-42
Home record: 22-19
Away record: 18-23

Conclusion

One thing I'd like to note is Denver's away record. Last season the Nuggets were 15-26 on the road, which needs serious improvement if they are going to talk about being in the playoffs. At best I think Denver will be creeping in and if they did qualify for the postseason it wouldn't be until the bitter end, which brings me to this: seven of the last nine games Denver plays are on the road, and all of those will be crucial if the Nuggets are on the fringe. Let's seriously hope their play away from Pepsi Center improves.

I also don't think 40-42 is necessarily a bad record for Denver as long as the team shows improvement and and keeps heading up the right path. 40 wins is very solid for this roster and a very obtainable goal. Of course, I hope that things will click and everyone will stay healthy because if so there is a chance that the Nuggets could slide into the playoffs. Ultimately, though, I think they will fall just short and sit at the nine or ten seed at season's end.