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A way too early prediction to which games the Denver Nuggets will win and lose based on the NBA 2017-2018 regular season schedule

Mid August? Good a time as any to predict exactly how the season will go

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA regular season schedule is upon us! Denver Nuggets fans everywhere are nodding approvingly at nine national television appearances while simultaneously raising their eyebrows at yet another road heavy opening to a season. Most will say it’s still too early to being predicting wins and losses and that knowledge is sound...but sound knowledge is for the middle of March. August is made of wild reaching proclamations based on the smallest tidbits of information. So without further adieu, let’s get to the de-facto, one hundred percent guaranteed and definitive breakdown of the 2017-2018 Denver Nuggets regular season (wins and losses not actually guaranteed).

October

Predicted record: 4-3

Back to backs: 1

Home/Road split: 2/5

The season opens a week earlier as the NBA attempts to limit the number of back to backs and eliminate the four games in five nights stretches. Denver gets a tough test to start the season, in Utah with a rabid Jazz fanbase, it’ll be tough to get a win there. Next they’ll play two at home against a young Sacramento Kings team and a talented Washington Wizards team, this is likely a split before Denver heads out for four straight road games. They’ll see the Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. It’s the type of road trip that a great team sweeps, but the Nuggets have been prone to drop winnable games, especially on the road, and will probably drop at least one here.

November

Predicted record: 8-6

Back to backs: 2

Home/Road split: 9/5

Denver opens December on their longest home stand of the season, a six game stretch with the defending champion Golden State Warriors right in the middle. The Nuggets also get two other playoff teams in that stretch in the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors. Optimistically though the team should be able to get to 4-2 on the homestand before the first rematch of the season with the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. That games starts a five of seven on the road stretch that luckily only features one upper tier team in the Houston Rockets. Still the Nuggets struggles on the road could bite them here and it’s easy to see them going 3-4 over those seven games. They’ll close out the month at home against the Chicago Bulls, a game they should win.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

December

Predicted record: 6-9

Back to backs: 2

Home/Road split: 5/10

December is a brutal month for the Nuggets. They’ll play twice as many games on the road including trips to Golden State, Boston, Oklahoma City and Portland. They’ll also get to see two teams expected to be competing with them for playoff positioning in the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans. They’ll face both of those teams twice in December. After December starts with a home game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver goes on a six game road trip that starts in Dallas and ends in Boston. It’s another case where if the team had shown more consistency on the road there wouldn’t be much to worry about, the competition on this road trip is decidedly meh, but with Denver having the pitfalls of a young team, its probably fair to expect them to go 2-4 over those six games. They’ll follow that with two home games against the T-Wolves and Pelicans and three road games against three playoff teams. The Nuggets could very well go 1-4 during that stretch and 4-8 on the month. They wrap up December with the Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers at home and a road game in Minnesota.

January

Predicted record: 9-6

Back to backs: 4

Home/Road split: 10/5

January would be a regular cake walk if it wasn’t for the back to backs. Still a home and mediocre opponent heavy schedule will help the Nuggets shake off a tough December and start off the new year with some momentum. The Nuggets open 2018 with a two game home set against the Suns and Jazz before a two game northern California trip featuring the Kings and Warriors. With the Kings game being the second night of a back to back that includes travel, the Nuggets probably go .500 over these four. Next Denver gets three of five at home, but the two road games are tough, at the Clippers and at the Spurs. Home competition is easy enough though and they should get 3 out of 5. Finally, the Nuggets close out the month on a five game home stand before wrapping up with another road date in San Antonio. The Blazers and Celtics are the only teams that represent much of a challenge on in those five home games meaning Denver should aim to go 4-1 before losing that last game of the month against the Spurs.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

February

Predicted record: 4-6

Back to backs: 1

Home/Road split: 7/3

February is a great month in terms of back to backs and home/road splits. Unfortunately, of the Nuggets ten games, eight are against playoff teams from last season. They’ll open the month on a three game homestand with the Thunder, Warriors and Hornets before playing two games on the road against the Suns and Rockets. That stretch also includes their one back to back of the month, so there’s a decent chance they go 2-3. The month closes with four of five at home, but the four homes games are the Spurs (twice), the Rockets and the Clippers; the road game is the Milwaukee Bucks. Once again, tough to see Denver doing any better than 2-3 over the course of five games.

March

Predicted record: 7-8

Back to backs: 3

Home/Road split: 4/11

March brings the longest road trip of the season and two dates with LeBron James. The Nuggets will start out with a pair of back to backs, getting Cleveland on the second half of them both times. Luckily they follow those four games up with three of four at home, all against lottery teams from last season. Denver should be able to pull out a 4-4 record through those first eight games of March. They close the month with the next seven games on the road, five of which will be against reigning playoff teams. The stretch should be expected to be brutal and likely will be the toughest test Denver will have seen since December. They’ll need to pull out a winning record on the trip to have a winning record for the month, which feels unlikely.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

April

Predicted record: 4-2

Back to backs: 0

Home/Road split: 4/2

Denver get’s a favorable schedule down the stretch in terms of getting to play at home. However, they’ll be playing some monster games with two matches against the T-wolves and a date with the Blazers and Clippers in the final week of the season. Their other two games are home matches against the Bucks and the Indiana Pacers. While overall the quality of their competition is good. The Nuggets should be in the thick of a playoff race and the home crowds should be pretty psyched. Denver can ride that wave of momentum and capture four of the six games in the final month of the season.

If the Nuggets marches through this season as laid out here, which undoubtedly they will, then their overall record for the season will be 42-40. That was enough to get Portland into the 8th seed last year, but with the West in a metaphorical arms race, one has to wonder if it will be enough again this season. If the Nuggets want to secure a playoff seed and perhaps even chase home court advantage in the first round, they’ll need to find consistency both on the road and against teams they should beat on a regular basis. Without that, they very well could end up finishing the season right around .500 and missing out on the postseason yet again.