According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has released its full preseason schedule, dating from December 11th to December 19th.
Full NBA Preseason schedule: pic.twitter.com/QIpc6lWdO9— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 27, 2020
A closer look at the schedule showcases some marquee matchups. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will play on the 12/11 and again on 12/13. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will play Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on the 12/12 and again on 12/14. The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will play on 12/15, and so on.
Looking more closely at the Denver Nuggets, and appears that Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, and the rest of the team will play three games:
- Denver Nuggets AT Golden State Warriors - December 12th at 6:30 pm MT
- Portland Trail Blazers AT Denver Nuggets - December 16th at 7:00 pm MT
- Portland Trail Blazers AT Denver Nuggets - December 18th at 7:00 pm MT
The Nuggets will get their first look at Stephen Curry and the Warriors in their first outing, traveling to San Francisco to face the former giants and evaluate where they stand today. Klay Thompson’s achilles tear was a major blow to Golden State’s championship hopes, but with Draymond Green, Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins, and second overall pick James Wiseman also in tow, the Warriors will be a tough out in any situation. This game will be a good test against size on the wing, athleticism at center, and a flamethrower of a point guard.
Denver’s second and third games will be at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, a familiar foe that should continue to give the Nuggets trouble after a strong offseason. The additions of Robert Covington, Enes Kanter, and Derrick Jones Jr., as well as the healthy returns of Zach Collins and Rodney Hood, should be more than enough firepower to accompany Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic. After the Nuggets were eliminated in the 2019 playoffs to the Blazers, this rivalry has always felt fairly serious. Two preseason games won’t affect that, but Nuggets fans would surely take solace if Denver performed well.
With the beginning of the NBA season set for December 22nd, the preseason has been shortened to three games in order to minimize the amount of time before the regular season begins. Teams will need a small ramp up period, and it will be important for every team to be hyper-focused during this stretch. The margin for error is so small in terms of getting ready for what’s to come.
How the Nuggets will approach those contests remains to be seen.