The NBA announced several aspects of the 2021-22 schedule on Tuesday afternoon, ranging from the preseason schedule, to the national TV schedule for opening week, to the five-game Christmas Day slate.
The Nuggets won’t take part on Christmas Day for the first time in three seasons.
The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25) for the 14th year in a row, with ESPN or ABC televising each matchup. pic.twitter.com/IEvOgFkXCQ— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 17, 2021
The following matchups will take place instead:
- Atlanta Hawks vs New York Knicks
- Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks
- Golden State Warriors vs Phoenix Suns
- Brooklyn Nets vs Los Angeles Lakers
- Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz
At first glance, there really isn’t any issue with those matchups. The top two seeds in each conference are...wait no, the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t playing. Well, at least the best players are...wait no, Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid aren’t playing. Well, at least the conference finalists are...wait no, the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t playing, despite beating the Jazz without Kawhi Leonard at the end. The Boston Celtics are also just...kinda there? It’s a weird slate of games.
Either way, the Nuggets did get a game on national TV during opening week, a road rematch against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, October 20th.
The first four days of the season will feature eight national television games. Those games will showcase:— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 17, 2021
• 12 different teams
• The last eight players to win the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award
• Three rematches from last season’s playoffs. pic.twitter.com/B6ccuTTTb5
That should be an interesting contest. Though the Nuggets will still be without Jamal Murray, they may be interested in some revenge after being swept by the Suns in the playoffs in June. Nikola Jokić and Michael Porter Jr. will surely be up to the task. The Suns are coming off of a deep playoff run, just two wins away from an NBA title. They will be hungry as well.
Finally, the Nuggets announced their preseason schedule, which includes five total games, four of which are on the road:
Nuggets just announced their preseason schedule:— Mike Singer (@msinger) August 17, 2021
@ LAC on Oct. 4
@ GSW on Oct 6
vs. Minny on Oct 8
@ OKC on Oct 13 & 14
The Nuggets will play one home game on October 8th. Otherwise, they will be spending time in California and Oklahoma City, hoping to iron out the rotation and work out the kinks from their roughly four month offseason. The games themselves aren’t interesting, but the lineups and rotations will be fun to track, as well as the chemistry between Jokić and Porter and how it evolves without Murray as the stable second option.
The rest of the regular season schedule should be announced Friday afternoon, and Denver Stiffs will cover the schedule drop at that point and offer our thoughts on the subject when the time comes.