Six hundred and twenty one.

Six hundred and twenty one motherbleeping days. Nearly 89 weeks. Pretty damned near 15,000 hours since the last time I got to see the Denver Nuggets live and in person. I didn’t catch a single game in person last year, much to my chagrin. Fortunately, the last in-person game I was able to attend was one of my favorite Nuggets nights, not because I saw a Nuggets loss to the Clippers, but certainly due to these fine gents below, in a Stiffs Night Out. If it tells you how much fun we had, look at these happy faces, even in the midst of the Brian Shaw Nuggets: SNOwestcoaststyleoptimized.0.jpg

This weekend, I’ll get to see the Nuggets play two preseason contests in three nights against the Los Angeles Lakers, with a game tomorrow evening at the Staples Center and another Sunday night in my old Inland Empire stomping grounds.

One of the better reasons to make it to both games is that they are hard to catch in any other way, as well illustrated in a great read by Jeff Morton, showing the Nuggets parent enterprise missing a prime opportunity to grow their local fan base with preseason coverage this season. With troubles in attendance and attention, the Nugs should be investing in every eyeball they can get, especially in their home state.

The other great reason to check out the games in person is to see how these Nuggets will fare against another young squad in the Lakers, and to watch some of the combinations Coach Michael Malone might be working through, though sadly without a view of an injured Gary Harris. It’s good to get an up-close view of how the team plays in person, and watch how they interact on the bench and in breaks. The Nuggets showed a lot of positive signs on the court and on the bench in their win against the Toronto Raptors to kick off their preseason a few nights ago.

The few and curious fans of Nuggets Nation are not the only ones who are noticing.

The rumbles are starting amongst the national media that Denver might be a sleeper this year, with CBS Sports recently joining the fray. When you look at a treasure trove of young pieces in Harris, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez, paired with a returning Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, Jameer Nelson, and more, it’s easy to see why many are turning bullish on Denver’s prospects this season.

Though admittedly (and sometimes persistently and foolishly) bullish myself, I have a question or two for the Stiffs:

Will all these positive signs bring any more curious fans to preseason games in Colorado, or will the swing voters leave their dollars in their wallets until the Nuggets have shown some regular season success? Will you be going to any of the Nuggets preseason games if they are anywhere near you, or do you save that money for the real thing?

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