The NBA has released the 2008-2009 schedule and next season starts off with a bang for the Denver Nuggets.

The opening game of the season is on Wednesday, October 29th in Utah. They then play two days later in Los Angeles against Marcus Camby and the Clippers. The home opener will be the next night at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.

They play 18 games before the calendar flips to December and out of those 18 games they face Utah, the Lakers twice, New Orleans, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Boston. Toss in two games on the road versus the Clippers, one at Golden State, one at Cleveland and the annual disappointing loss at Charlotte and aside from playing Minnesota twice and getting Memphis and Milwaukee at home the Nuggets do not have many gimmies to start off the season. Yes, I just used the word and four times in one (undoubtedly grammatically incorrect) sentence.

One interesting characteristic of the schedule is the Nuggets do not have a home stand or road trip longer than three games until the end of December. Despite the lack of a long road trip, that is a lot of traveling. At one point in the schedule they have seven straight games where they will have to travel in order to play the game. Three of those games between November 19th and November 30th are home games, but they are all split up by single game road trips. That is not a road trip, but it might as well be with all the traveling. Things get worse from a traveling standpoint as the Nuggets have a stretch of 12 such games from December 15th to January 3rd where they will not be in the same city two games in a row.

January 3rd brings the Nuggets first home stand of more than three games as they play seven consecutive games at the Pepsi Center and ten of their 14 games in January are at The Can.

Of course, you know what happens after a long home stand, a longer road trip. The Nuggets will find themselves on the road for most of February as they have an eight game road trip that is fortunately broken up by the All-Star break. The Nuggets other four games that month are at home.

The important thing to keep in mind regarding the difficult of the opening month and the February schedule is with the trading deadline set for the end of February the Nuggets might find themselves struggling thus making it easier for management to pull the trigger on a trade to further reduce the team payroll.

March and April look to be the easier months on the schedule with no major road trips and some of the weaker teams in the league on the docket. They have a chance at making a late run at the playoffs if they have anything to play for following the trade deadline.

The four Western Conference teams the Nuggets only play three times are Golden State, Memphis, Phoenix and San Antonio. They play Golden State and San Antonio twice at home and Phoenix and Memphis twice on the road.

The other thing to take notice of is the number of back to back games. The Nuggets have struggled on the second half of back to back games going just 7-13 last season. In 2008-2009 they have 18 such affairs (edit: actually they have 21, thanks to JLucas4092 for proving that I cannot combine my knowledge of the days of the week and math) which is better than 22, but worse than say…seven.

After looking everything over I will give the Nuggets one little bit of advice regarding their 2008-2009 schedule. They might want to think twice about traveling to Seattle on January 2nd and February 4th. From what I hear, they might not find anyone to play there.