Denver Nuggets schedule 2013: Proving their place

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets lost Andre Iguodala and coach George Karl but could still give many top Western Conference teams a run for their money.

Things may look different in 2013-14 following the most successful regular season in the history of the Denver Nuggets, but there's reason to believe the team will challenge for a playoff seed, maybe even a high one. Still, Denver has to prove it's not a team to mess with after losing Andre Iguodala and replacing George Karl with Brian Shaw.

Five games to watch

Nov. 8 at Phoenix -- Maybe it won't be competitive against a lowly Suns team, but you never know. Meetings between the two teams have historically produced a lot of points, but that should be especially true in 2013-14 with the Suns rebuilt to run. It'll be an early test for the Nuggets to show that the opportunity to run won't distract them from the kind of defense that is needed to win against veteran teams.

Nov. 29 vs. Knicks -- At this point, it would appear the Nuggets and Knicks are both better off for having done the Carmelo Anthony blockbuster trade two years ago. It's debatable whether either is a serious team that can go deep in the playoffs. Expect a lot of threes in this one.

Jan. 15 at Golden State -- It's the second meeting of Andre Iguodala's new team and his old one, but this ESPN-televised game could have intrigue on the broadcast crew. Former Nuggets coach George Karl, who was let go by Denver after winning the Coach of the Year award for the 2012-13 season, could be calling the game as one of ESPN's new broadcast analysts.

April 9 vs. Rockets -- As is the case for many of the Western Conference's upper-echelon teams, the Nuggets taking on Dwight Howard and the Rockets will be intriguing. The late-season meeting should include playoff implications.

April 4 at Memphis -- The uptempo Nuggets and apprehensive Grizzlies face off with two contrasting styles. But under Shaw, Denver should be working on playing a brand of basketball -- defense included -- that will have success in the postseason. This will be a good test with the postseason near.

Tough tests

The final 12 games for the Nuggets could be described as hellish. Denver has two games each against the Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets and Warriors. Of the four remaining games, two are equally as difficult -- the Nuggets also face the Thunder, Clippers, Pelicans and Jazz.

Easiest stretches

January is an interesting month for the Nuggets. Though the 15-game stretch is peppered with games against elite playoff teams like Miami, Indiana, Golden State, Oklahoma City and Memphis, the remaining portion of this month's schedule is in Denver's favor. They play the Sixers, Celtics, Jazz, Suns, Magic, Kings and Bobcats, all of whom could be smelling the lottery. The remaining games are very winnable, and they include outings against the Lakers, Cavaliers, Blazers and Raptors.

Important schedule facts

Back-to-backs: 14

Season opener: Oct. 30 at Sacramento

Home opener: Nov. 1 vs. Trail Blazers

Longest road trip: Six games (Dec. 1-9)

Longest homestand: Four games (Dec. 13-20)

2013-14 schedule

OCTOBER
@ Sacramento Wednesday, October 30 2013 10:00 PM EDT coverage
NOVEMBER
Portland Friday, November 01 2013 9:00 PM EDT coverage
San Antonio Tuesday, November 05 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Atlanta Thursday, November 07 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Phoenix Friday, November 08 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Utah Monday, November 11 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, November 13 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Minnesota Friday, November 15 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Houston Saturday, November 16 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Oklahoma City Monday, November 18 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Chicago Thursday, November 21 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Dallas Saturday, November 23 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Dallas Monday, November 25 2013 8:30 PM EST coverage
@ Minnesota Wednesday, November 27 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
New York Friday, November 29 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
DECEMBER
@ Toronto Sunday, December 01 2013 1:00 PM EST coverage
@ Brooklyn Tuesday, December 03 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Cleveland Wednesday, December 04 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Boston Friday, December 06 2013 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Philadelphia Saturday, December 07 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Washington Monday, December 09 2013 7:00 PM EST coverage
Utah Friday, December 13 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
New Orleans Sunday, December 15 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Oklahoma City Tuesday, December 17 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Friday, December 20 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Los Angeles Clippers Saturday, December 21 2013 10:30 PM EST coverage
Golden State Monday, December 23 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ New Orleans Friday, December 27 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Memphis Saturday, December 28 2013 8:00 PM EST coverage
Miami Monday, December 30 2013 9:00 PM EST coverage
JANUARY
Philadelphia Wednesday, January 01 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Memphis Friday, January 03 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, January 05 2014 9:30 PM EST coverage
Boston Tuesday, January 07 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Oklahoma City Thursday, January 09 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Orlando Saturday, January 11 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Utah Monday, January 13 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Golden State Wednesday, January 15 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Cleveland Friday, January 17 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Phoenix Sunday, January 19 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Portland Thursday, January 23 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
Indiana Saturday, January 25 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Sacramento Sunday, January 26 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Charlotte Wednesday, January 29 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Toronto Friday, January 31 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
FEBRUARY
Los Angeles Clippers Monday, February 03 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Milwaukee Wednesday, February 05 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ New York Friday, February 07 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Detroit Saturday, February 08 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage
@ Indiana Monday, February 10 2014 7:00 PM EST coverage
@ Minnesota Wednesday, February 12 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Phoenix Tuesday, February 18 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ Milwaukee Thursday, February 20 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Chicago Friday, February 21 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Sacramento Sunday, February 23 2014 8:00 PM EST coverage
Portland Tuesday, February 25 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Brooklyn Thursday, February 27 2014 10:30 PM EST coverage
MARCH
@ Portland Saturday, March 01 2014 10:00 PM EST coverage
Minnesota Monday, March 03 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Dallas Wednesday, March 05 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
Los Angeles Lakers Friday, March 07 2014 9:00 PM EST coverage
@ New Orleans Sunday, March 09 2014 6:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Charlotte Monday, March 10 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Orlando Wednesday, March 12 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Miami Friday, March 14 2014 7:30 PM EDT coverage
@ Atlanta Saturday, March 15 2014 7:30 PM EDT coverage
Los Angeles Clippers Monday, March 17 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
Detroit Wednesday, March 19 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Dallas Friday, March 21 2014 8:30 PM EDT coverage
Washington Sunday, March 23 2014 5:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Oklahoma City Monday, March 24 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage
@ San Antonio Wednesday, March 26 2014 8:30 PM EDT coverage
San Antonio Friday, March 28 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
Memphis Monday, March 31 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
APRIL
New Orleans Wednesday, April 02 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Memphis Friday, April 04 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Houston Sunday, April 06 2014 7:00 PM EDT coverage
Houston Wednesday, April 09 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Golden State Thursday, April 10 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
Utah Saturday, April 12 2014 9:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
Golden State Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:30 PM EDT coverage
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