After much hemming and hawing, the Denver Nuggets will play 82 games in the 2023-24 regular season.

Or will they?

The NBA released the official 2023-24 regular season schedule on Thursday afternoon, featuring nationally televised matchups, road trips, home stands, and a closer look at the In-Season tournament. The newest addition to the NBA calendar will take place throughout November, interspersed between other regular season games. The culmination? A tournament in Las Vegas featuring the top eight finishers from November’s proceedings.

Here’s the Nuggets schedule, featuring 80 regular season games with an expectation that two more will be added in early December.

The section highlighted in yellow focuses on the results of the In-Season tournament. If the Nuggets were to advance beyond their group play stage, they could play a quarterfinal game on December 4th/5th, a semifinal game on December 7th, and the In-Season Tournament championship on December 9th. Playing all of those games would technically bring their regular season total games played up to 83. If it ends up being a cool honor to have though, it’s a small price to pay for being the inaugural champion of the In-Season tournament.

Beyond the newest addition to the calendar, the rest of the Nuggets schedule appears fairly straightforward. The Nuggets will play 30 nationally televised games this season, including 10 on ESPN, 9 on TNT, 3 on ABC, and another 8 on NBATV.

The Nuggets will kick off the NBA’s regular season and receive their championship rings on October 24th against the Los Angeles Lakers. They will play the Golden State Warriors in an early afternoon matinee on Christmas Day. The Nuggets will face the Philadelphia 76ers on a Saturday afternoon ABC game in continuation with the NBA’s “rivalry week” on January 27th.

Overall, there are a lot of national opportunities for the NBA audience to see the Nuggets this year, more than there ever have been. After crawling through last season amidst relative anonymity and skepticism on the way to their first championship in franchise history, the NBA isn’t making the same mistake with the Nuggets twice, featuring the Nuggets throughout the regular season, especially after the All-Star break. The stretch of five out of seven nationally televised games from February 25th to March 7th is an indication of the NBA’s belief that the Nuggets will be a team worth featuring when the world begins to pay close attention to the NBA following the conclusion of the NFL season.

Structurally, the Nuggets have 13 back-to-backs on their schedule, tied for the fewest in the NBA with several other teams:

  1. October 29th and 30th: @ Oklahoma City Thunder, vs Utah Jazz
  2. November 3rd and 4th: vs Dallas Mavericks, vs Chicago Bulls
  3. November 19th and 20th: @ Cleveland Cavaliers, @ Detroit Pistons
  4. November 26th and 27th: vs San Antonio Spurs, @ Los Angeles Clippers
  5. December 1st and 2nd: @ Phoenix Suns, @ Sacramento Kings
  6. December 11th and 12th: @ Atlanta Hawks, @ Chicago Bulls
  7. December 22nd and 23rd: @ Brooklyn Nets, @ Charlotte Hornets
  8. December 28th and 29th: vs Memphis Grizzlies, vs Oklahoma City Thunder
  9. January 4th and 5th: @ Golden State Warriors, vs Orlando Magic
  10. February 8th and 9th: @ Los Angeles Lakers, @ Sacramento Kings
  11. February 22nd and 23rd: vs Washington Wizards, @ Portland Trail Blazers
  12. February 28th and 29th: vs Sacramento Kings, vs Miami Heat
  13. April 9th and 10th: @ Utah Jazz, vs Minnesota Timberwolves

There aren’t any massively unfair back-to-backs here and don’t truly benefit Denver’s opponents in a significant way outside of the Sacramento Kings, who the Nuggets face in Golden 1 Center on the second night of a back-to-back both times. The back-to-backs are primarily concentrated at the front of the schedule with eight occurring in October, November, and December. While a chore at the beginning, this should afford the Nuggets some rest with a bit more frequency in January and beyond.

Here’s Denver’s Home / Road splits by month:

  • October: 2 home / 2 road
  • November: 7 home / 8 road
  • December: 6 home / 7 road (plus In-Season tournament results)
  • January: 7 home / 8 road
  • February: 6 home / 5 road
  • March: 9 home / 6 road
  • April: 3 home / 4 road

There are no major discrepancies here. Though, there’s an extra focus on Nuggets home games post All-Star break. The Nuggets will play 15 of their 27 games post All-Star break at home, which should benefit the Nuggets in the standings down the stretch.

Overall, there are currently 40 home games and 40 road games. The in-season tournament results will add one more of each, and then everything will look fairly normal beyond that.

Hopefully, Nuggets fans are even more excited to watch Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, and the Nuggets play the 2023-24 season after reading about the schedule drop.