Can the Nuggets keep Nene?

Breaking down the 2010 schedule

The 2010-11 schedule was just released and while it doesn’t look too difficult to start, but the stretch run once again is torturous for the Denver Nuggets.

Last season saw the Nuggets with 19 back-to-backs, but this season Denver will only have 13 back-to-backs and the Nuggets only face  the Los Angeles Lakers three times this next season.

Like every season they have two dreaded road trips, the first is in December where the Nuggets will play four games in five nights – which will start in Charlotte, go through Boston and Toronto – before ending in New York. The second, which should be the easier of the two will play five games in six nights, starting in Washington, then Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and ending in New Jersey.

The Nuggets do have 12 road games to close out the last two months and have to face 12 teams that were in the playoffs down the stretch.

According to Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post, the Nuggets are scheduled to have 25 national televised games – nine on TNT and of course the Christmas Day game in Oklahoma City will be on ESPN.

Breaking down the schedule, month by month:

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER

The Nuggets schedule to start the season seems pretty favorable with eight homes and eight road games through October and November. Of those 16 games, nine are against teams that made the playoffs last season (including two against the Phoenix Suns). The Nuggets play both their games against Chicago the first month, they also face Dallas twice and Carmelo Anthony will get an early look at the New York Knicks.

NOTABLE GAMES: Utah (season opener), Oct. 27; Dallas, Nov. 3; at Dallas, Nov. 6; at Chicago, Nov. 8; , NY Knicks, Nov. 16; at Portland, Nov. 18; Chicago, Nov. 26; Phoenix, Nov. 28.

PREDICTED RECORD: 9-7

DECEMBER

Outside of the Nuggets four-game road trip in the middle of the season, this month only features four tough games (Orlando and San Antonio at home and San Antonio and Oklahoma City on the road). Denver will play eight home games and seven on the road.

NOTABLE GAMES: at Boston, Dec. 8; at New York, Dec. 12; Orlando, Dec. 14; San Antonio, Dec. 16; at San Antonio, Dec. 22; at Oklahoma City, Dec. 25; Portland, Dec. 28.

PREDICTED RECORD: 10-5 (19-12 overall)

JANUARY

This month the Nuggets will face the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder to start the month and will end it with its’ 5-game road trip. This month will feature nine games at home and eight road contests.

NOTABLE GAMES: Miami, Jan. 13; at San Antonio, Jan. 16; Oklahoma City, Jan. 19; Lakers, Jan. 21.

PREDICTED RECORD: 11-6 (30-18 overall).

FEBRUARY

Denver starts February with three straight games against Northwest Division foes (Portland, Utah and at Minnesota), the Nuggets do have a three-game road trip (Memphis, Houston and Milwaukee). The Nuggets do host Boston late in the month and will have to turn around and travel to Portland the next day to face the Trailblazers. Seven home; six away.

NOTABLE GAMES: Portland, Feb. 2; Utah, Feb. 4; Dallas, Feb. 10; at Milwaukee, Feb. 16; Boston, Feb. 24; at Portland, Feb. 25.

PREDICTED RECORD: 8-5 (38-23)

MARCH

This month may be the toughest for the Nuggets, with two road trips and seven games against playoff foes. After facing Charlotte, Denver has to go on the road to Utah, L.A. Clippers and Phoenix. They play one home game against Detroit, before they travel south to face New Orleans and Atlanta, before closing the trip with could be the toughest back-to-back in the NBA against Orlando and Miami. The Nuggets do end the month with a four-home game stretch. 6 home; seven away.

NOTABLE GAMES: At Utah, March 3; at Atlanta, March 16; at Orlando, March 18; at Miami, March 19; San Antonio, March 23.

PREDICTED RECORD: 8-5 (46-28)

APRIL

April doesn’t get much easier for the Nuggets, as they play five of their final eight on the road. They start the month with a road trip to California to face Sacramento and the Lakers. The come home to face the Thunder, before going on the road to Dallas and Oklahoma City. They than close the season with a road trip to Utah.

NOTABLE GAMES: at L.A. Lakers, Apr. 3; Oklahoma City, Apr. 5; at Dallas, April 6; at Oklahoma City, April 8; at Utah, April 13 (season finale).

PREDICTED RECORD: 4-4 (50-32)

Tags: Al Harrington Anthony Carter Arron Afflalo Birdman Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen George Karl JR Smith Kenyon Martin Nene Shelden Williams Ty Lawson

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