Denver Nuggets’ NBA title defense starts with 5-game preseason

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /

Before they officially raise their 2023 NBA championship banner, the Denver Nuggets will play five preseason games in October. The Nuggets officially released the schedule on Tuesday afternoon, revealing that they’d be playing games against the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and LA Clippers.

Denver’s full preseason schedule is as follows:

Oct. 10: At Phoenix, 8 p.m. MT

Oct. 12: At Chicago, 6 p.m. MT

Oct. 15: Chicago 7 p.m. MT

Oct. 17: at Los Angeles 8 p.m. MT

Oct 19: at Los Angeles 8 p.m. MT

The preseason opener in Phoenix will be a nice rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals. The Nuggets took care of the Suns in six games, returning to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2020.

Of course, the preseason isn’t a time where superstars take the floor with a chip on their shoulders. It’s tough to imagine Kevin Durant and Devin Booker trying to prove a point to Nikola Jokic in an early-October matchup.

Denver Nuggets open title defense as favorites to repeat as champions

After capturing the 2023 NBA title, the Denver Nuggets are looking poised to make another run. That is — if you ask oddsmakers.

According to DraftKings sportsbook, Denver is the favorite to win the title next season with +475 odds. Right behind them are the Boston Celtics with their odds set at +500.

Of course, Denver was able to retain most of their championship core, with Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr. all returning for the 2023-24 campaign.

However, they did lose key contributor Bruce Brown to the Indiana Pacers in free agency. Brown inked a two-year, $45 million contract to play in Indiana, back in July.

On top of that, the Nuggets caught a tough break when Vlatko Cancar tore his ACL in his left knee this week, while playing in a preliminary FIBA World Cup game for his home country, Slovenia.

Related Story. Nikola Jokic draws comparison to LeBron James. light