The Denver Nuggets were one of the two teams to play in the first NBA preseason game this year, as they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers by a final score of 103-96 on Friday night.
New Nuggets head coach Mike Malone and 19-year-old first-round draft pick Emmanuel Mudiay (No. 7 overall) had their first live action together against one of, if not the best, point guards in the league in Chris Paul. Mudiay had ball control trouble in addition to struggling to score the basketball, scoring 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting with eight turnovers. But the rookie point guard certainly showed he belonged with his general athleticism and pull-up jumper game that will only get better with time. With Ty Lawson gone after being traded away, it’s Mudiay’s team to lead and the growing pains will come along with it.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets received a strong surprise performance from 24-year-old Joffrey Lauvergne, who poured in 16 points with 11 rebounds off the bench. Lauvergne got his first playing time in the second half of last season and will be looking to pick up where he left off.
With preseason basketball starting, it only means the regular season is inching closer and closer. Denver’s first regular season game is on October 28 against the Houston Rockets — the team where Lawson landed via trade over the offseason — on the road at the Toyota Center. According to secondary market ticket aggregator SeatSmart.com, Nuggets tickets have an average price of $121.01 with a get-in price of $19 for their first game of the new campaign.
The Nuggets’ most expensive game of the season is against the Golden State Warriors on January 2 at Oracle Arena, having an average ticket price of $639.79 and a get-in price of $55. The next two most expensive games of the season are at home at the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets host the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 29 with an average ticket price of $536.82 with a get-in price of $59, and the Los Angeles Lakers on December 22, which sports an average price of $276.06 and a get-in price of $28.
Denver is expecting a big season from Danilo Gallinari, who finally looked like he reached his way back to normal health in the second half of last season. Kenneth Faried will continued to bring his signature spark and energy on the floor, while Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye will continue to be serviceable NBA contributors. Jusuf Nurkic is another name to look out for on this Nuggets squad after an impressive rookie showing a year ago, but will be eased back into the fold after undergoing surgery this past offseason on his partially torn patella tendon.