The Denver Nuggets have played nearly 50 seasons in the Mile High City, but in 2023, the team finally reached the top of the NBA mountain.
Fresh off the team’s first-ever “World Championship” (yes, this somehow became a thing in the offseason), the Nuggets will defend their title with an opening night rematch against the team they swept in the Western Conference Finals, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Those teams’ budding rivalry is just one of many compelling storylines heading into the 77th NBA regular season. Here’s a look at a few more storylines and, most importantly, everything you need to know about watching the NBA live with DISH.
How to Watch NBA Basketball on DISH
If you’re an NBA die-hard, you can catch all the action on DISH. And we do mean all of it: With NBA League Pass (follow this link to subscribe), NBA fans can catch every single out-of-market game all season long. You’ll also be able to watch nationally-televised games on TNT, ESPN, and ABC with any DISH Network package, along with highlights, analysis, and select games on NBA TV by adding the Multi-Sport Pack.
Familiar Faces, New Places
The term “blockbuster trade” is thrown around a lot these days, but at least one eared that title this offseason: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard getting traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he’ll join two-time MVP Gianis Antetokounmpo. That trade involved multiple teams and by the time the dust settled, former Bucks standout Jrue Holiday was shipped to Boston, Phoenix Suns’ big man Deandre Ayton was sent to Portland, and the Suns received a package of players, including Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkić.
In addition to adding Holiday, the Celtics were active in the offseason, landing versatile big man Kristaps Porzingis in a three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies (who acquired Marcus Smart) and Washington Wizards. Other major trades included the Suns getting Bradley Beal from the Wizards, Grant Williams teaming up with Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving in Dallas, and Chris Paul joining Steph Curry on the Golden State Warriors.
Part of the reason Portland was comfortable moving on from their superstar is that the team believes they just drafted his replacement, guard Scoot Henderson, with the No. 3 overall pick. Before he was shut down for a shoulder injury, Scoot looked amazing in the Summer League, but he isn’t even the most-hyped prospect from the draft. That would be France’s Victor Wembanyama, who was selected No. 1 by the San Antonio Spurs. With his rare combination of size and athleticism, Wemby is the overwhelming favorite to win Rookie of the Year.
After missing his first year due to a foot injury, Chet Holmgren is poised to make a major impact for the Oklahoma City Thunder; after Wemby and Scoot, Holmgren currently has the third-best odds to win RotY. Other fresh faces to look for include No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller in Charlotte; the Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, in Houston and Detroit, respectively; and fellow Rockets rookie Cam Whitmore, who now has the fifth-best odds (+2000) to win the award for the league’s top rookie.
New In-Season Tournament
Beginning with the launch of the Play-In Tournament three seasons ago, the NBA has demonstrated an admirable interest in adding new wrinkles to its schedule. This year, the league is launching its most ambitious expansion yet, the In-Season Tournament involving all 30 teams. The format is a little weird: rather than pausing the season to play a tournament, all games except the championship will count toward a team’s 82-game regular season record (read all about the format here). It also remains to be seen how much effort players will put into a tournament whose only reward is extra cash and a trophy. But with the semifinals (Dec. 7) and championship game (Dec. 9) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, there’s sure to be fan interest.