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NBA - US Sports: Big hitters taking part in Play-In tournament

Before the NBA play-offs get under way on Saturday, the Play-In tournament has to be completed.

Teams who finished between seventh and tenth in their respective Conferences are given a final opportunity to make the play-offs and achieve ultimate glory.

In the Eastern Conference, the teams taking part are the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, while making up the Western half are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs.

Two of four teams will advance from each Conference and make up the final play-off line-up, with the Milwaukee Bucks looking to defend their NBA crown.

Nets seeking to power through

Some may argue that the Nets have underachieved this season, but they now have the chance to sail straight through as the seventh seed when they take on the Cavaliers.

Their roster is stacked with talent - two-time Player of the Week winner Kevin Durant being the key figure, with the 33-year-old consistently scoring well this season.

He was near the top of the MVP rankings earlier on this season and he is also key in terms of assists, while Kyrie Irving has also been impressive.

They face a Cavaliers side who are out of form as it stands, having lost 15 of their last 23 matches.

The Nets are priced at 4/17 to go straight to the play-offs, while the Cavaliers are 13/4.

Big opportunity awaits ninth and tenth

In the other Eastern Conference Play-In, the Hawks face the Hornets, with both sides needing to win two games to advance into the play-offs.

The Hawks have been in excellent form as of late, winning seven of their previous nine matches.

John Collins is unlikely to play and will be a miss, but the Hawks could be too strong for a Hornets side who are wildly inconsistent and unpredictable.

They have beaten the Boston Celtics, but lost to the Orlando Magic and that inconsistency means it is a tough game to predict.

A win for the Hawks is available at 20/37, with the Hornets 33/20.

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George the main man for Clippers

In the Western Conference seventh against the eighth is a clash between the Timberwolves and the Clippers, with the former looking to make the play-offs for just the second time since 2004.

They arrive into the first post-regular season game in good form, having won 15 matches since the beginning of March, and have one of the brightest prospects in the sport in the form of Anthony Edwards.

However, the Clipper have a star at the other end of his career in Paul George and although injuries have prevented him from having a stellar season, he could be the difference-maker.

The Timberwolves are 4/6 to win, with the Clippers 13/10.

Spurs seeking to repeat former glories

The ninth versus tenth match in the Western Conference is between New Orleans Pelicans and five-time NBA champions San Antonio Spurs.

The latter have failed to make it into the play-offs for the past three seasons and will be desperate to end that run with two more wins.

Recent form suggests it might be a tough ask after losing their last three, but they have had a good record against the Pelicans this season - 3-1 up on the head-to-head record.

A third play-off place since being renamed the Pelicans in 2013 is the aim for the side who finished ninth and have recent form almost identical to that of the Spurs.

The Pelicans are priced at 1/2, with the Spurs 17/10.

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