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NBA - US Sports: Nuggets offer threat to Warriors

The NBA play-offs get underway on Saturday evening, with eight best-of-seven showdowns with 16 teams looking to make it through to the Conference semi-finals.

We've been taking a look at the upsets that could happen, as the chance to win the Larry O'Brien Championship takes a step closer, and you can follow the action on our Sports Live Streaming hub.

Curry fitness could impact the Warriors

Golden State Warriors are looking to make their sixth NBA finals in eight years, after finishing third in the Western Conference standings.

The major concern though hanging over Steve Kerr's men is the fitness of their star man, Steph Curry, who hasn't been on the court since 16th March due to a foot injury.

Kerr says Curry should be fit to feature in the first match of the series (01:30 Sunday UK time), but after a lengthy lay-off it could take him some time to get up to speed and then there are the concerns of a repercussion.

GSW finished the regular season with a 53-29 record, compared to the Nuggets' 48-34, but it's the points scoring stats that will be a concern to Golden State fans and backers.

The Warriors finished the regular season 15th in the points standings, averaging 111.0 per game, compared to Denver's 112.7 – with the Nuggets 10th in that table.

Nikola Jokic continues to lead Denver, with the Serbian averaging 27.1 points per game and ranked second in the league for rebounds (13.8).

It's also worth noting that the Nuggets – 9/4 to win the series - beat the Warriors in three of their four meetings this season, including two victories at the Chase Center.

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Nets capable of springing Celtics surprise

Brooklyn Nets spent much of the early stages of the season at the top of the Eastern Conference, with injuries having a big impact on their squad.

Kevin Durant played just 55 of the 88 regular season games but finished the season strongly and should be fresh for the play-offs – with Brooklyn 5/4 to reach the Conference semi-finals.

The Nets eventually finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and face an in-form Boston Celtics, who won seven of their last 10 regular season games.

Boston won three of the four meetings with Brooklyn during the season, but the Nets knocked the Celtics out in the play-offs first round last term and are capable of doing it again.

Another potential factor is Ben Simmons, who is yet to play for the Nets having been traded from Philadelphia in February. The Australian has been struggling with a back injury, but could play a part in this best-of-seven series.

Timberwolves can push Memphis hard

One of the most fascinating first-round match ups see the Minnesota Timberwolves go toe-to-toe with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Timberwolves needed play-in success to reach this stage, seeing off the Los Angeles Clippers without being at their best.

Across their four meetings this season, there have been two wins each and it was Minnesota who won the most recent match up – 119-114 in late February.

It's also worth noting that these two teams finished first and second in the NBA points scoring list, with the Timberwolves averaging 115.9 compared to the Grizzlies' 115.6.

Minnesota are 3/1 to win the series with Memphis available to back at 5/19. The first match of the series takes place in Tennessee on Saturday (20:30 UK time), with the hosts 5/13 to start with a win while Minnesota are 43/20 on the Money Line.

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