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NBA: Weekend preview

The NBA season is delivering plenty of drama both on and off the court, especially with some of the main title contenders making slow starts.

Defending champions the Golden State Warriors have lost six of their opening nine games, while sides like the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers are overperforming.

Will we see more shocks this weekend, or can the big sides get back on track? Here's a look at the biggest games from this weekend in the NBA.

WhatNBA Season 2022/23
WhereUSA and Canada
WhenOctober 2022 - June 2023
How to watchSky Sports, NBA Pass, bet365's Sports Live Streaming
OddsMIL Bucks 21/4, BOS Celtics 21/4, GS Warriors 7/1, LA Clippers 15/2, PHX Suns 15/2

Faultless Bucks hit the road

The Milwaukee Bucks have been fantastic to start the season, but their 7-0 start has contained only one away game. The Bucks are out on their travels on Friday night, as they head to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Minnesota have made an underwhelming 4-4 start since trading away their future for Rudy Gobert. The fit isn't quite right with Gobert, with their size not translating into the dominance they had hoped for.

However, the Timberwolves will hope that size can help them defend against Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is having a brilliant start to the season, averaging over 30 points per game. With both he and the Bucks in inspired form, Milwaukee are 20/33 favourites to claim a victory.

Elsewhere on Friday night, the Utah Jazz head to the LA Lakers looking to add to a 6-3 start. Fellow surprise package Portland visit the Phoenix Suns, with the Suns 1/5 to add to their 6-1 start.

Pressure is on for the Nets

Saturday's action doesn't have the best opener, with two of last year's lottery sides clashing. The Sacramento Kings head to the Orlando Magic, with their respective rookies the stars of the show in that clash.

The Brooklyn Nets are straight back in action after Friday's clash with the Chicago Bulls. They head to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, with the Nets firing coach Steve Nash after he lost five of his first seven games.

Jacque Vaughn took temporary charge of the Nets in a 108-99 loss to the Bulls on Tuesday, but reports suggest they're aiming to land the Boston Celtics' Ime Udoka to take charge for the rest of the season. After taking the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, the Nets could be 11/1 outsiders for the title if Udoka joins.

High-flying contenders clash

The pick of the games on Saturday is probably the New Orleans Pelicans heading to the Atlanta Hawks. The pair have both made winning starts to the season and they are each in the mix for the Play-offs in their respective Conferences.

The Hawks produced a huge second-half comeback to win away to the Knicks in their last game, while the Pels have been downed by the Lakers and Suns within their last three games. Neither side are all that secure defensively, so expect entertainment in Atlanta.

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Tricky reunion for LeBron

Sunday has four games, kicking off with the Cleveland Cavaliers heading to the Lakers. That's likely to be painful for LeBron, who ditched the Cavs again in 2018 only to end up on a Lakers side who are among the worst in the league right now.

The Cavs head to LA having made a 6-1 start, seeing off title favourites Celtics in TD Garden earlier this week. The Cavs are now a 20/1 shot for the NBA title this term, while LeBron's side have drifted out to a 50/1 chance.

The Cavs look relentless and Donovan Mitchell has seamlessly eased into his secondary guard role with the Cavs. They've won six straight games heading into the weekend, so this could be another difficult night for the Lakers.

That clash is followed up by a meeting of two Eastern Conference contenders, with the Chicago Bulls heading to the Toronto Raptors. The pair meet in Chicago the following night, but the Raps will hope to make home advantage count after beating Atlanta 139-109 in their last home game.

Finally, there's a test for the recovering LA Clippers, who are the final opponent in a tough weekend for the Jazz. They will hope to keep their fine record up through their LA double-header, but the Clippers have already dropped four games this season with Kawhi Leonard out again, but even without him, the Clippers should prove too strong.

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