Capitals

Raiders improve but Allen knows more needed

Raiders improve but Allen knows more needed

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Dennis Allen has seen improvement on just about every part of his team. With only one win in five games, the Oakland Raiders rookie coach realizes it's not enough.

Not even taking unbeaten Atlanta to the wire before losing on Matt Bryant's 55-yard field goal in the final seconds provided Allen with a sense that Oakland has turned the corner.

``We've got to learn how to finish and win those types of games,'' Allen said Monday. ``That's what our job is. This is a production business. It's about winning and losing, and we weren't able to get it done yesterday.''

The Raiders put up season highs in rushing yards (149) and total offense (474) while the defense held the Falcons to 286 yards and intercepted Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times after getting zero through their first four games.

Definite progress, though at 1-4 it's difficult to see.

``I definitely feel like we're improving,'' rookie linebacker Miles Burris said. ``But I don't believe in moral victories and I don't feel good about losing. A loss is a loss and a win's a win.''

Help could be on the way - at least for the defense.

Linebacker Aaron Curry is expected to come off the physically unable to perform list and join the Raiders in practice Wednesday. Curry started nine games last year for Oakland after being acquired in an October trade from Seattle but has not played since undergoing knee surgery in the offseason.

The Raiders will have a roster exemption for three weeks while deciding what to do with Curry, who must be added to the 53-man roster, be cut or placed on injured reserve when the exemption expires.

``We anticipate him practicing on Wednesday and we'll start from there,'' Allen said. ``We're going to get him out there and let him run around, see where he's at and begin the evaluation process to figure out if and when he's going to be available on the roster.''

The fourth overall pick in 2009, Curry lined up primarily as a weakside linebacker for Oakland last season but also spent time in the middle when Rolando McClain was hurt.

While citing concern over Curry's conditioning - he hasn't played in a game of any sort since Jan. 1 - Allen said the team is comfortable using Curry anywhere in the defense.

``We've got a plan in place for him to be able to potentially play in any of those three spots,'' Allen said. ``Health-wise he's going to be OK. It's the fact of being able to get back into football shape and football condition, really in a short period of time.''

Curry's addition comes as the Raiders are shaking things up in their nickel package on defense.

McClain, the eighth overall pick in 2010, played only 31 percent of the snaps in Sunday's loss to Atlanta after being replaced by Burris, who played in all 55 defensive snaps against the Falcons when the Raiders stayed almost exclusively in the nickel.

The move happened two weeks after McClain played in all but three snaps of Oakland's loss to Denver.

Allen plans on sticking with the new look, too.

``I would anticipate moving forward that we would kind of keep that same role for (Burris),'' Allen said. ``Every week we're going to evaluate and see where we're at, but I thought he did enough yesterday in the game to earn the right to be back out there again in nickel situations.''

Ironically, Burris was initially put in the Raiders starting lineup because of Curry's health issues.

Now he's earned the spot outright.

``I feel pretty solid about it,'' said Burris, Oakland's fourth-round pick this year. ``The win was the most important thing, and obviously everybody can play better if we didn't win. But I feel like I'm improving. I'm becoming more comfortable out there,''

Note: Right guard Mike Brisiel suffered a concussion in the second quarter of Sunday's game and will have to pass a series of tests before getting cleared to practice.

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Blackhawks game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Alex Chiasson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS