Capitals

Wolves must rely on Roy but refrain from wear

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Wolves must rely on Roy but refrain from wear

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Brandon Roy's balky knees have been holding up.

Now the Minnesota Timberwolves are truly going to put those valuable joints of his to the test.

``The preseason was great, but it's nothing like actually getting your name back in the books again for a real game,'' Roy said. ``I'm excited. I've got some of my family coming into town. I'm just going to go out there, play hard and try to enjoy it.''

When the Timberwolves host Sacramento on Friday night, Roy will take the court and complete a remarkable comeback from chronic pain in both of his knees that prompted his departure from Portland and assumed retirement from the NBA until a revival of his career this summer.

Roy predicted butterfly-like feelings during warm-ups and introductions, even if after tipoff his mindset will certainly hone in on beating the Kings rather than reflecting on his milestone. But as Roy quickly noted, this is simply one game of 82 scheduled.

In his case, that's not a cliche but a reality of how much the Timberwolves must rely on him for points from the perimeter. They'll have to be careful not to overuse him, but they'll also be without All-Star Kevin Love's 26 points per night. So the scoring is going to have to come from somewhere.

``He'll find out as we find out, but I think he has certainly shown us that in the game he still has the skills to do the things,'' coach Rick Adelman said. ``Losing Kevin puts that much more pressure on him and everybody else on the team to do a little bit more. But I think that we have to judge it day by day. I don't think we can plan two weeks in advance. We just have to take it as it comes, and hopefully you have other guys ready to play if he can't go.''

Adelman said he'll start at about 30 minutes per game and gauge his playing time as the season unfolds. Sitting him for too long, as Adelman discovered during one particular exhibition game when Roy sat for most of the second quarter, can be detrimental to his production, though, too.

``I think you need to get some type of rhythm where he is forgetting about fouls and he knows, `This is when I am going to come out, and this is when I am going to go back in,''' Adelman said.

The 28-year-old Roy played in all seven preseason games and was on the floor more, he estimated this week, than any other time since his rookie year.

``It was good to get that rust off, get acclimated with the team, so I feel good,'' Roy said.

He took an opponent's knee to his right knee in the final preseason game last Friday and then had the same thing happen in practice after that, so he took two days off as a precaution. But by Wednesday he was back in full participation, without any concern about being ready for the opener. The key, now, will be to find a pace he's comfortable at that still allows him to be a significant contributor to this Wolves team that needs his steadying influence and outside shooting touch.

``I have a tendency to want to do a lot really fast, but I'm just trying to be patient and understand that it's a long season,'' Roy said. ``I want to be peaking later in the year than I am early.''

Roy worked out for two months last winter before deciding to try an increasingly popular but medically unproven procedure known as platelet-rich plasma therapy. It's basically an injection of a patient's own blood back into the body, to help heal degenerative joints. Kobe Bryant went to Germany before last season to have it done, and Roy has credited the technique for allowing him to work out hard and feel no day-after discomfort. His condition was good enough to persuade the Timberwolves to give him a two-year contract.

So with his body no longer a road block to being on the court, as it was for all of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and for nearly half of the 2010-11 slate, the three-time All-Star and 2006-07 NBA Rookie of the Year has reached the point of his Wolves debut. Finally, the fans who decried the Roy-for-Randy Foye trade the team made on that draft day will have the chance to cheer him on.

``Brandon would not have come back, I don't think, if he felt deep down that he couldn't return to a level of play at or near where he once was,'' Timberwolves basketball boss David Kahn said.

That level, though, is yet to be defined.

``The NBA season is long and it's grueling, regardless of injury, so we're going to have to be smart, but I feel great,'' Roy said. ``And again, I'm not going to put a cap on anything that I can do.''

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Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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