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Coach K: LeBron might have 20-assist game

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Coach K: LeBron might have 20-assist game

LeBron James with 20 assists? Mike Krzyzewski thinks it's possible.

The Hall of Fame Duke coach - and James' coach on the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold medals in Beijing and London - said in a televised interview that he thinks the three-time NBA MVP may have more assist chances than ever before this season, especially with the Miami Heat having so many players who can connect from 3-point range.

``Don't be surprised with a 20-assist game,'' Krzyzewski told Sun Sports, which televises Heat games, in a halftime interview of Miami's game in Raleigh, N.C. against the Charlotte Bobcats. ``I'm telling you, because he has all these shooters and he's going to get easy assists.''

James' career high for assists is 15, done three times. For his career, he's averaged 6.9 assists per game.

``That's a lot of pressure,'' James said when told of Krzyzewski's 20-assist prediction, not long after the Heat finished off a 98-92 victory. ``But it's more pressure on our shooters. I'm going to get them the ball.''

Krzyzewski has several long-standing ties to the Heat organization. He's close with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison. Heat CEO Nick Arison - the owner's son - was the Blue Devils' student manager for four years under Krzyzewski, who coached Shane Battier at Duke and had James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on Olympic teams. Wade and Bosh were on the 2008 team in Beijing, then couldn't play on the London 2012 team because of injuries.

And on Tuesday, he raved about all of them, plus said that he told Battier it would be a mistake if he didn't sign with Miami in 2011.

``I don't think there's anybody in the world who defends the ball screen any better than Chris Bosh,'' Krzyzewski said, in reference to his Olympic experiences with the Heat players. ``Dwyane was selfless. He said, `I'll come off the bench.' So he comes off the bench and he's our leading scorer. And LeBron, you know, LeBron was LeBron.''

As Krzyzewski was speaking live, James returned to the court to warm up for the second half. When he saw Krzyzewski courtside, he walked over and gave him a warm embrace.

``Just watching him tonight for a little bit, how much he loves to play,'' Krzyzewski said. ``He's a student of the game. He's one of a kind. I'm so glad he's made the decisions he's made and he's with quality people, the level of talent around him. He's happy. He's a happy guy and a very talented guy.''

The Heat added Ray Allen - the NBA's career leader in 3-pointers - in the offseason, along with Rashard Lewis, adding them to a list of shooters in Miami that already included Battier, Mike Miller, James Jones and Mario Chalmers, among others.

Krzyzewski thinks they'll all benefit from James' passing.

``How many 3's are you going to shoot this year?'' Krzyzewski asked.

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Need to Know: The best pass rushers the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best pass rushers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 19, seven days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass rushers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass rushers are up. They are roughly ranked by Pro Football Focus’ pass rush productivity metric, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this we looked at the best teamsreceivers,running backs, and quarterbacks

1. Calais Campbell, Jaguars—If he gets a sack against the Redskins in Week 15, many fans will once again rue draft day in 2008 when the Redskins took both WR Devin Thomas and TE Fred Davis in the second round while Campbell was still on the board. He has been a consistent pass rusher since coming into the league, averaging eight sacks a season. Campbell is coming off of a career-high 14.5. 

2. Demarcus Lawrence, Cowboys—He had nine career sacks going into last year and then he broke out in a big way with 14.5. He got three sacks against the Redskins last year and has five in six career games. He actually ranked ahead of Campbell in the PFF pass rush metric, but I put Campbell ahead of him because we’re not sure if Lawrence is a great pass rusher or if he just peaked in his contract year. 

3. Chandler Jones, Cardinals—He posted double-digit sacks in four of the last five years including a league-leading 17 last season. His 2017 performance earned him first-team All-Pro honors for the first time in his career. Jones does more than get sacks. He has 16 career forced fumbles; only five players have forced more since he came into the league in 2012.

4. J.J. Watt, Texans—Injuries have limited him to eight games over the past two seasons. Even if the missed time has him beneath his peak years of 2012-2015, when he was first-team All-Pro every year and defensive player of the year three times, he will be difficult to deal with. 

5. Brian Orakpo, Titans—His career with the Redskins was a mixed bag, with two Pro Bowls and two seasons with double-digit sacks. After Orakpo missed 23 games from 2012-2015, the Redskins didn’t make him a competitive contract offer and he left to sign with the Titans. He hasn’t missed a game in three seasons in Tennessee and has averaged eight sacks per season. 

Best of the rest: Yannick Ngakoue, Jaguars; Clay Matthews, Packers; Vic Beasley, Falcons; Jason Pierre-Paul, Buccaneers; Cam Jordan, Saints

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Redskins six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams was born on this date in 1988.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 7
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 21
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 44

The Redskins last played a game 200 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 52 days. 

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

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Alex Ovechkin takes home ESPY for Best Male Athlete Award

Alexander Ovechkin's offseason continues to be one for the books. 

Just a week removed from celebrating with the Stanley Cup in Moscow, Ovechkin was named Best Male Athlete Wednesday night at the 2018 ESPYs. 

The 32-year-old is the first NHL player to win the award since it was first introduced in 1993. 

"The Great Eight" beat out Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. 

Ovechkin was not in Los Angeles to accept the award.

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