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Spike Lee in London to cheer on the Knicks

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Spike Lee in London to cheer on the Knicks

LONDON (AP) Fresh from shooting his new film, Spike Lee walked onto the basketball court at the O2 Arena clad in Knicks gear and ready to cheer on his team.

The American director is a staple at Knicks games in New York, and the trip across the pond for a regular-season NBA matchup against the Detroit Pistons just wouldn't be the same without him.

``The orange and blue, baby,'' said Lee, wearing a big, furry orange hat, Knicks sweatshirt and blue pants.

Lee has been to London many times since 1986, the year he made his first feature-length film, ``She's Gotta Have It.'' He said the last time he was in the British capital he saw Kanye West and Jay-Z perform.

Lee said he had just finished shooting ``Oldboy,'' which stars Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Olsen.

But enough talk about the movies. Lee was all about the Knicks.

``We're going to win tomorrow night, and then Monday is Martin Luther King's birthday, which is a national holiday, we play the Brooklyn Nets. That's a win,'' Lee said.

``The last New York Knicks NBA championship was the 1972-73 season. That's a long, long time. Too long.''

The NBA has been playing preseason games in London - and across Europe - for several years. But the only regular-season games were played two years ago at the O2 Arena, when the then-New Jersey Nets swept a two-game series against the Toronto Raptors.

British fans have embraced the NBA, selling out game after game at the O2 Arena, the same venue that hosted the Olympic basketball final last year. But with soccer firmly entrenched as the No. 1 sport in the country, Lee appealed to Africa.

``I want all my brothers and sisters in the continent of Africa to support the New York Knickerbockers,'' Lee said. ``The New York Knickerbockers are Africa's team. I just said that. Orange and blue.''

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

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