REDSKINS, RAVENS PREGAMEAND POSTGAME SHOWS, LIVE HEAD COACH NEWS CONFERENCES AND DAILY TEAM PROGRAMS RETURNFOR 2012 NFL SEASONEXTENSIVE ONLINECOVERAGE CONTINUES AT CSNWASHINGTON.COM, CSNBALTIMORE.COMBethesda, Md. (Sept. 4, 2012) ComcastSportsNet Mid-Atlantic kicks off its comprehensive multiplatform coverage ofthe 2012 Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens NFL regular seasons thisweek, highlighted by the return of its marquee pregame and postgame shows, livehead coach news conference coverage and daily team programs. The network willalso deliver expanded team content across its digital platforms, led by CSNwashington.comand CSNbaltimore.com.ComcastSportsNets award-winning Redskins pregame show, Redskins Kickoff, will make its regular season debut prior to the teamsopener at New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 9, beginning at 12 p.m. Redskins Postgame Live, the one-hourpostgame show, will air immediately following the game. Hosted by ChickHernandez, the game-day shows feature analysts Brian Mitchell and TrevorMatich, reporting from Rob Carlin and special appearances throughout the seasonby Charley Casserly, Kevin Blackistone and Rick Doc Walker. These programswill air before and after each Redskins game.Ravens Kickoff, which willmake its season debut on Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. leading into the teams primetime gameagainst Cincinnati,will air for an hour prior to select games this season. Ravens Postgame Live will begin immediately after Monday nightsmatch-up and will follow all regular-season games for an hour. Hosted by ChrisMiller, the exclusive Ravens game-day shows will feature reporter Brent Harrisand analysts Brad Jackson, Antonio Freeman and Matt Stover. ComcastSportsNet will again deliver live coverage of the Ravens and Redskins weeklyhead coach news conferences as part of special half-hour shows. SportsNet Central: Mike Shanahan Live, which will beled by Carlin and Mitchell, will air live at 3 p.m. the day after each gamethroughout the season, immediately followed by an encore at 3:30 p.m.,beginning Sept. 10. SportsNet Central:John Harbaugh Live will feature Miller and Jackson and will debut Tuesday,Sept. 4. The Ravens shows will air at 4 p.m. the day following each game, witha 4:30 p.m. encore throughout the season.Redskins Nation, hosted by Larry Michael, airsweekdays at 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the Washingtonmarket (5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. in the Baltimoremarket.) The Ravens full lineup of showsair weekdays beginning Sept. 4 and includes 1 Winning Drive(Monday), Ravens One on One(Tuesday), Ravens GamePlan(Wednesday), Ravens Report (Thursday)and Purple Passion (Friday). TheRavens programs will air at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the Baltimoremarket (5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. in the Washingtonmarket) on their respective days, except for Ravens One on One, which only airs at the later times. Extensive NFL coverage will also befeatured throughout the season on SportsTalkLive, which airs weekdays live at 10:30 p.m. with an encore at 12:30 a.m., andGeico SportsNet Central, which now airslive daily at 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. Additionally, the networkwill deliver exclusive interviews with Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan andRavens head coach John Harbaugh within its news and entertainment programs the dayfollowing each game and Fridays throughout the season.Comcast SportsNet will also provide expanded daily coverageof the Redskins and Ravens across its digital media platforms this season. Ledby Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Redskins BloggerRich Tandler and Ravens Insider J. Michael, CSNwashington.com andCSNbaltimore.com will deliver complete written, video and interactive teamcontent all season.
The NBA announced today that Joakim Noah was suspended 20 games for testing positive for a banned substance.
Noah, who's currently rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, will serve the suspension once he's medically cleared to play again.
The 32-year old is in his first year with New York and was averaging five points per game this season before getting hurt.
The season series between the Wizards and Cavs was decided more than one month ago, when LeBron James banked in an impossible three-point shot to force overtime at the buzzer in an epic finish his team would win 140-135.
Bradley Beal fell one point short of his career-high with 41 and this is the final meeting of the series in which the Wizards trail 0-2.
Barring a fallout by the Cavs or Boston Celtics to end the season, they should decide the who'll be the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in the East. The Wizards' immediate concern is holding off the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 spot to begin this five-game road trip.
To beat Cleveland, this is what the Wizards, who officially clinched a playoff spot with their 44th win Friday, have to do tonight:
-- Move the ball. Cleveland hasn't been a good defensive team post All-Star break, an area where Washington has struggled, too. Both teams allow better shooting from opponents than they shoot themselves in that span. The Wizards allow 47.1% which is tied for third-worst since mid-February. The Cavs allow 46.3%.which is tied for 19th. To jump-start the offense, the Wizards have gone away from post-ups with Marcin Gortat to start games and halves. They've tried to inject more motion to get them better looks and others to get more touches. While Cleveland is an iso-heavy team because they have elite iso players in James and Kyrie Irving, that's not Washington's strength. The Cavs can still succeed without great ball movement because of that. The Wizards cannot.
-- John Wall drew the assignment on Irving and played one of his best games defensively. While Irving made big shots down the stretch to close it out, Wall held him 8-for-24 shooting and just five assists. Lately, Kelly Oubre has been drawing assignments on point guards and it has proved to be very effective. Kemba Walker, Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Schroder and Jeremy Lin each have been faced with his 7-2 wingspan and he has bothered them. Could he be deployed here? Quite possibly, but coach Scott Brooks used him vs. James in the last meeting. Oubre is a more physical option than Otto Porter though he's also more prone to foul trouble. If Iriving gets hot, Oubre is the best option which also would give Wall time to save his energy on a weaker offensive player.
-- If the Wizards go to a small lineup, they can't use Porter as the stretch four if he's matched with Kevin Love. This is the one team that can use that against Washington, because Love can take Porter down low, post him and outmuscle him for position underneath. He had 39 points and 12 rebounds as he shot 11-for-11 from the foul line. Ian Mahinmi, who was dealing with knee issues all season, wasn't available to play then. His presence -- and ability to cover for teammates as well as keep his own man in check under the rim -- could help turn that around. Also Bojan Bogdanovic is a bigger and stronger option at the four spot who wasn't on the roster then. So is Jason Smith. But allowing Porter to go 1 vs. 1 isn't a good idea.
-- The bench is better-suited with Brandon Jennings, Smith and Oubre playing the best they have all season coupled with Mahinmi's emergence. Trey Burke, who played Feb. 6 in the loss, is no longer in the rotation. Tomas Satoransky plays spot minutes. This takes some of the burden off the starters to do everything.
-- Cleveland hid Love, a defensive liability, vs. Marcin Gortat in a cross match, preferring to use their best low-post defender, Tristian Thompson, on the more versatile offensive option for the Wizards in Markieff Morris. The Wizards immediately went to Gortat who settled for a jump hook that hit the back rim. If the Cavs do that again, Gortat has to punish them more for that move.
-- Switching unnecessarily between Morris and Porter was a liability. Why? The Cavs would force the switch by running a 3-4 pick-and-roll between. Love got Cleveland's first basket off of this as he bullied Porter in the post, as Morris switched out onto James. The Wizards have to minmize these switches and get the ball out of Love's hands immediately if they end up in this position. It favors Cleveland heavily.
The Cavs played at the Charlotte Hornets on Friday so they're playing a back-to-back, too. James logged 39 minutes and Irving 37. In blowing out Brooklyn, no one in the starting five for the Wizards played more than 25 minutes.
This not only is their last chance to beat Cleveland, but their best chance.