It's easy to point to the disparity in foul shots or foul calls after a loss, but the Wizards did everything possible to win at the San Antonio Spurs for the first time in 17 years.
They just didn't. They had plenty of blunders at the end of quarters to keep the Spurs in the picture.
"We didn't even play a great game," said Bradley Beal, who had a team-high 23 points on 11 shots in limited minutes of a 107-105 loss. "We get tired of saying we played hard, we did enough to win the game. We didn’t win the game."
The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead and had a 43-37 rebounding edge. But they took 15 fewer foul shots (18) than the Spurs, who benefitted from getting nine more fouls called (26) in their favor.
Beal shot six free throws, but his backcourt mate John Wall didn't attempt any despite 37 minutes of attacking the basket rather than settling for jumpers.
The NBA office determined in its last two-minue report, made public when games are within five points or less in the final two minutes and overtime, there weren't any incorrect or missed calls in the game.
Beal didn't get to take the last shot. It was called for him, but instead the broken play on the inbounds ended up in the hands of Otto Porter as he had a good look at the rim in the lane that could've forced overtime.
After just 18 games, Beal sounds a lot like he did towards the end of a 41-41 season in 2015-16. They had Wednesday's game at the Oklahoma City Thunder won, but allowed that to go into overtime in what became a loss for the Wizards, too.
"We know what to do. We’re just not doing it," he said. "Until we do, we’re going to keep losing."
Did Penn State play their way into the playoff? Michigan has to be in, right? Did Ohio State fall out of top four? Will Washington hang on?
Following all the action on Saturday, there was plenty of debate over who the top four teams should be. Most of the questions surround what to do with the three Big Ten teams contenders.
Ohio State and Michigan are clearly two of the best teams in the country, but neither of them won their division. That honor went to Penn State who also won the conference championship on Saturday, the same Penn State team who beat Ohio State but who also lost twice this season.
For the first time since the College Football Playoff started, there is a real, genuine debate over who the top four will be.
But not really.
If you're just asking who the committee will put into the playoff, the committee actually tipped its hand last week with its rankings:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
For everyone saying Michigan should be in the top four, well, they weren't in the top four last week, they didn't play this week, none of the four teams ahead of them did anything to hurt their respective resumes, so what makes anyone out there think the Wolverines are suddenly going to vault into the top four? It's not going to happen.
If Penn State were to make the playoff, it wouldn't be over Washington or Clemson who were already ranked ahead of the Nittany Lions and also won their respective conferences on Saturday. Neither team did anything to hurt themselves, so Penn State won't vault over them. Could they jump Ohio State who they beat head-to-head? That seems doubtful considering the committee declared the Buckeyes the second-best team in the country on Tuesday. That tells me the committee sees them as "unequivocally" one the top teams.
So debate away. When it comes to college football, that's what makes it so fun. But really, there's not that much to debate about. The committee showed last week who they thought the four best teams were and there's no reason to think that will change based on what we saw Saturday.