1. Wizards need lots of crazy stuff to happen if they want home court advantage in the first round
After making significant strides over the past week to get back in the discussion of having a shot at home court advantage, Friday's loss to Brooklyn practically guarantees the Wizards will end up starting the playoffs on the road. The Raptors and Bulls both have two games leads with three games left on the schedule, so the only way the Wizards would have a shot at home court advantage is if they win out and the Raptors lose out or if Wizards win two more games than the Bulls do over the last three.
Since that probably won't happen, all that's left to wonder is who the Wizards will face in the first round. The Raptors and Bulls have the same record with three games left. If that holds, Toronto will hold on to the third seed because they have the tiebreaker as a division champion and the Bulls would host the Wizards. If the Bulls finish with a better record than Toronto over the final three games, the Wizards would face the Raptors.
The Bulls and Raptors are both back in action tonight. The Bulls are at home against the 76ers. The Raptors are taking on the Heat, who are on their playoff deathbeds.
2. Rotation changes may be on the way
If you thought Randy Wittman would give the team a mulligan for their performance in Friday's loss, you'd be wrong.
Wizards players not named Beal and Gortat combined for just 35 points on 13 of 52 shooting (25 percent). Washington was without point guard John Wall and had Nene return to the starting lineup after missing three games to rest. Wizards Coach Randy Wittman acknowledged performances like Friday will have an impact on his playoff rotation.
"We play for real a week from Saturday or a week from Sunday," Wittman said. "I'm looking to see who I can trust to play in the playoffs. When out bench got outscored 23-1 (to start), that didn't go us any good. So yeah, I'm looking for who I can play."
The talk seems nice and all, but based on how things went, we're not sure there's a clear solution on how to shake things up, especially with Nene hurting. But if we had to guess, somehow this is all Otto Porter's fault.
3. Lots of talk about effort from a team that sat their best player
Look, we're not trying to shame the Wizards for sitting Wall last night. A healthy John Wall helps the Wizards' chances of winning a playoff series far more than home court advantage. But at the same time, you can't be shocked when a team sees they're not putting their best foot forward and respond accordingly. Yet, based on some of the quotes after last night's game from Jorge Castillo, that appears to be what happened:
"They were playing like a team that was fighting for dear life to get in the playoffs," Wizards forward Drew Gooden III said. "We thought we could have a mentality of they were going to lay down and we were going to take the game over down the stretch. But that wasn't the case. They kept their composure and went for the jugular."
"I kind of blame myself," Beal said. "I got to be more aggressive at the beginning of the game and probably not wait so late."
"It was a no-show," Wittman said. "That's what my thoughts are on today."
4. Understatement of the night
"They're definitely a different team without [John] out there. You can tell," said Deron Williams, who again narrowly missed out on his first career triple-double and finished with nine points, nine assists and seven rebounds.