Second-by-Second Analysis of Wizards' Failed Inbounds Play in Loss to Nets | Wizards Blog Truth About

Second-by-Second Analysis of Wizards’ Failed Inbounds Play in Loss to Nets

Updated: December 13, 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Washington Wizards lost a close game in Brooklyn after a botched final inbounds play. This time it was a five second call with Washington trailing 101-98 with 8.8 seconds remaining.

The play was particularly odd because there did not appear to be any inbounds options for Tomas Satoransky prior to the five second violation. Let’s break it down second-by-second in a segment I like to call, “What was Bradley Beal Waiting For?”

0 Seconds

Everything seems fine so far. The referee hands Tomas Satoransky the ball and all the action is on the far side of the court.

1 Second

Otto Porter starts a curl from the corner that will eventually take him into the lane and under the basket. Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre and Beal have not moved.

2 Seconds

Kelly Oubre positions himself to set a pick but there is no defender anywhere near him. Otto continues his curl into the lane as DeMarre Carroll trails him. Spencer Dinwiddie drops off Satoransky to cut off a pass to the near-side corner. Gortat still has not moved. Beal has slightly turned his body but has not moved his feet.

3 Seconds

Otto completes his curl to the rim and appears open but Carroll could easily jump the passing lane if Satoransky lobbed it into the paint. Besides, Washington is down two points and Otto’s cut seems more like a diversion than a legitimate inbounds option.

Oubre runs a curl of his own at the top of the key, but he never looks for the ball and is only trying to get into position to set a shoulder-to-shoulder pick with Gortat. Beal is still in the same place even though we are three seconds into the play.

4 Seconds

Otto is still under the basket and is no longer an inbounds option. Oubre is in position next to Gortat. Beal has finally taken a couple steps toward the lane but Caris LeVert wisely stays on Beal’s back and positions himself between Beal and the three-point line. Beal, presumably aware that Satoransky’s allotted inbounds time is expiring, throws LeVert out of the way and sprints toward the three-point line.

5 Seconds

Beal just barely clears Gortat’s pick when the ref completes his fifth and final arm motion. You can see in the photo that the ball is just leaving Satoransky’s hands when the motion is completed.

Here’s the head-scratching part. The Wizards appear to have run a play with no options. There was not one player available to receive a pass before the five second violation.

Take a look at the final photo again. Gortat and Oubre have their backs to Satoransky. At no point during the play did they even look at Satoransky. Otto is standing flat-footed in the paint as he watches Beal run to the ball. Beal just barely clears Gortat’s pick when Satoransky throws the ball to him. In other words, Satoransky inbounded the ball at the earliest possible moment and he still committed a five second violation.

I repeat: The Wizards ran an inbounds play where NO PLAYER WAS AN OPTION.

Anyway, here’s the video. Enjoy.


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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.