The Detroit Pistons beat the Chicago Bulls 112-104 on Friday but required a 21-point second-half comeback—their largest of the season so far—in order to get things done on the road. The win seemed far from certain earlier in the game when the Bulls caught their opponents napping in the first half and were even able to use some old school techniques to embarrass the Pistons.
Late in the first quarter, Bulls big man Robin Lopez rolled to the rim after setting a pick and got the ball in the post. As Andre Drummond shuffled over to play some defense, Lopez spun right by him for what seemed to be an open look at the basket. But Drummond was able to recover quickly and jumped over to where Lopez was standing to attempt a block. The Bulls center then quickly busted out his best Hakeem Olajuwon impersonation to make Drummond look silly with a fake that ended with an easy layup.
Drummond clearly wanted to get back at Lopez but wasn’t sure how. Was he going to try a similar set of moves in the post? Would he keep things simple and just ferociously dunk on his opponent? Both seemed like solid ideas, but Drummond instead opted for the unconventional approach: a step-back three. It went about as well as you’d expect it to for someone shooting 13.5% from behind the arc.
Sure, Drummond had to do something because the shot clock was expiring, but you can’t rule out that at least some part of him was thinking about what Lopez did to him just one quarter ago. There was a clear attempt at on-court trickery there—he even tried to look off Lopez prior to the step back, for some reason—and it just failed miserably. Instead of leaving the game with his dignity, Drummond had to settle for a boring state line of 20 points, 24 rebounds and two blocks.