Before we get to the longest 0.9 seconds you will ever be alive for it started with a hellacious dunk. It’s hard to know exactly what was going through the Detroit Pistons’ players’ heads in the Wednesday night 121-119 OT loss to the Toronto Raptors at the beautiful Little Caesar’s Arena.
Inbounding from the opposite end down by one-point with 7.9 seconds to play, Raptors’ All-Star Demar DeRozan strutted down the court unscathed and nearly killed Anthony Tolliver as he elevated for a vicious put-down. To add salt on the wound Tolliver was also called for the foul.
You do have to put a little respect on Tolliver’s name for even attempting to block a shot from a player charging with the speed of a real velociraptor. That drive to the hole was one of the most blatant carnivorous acts of violence we’ve seen on a basketball court in 2018. DeRozan was out for blood before he touched the ball and stampeded down the floor while FOUR (4) Pistons’ players spectated like they were one of the few Piston fans in attendance.
After DeRozan made his free throw, the new star of Motor City Blake Griffin hit a baby-Kareem hook shot to tie the game at 114.
That’s when more magic ensued. Stuff you just can’t script. The snippet below is what we in the business call a trilogy. The classic three-part masterpiece as old as time itself. Possibly the best (and by best I mean worst) 0.9 seconds in NBA history.
First is just the warm up laying the base for the second and third acts of this magnum opus. The Raptors, inbounding with 0.9 seconds left in regulation, threw an absolute missile to the fan standing courtside who caught it with the grace of a Randy Moss in his Minnesota prime. The Detroit fans loved it thinking that was the worst (or best?) pass they had seen maybe all year.
In the second act, the Pistons have one more chance to win it in regulation before heading to an inevitable OT loss. Let’s see what genius play coach Stan Van Gundy drew up to get the new star Blake Griffin the ball with just 0.3 seconds left to play .
Was that a pass or a shot by Griffin? Hard to tell if that question will ever be answered. Bold strategy having your best player inbound the ball instead of on the court trying to make magic happen at the rim. Blake Griffin and co. were coined with the nickname “Lob City” with his last team for savage posterizations like these…
…but that evidence seems unclear at best. Probably best to not let one of the highest flyers in NBA history attempt to get a game-winning alley-oop. Too risky, and without it we would not have been granted the gift of this trilogy.
Part three is the cherry on top. The fans are clamoring for something, anything, to happen at this point as the 0.9 seconds has turned into what seems to be an eternity. But not all stories have happy endings (see Kingpin 1996) and this one was similarly unsatisfying. But maybe that is the masterpiece itself? It leaves you wanting more.
It’s the fourth straight loss for the Pistons (29-36) and are five games back of the Miami Heat for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and it doesn’t look like they’ll be climbing in the standings anytime soon. Blake Griffin had 31 points, Reggie Bullock 21 and Andre Drummond 10 points and 21 rebounds. DeRozan finished with 42 points and six assists.