Two beautiful things happened last night in an otherwise ugly game between the lowly Detroit Pistons and the steady-as-ever Chicago Bulls. First, the Bulls stormed back from a 17-point deficit thanks to a ridiculous defensive fourth quarter in which the Pistons could barely even find the rim. After the Pistons finally found their touch late in the quarter and tied the game, Marco Belinelli missed badly on a desperation three with the shot clock winding down, which sent the ball careening out of bounds. What transpired next is a little thing we like to call “not giving up on the play”.
Center Joakim Noah launched his 6’11” frame towards the baseline photographers, saved the ball back to a driving Belinelli — now in full-on Redemptive Hero Mode (again) — who nailed a running lay-up, got fouled, and sank the ensuing free throw. Plays like these are why the Derrick Rose and Luol Deng-less Bulls are one game out of the 2-seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Pistons, who stood around watching an opponent out-hustle them, are not.