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Detroit Pistons

How the Detroit Pistons confused the Toronto Raptors on Reggie Bullock's game-winner

After Pascal Siakam sent Glenn Robinson III's shot out of bounds in the closing seconds of the first meeting between the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons this season, Dwane Casey had one more opportunity to beat his former team with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

The play the reigning Coach of the Year drew up was nothing short of brilliant.

The five Pistons on the court at the time were Jose Calderon, Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.

Calderon was in charge of in-bounding the ball while Jackson and Drummond stood on the baseline and Griffin and Bullock parked themselves at either elbow, like this:

When the ball went live, Jackson ran towards towards Drummond underneath the hoop and Bullock made a move towards Griffin at the elbow.

Bullock then turned around to set a screen on Griffin for him to pop to the 3-point line.

Drummond also provided some resistance by setting a second screen for Griffin.

That double screen is what caused a lot of confusion for the Raptors.

OG Anunoby was the primary defender on Griffin at the start of the possession, but he dropped underneath Bullock's screen to prevent Griffin from slipping to the basket for a layup or dunk. That forced Pascal Siakam, who was the primary defender on Bullock, to help out to prevent Griffin from getting a clean look at a 3-pointer.

While Griffin isn't the most reliable 3-point shooter in the league, he's made 12 of his 26 attempts from the perimeter in crunch time this season. He also had a game-high 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field and 3-for-8 shooting from 3-point range, so it's no surprise the Raptors were worried about him getting open.

The problem, of course, is that left Bullock completely unguarded. Jonas Valanciunas and Kawhi Leonard could've provided help, but they didn't want to risk Drummond or Jackson getting open. (Jackson was the other focus for the Raptors on defence, as he led the Pistons with eight points in the fourth quarter).

Bullock responded by making a well-timed cut towards the hoop.

Griffin's pop to the 3-point line forced Lowry, who was defending the ball, to shade towards the sideline. Calderon got Lowry to leave his feet by faking a pass to Griffin, which opened a passing lane to Bullock, who drained a floater over Valanciunas as time expired to give the Pistons their seventh win on the season.

Lowry said afterwards that communication was Toronto's problem on the final possession - "We've gotta speak, we've gotta talk, you gotta say something," he said - but credit to Casey for giving his team two great shots to close the game and Bullock for making a great decision.

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