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Dejounte Murray Suspended For Game Five

David Butler II / USA TODAY Sports

After a hard-fought battle against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night, the Atlanta Hawks lost in a drama-filled ending. After the final buzzer, there was a quick skirmish you would have missed if you had blinked. When walking off the court, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray bumped into a referee and said something to him. Murray has been suspended for game five and his suspension will likely alter the series for the Hawks tremendously.

Murray’s Timing Could Not Be Worse

This all comes after the Hawks were looking to tie the series at home before returning to a dangerous Celtics crowd. The officials were making a ton of mistakes for both teams, but it seemed as if the Celtics were getting many calls in their favor. The Celtics were more aggressive, and there is no arguing that, but looking at the game from the eyes of a fan, it was easy to see that the Hawks caught the shaft more times than once from the refs.

There are rules and procedures for players and the way they interact with refs. Any contact means an ejection as well as a suspension. This writer has no problem with the ruling on the situation. The issue here though is the fact that earlier in the game, Jayson Tatum went to the ground, and when he got up, he pushed a ref out of the way and then yelled at, or to use the same words as the NBA, verbally assaulted him.

They Make Rules For A Reason

Rules are rules, but they need to be enforced equally. Games can be called unevenly based on fan reaction and just missing calls. However, the situation goes to the league office in a case like this. There is no room for error after it goes to the office. They have as long as they need to see that Tatum pushed the ref and “verbally abused” another.

The silver lining is that Hawks fans will now use the “one of our best players was suspended” excuse if the trend continues the way it went last time the birds went to Boston. The Hawks still have a chance to get a win against the Celtics. The Hawks lost by thirteen. The hope for Hawks fans everywhere is that they walk in with a fire lit under them. The series is not over but it isn’t going to be easier.

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