On Monday, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray had been suspended for one game without pay for making contact with and verbally abusing an official at the end of Game 4 of Atlanta’s first-round series with the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. The incident occurred after Atlanta’s game against Boston.
Murray is scheduled to serve his sentence during Game 5 on Tuesday night, which could be Atlanta’s last game of the season. The Hawks are currently behind the Celtics in the best-of-seven series by a score of 3-1, and a victory for Boston would put them in a position to play the Philadelphia 76ers in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference.
After learning of Murray’s suspension, Hawks head coach Quin Snyder remarked, “Beating Boston in the Garden in the scenario we’re in right now, we all know that is a battle in and of itself.” But, this is something everyone in the group must take in.
When Murray left the court after the game after the Celtics’ 129-121 victory on Sunday, he contacted the official, Gediminas Petraitis. Murray finished the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in 40 minutes of action. After that, he turned around, pointed his finger, and shouted at someone before leaving the courtroom.
After the game on Sunday, Murray did not interview the press.
“Dejounte is aware of the role that he had in the incident. Snyder said that “it is simply not something that you can achieve.” About the events that took place in the past, you will need to inquire about them directly with the individual in question. Throughout the game, he experienced mounting frustration, but he failed to deal with it in the appropriate manner. This contributed to his poor performance. It is not news to him. We discussed it.”
Any player or spectator who makes physical contact with a match official will likely face severe repercussions from the league. Grant Williams, a forward for the Celtics, received a one-game suspension earlier this season for making contact with an official when he was ejected from the fourth quarter of a loss to the Chicago Bulls in October. Williams was removed from the game because the Celtics were losing to the Chicago Bulls.
Over the first four games of this series, Murray contributes to the Hawks’ success by averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 steals. After being acquired from the San Antonio Spurs in a blockbuster deal during the offseason of the previous year, he is now playing for the Atlanta Hawks for the first time.
Who will take the field in place of Murray? I’m not sure,” Snyder added. “When one of those guards goes out, under normal circumstances and throughout history, you can start a new guard or go large. All of this was recently brought to our attention. We need to have a staff meeting to discuss it and determine what course of action makes the most sense for us compared to the other side.
“Dejounte has been a key part of what our team accomplishes throughout the year, not just in this series, but throughout the whole season. We must have a good understanding of the fact that contributions will need to come from various players across the board. I don’t believe you can plug and play anything in a scenario like this one. Everyone is responsible for doing what they can.
This season, Murray played in 74 games and had an average of 20.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.
Murray had been assessed a $20,000 fine while playing with the Spurs during the previous season. This came after he was ejected from a game in Memphis on February 28, 2022, for throwing a ball off the legs of a referee.
If Boston prevails in Game 5, its series with Philadelphia will begin on Saturday. But, if Atlanta extends the first-round series to at least a sixth game, Boston’s series with Philadelphia would start on Monday. After suffering a right knee injury in Game 3 of the 76ers’ first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, Joel Embiid, a superstar for the 76ers, is in a precarious situation with regard to his availability for the beginning of the East semifinals.