The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Boston Celtics 83-74 to take a 1-0 series lead on Sunday night. The finals moments of the game carried perhaps more lasting ramifications, though, as Rajon Rondo was ejected for arguing with referee Mark Davis and bumping into him slightly.
The ejection came after a questionable loose-ball foul called on Brandon Bass in the final moments of a Celtics comeback—one that was nicely thwarted by the Hawks, led by Josh Smith's 22 points and 18 rebounds.
The question now is whether Rondo will face a one-game suspension for his little bump with the referee. According to the rules, a player cannot touch the ref, let alone after a controversial call. If you take a look at the replay, you'll notice Rondo trips over either his own foot or Bass', or even the ref's, which does result in the bump.
Did Rondo intend on bumping the referee to show how unhappy he really was with that call? Or was it merely an accident following a stumble?
The league will look into this, and we'll find out more in the next day or two. In my honest opinion, I can't imagine a player being suspended for something like this, and there is no way he should be. Don't dictate the way this series goes based off one boneheaded play by Rondo.
He got ejected, the Celtics lost—let's move on. Rondo's reaction came from passion and love for the game. I don't think there is a need to make he and his team "pay" for that. Plus, it's not nearly as bad as what Nick Van Exel once did.
Game 2 is Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta.