(ATLANTA) — If the Boston Celtics hope to avoid going down 0-2 in their opening-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, they’ll have to do it without point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo has been suspended for one game by the NBA for bumping referee Marc Davis.
Rondo chest-bumped Davis with just 41 seconds remaining in the team’s Game 1 loss on Sunday, earning his second technical foul and automatic ejection. This was Rondo’s second referee-related suspension in three months. The NBA has a clear rule that any physical interaction with a referee or game official will result in an automatic ejection from the game and an automatic one-game suspension without pay.
“Obviously from a competetive standpoint we are disappointed with the league’s decision to suspend Rondo,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He plays a valuable part in our team’s success. We accept the punishment and will use it as a learning tool for our players.”
Rivers wasn’t exaggerating when he stressed the team’s reliance on Rondo. During the regular season, Rondo averaged just 11.9 points but did dish out an NBA-leading 11.7 assists per game.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire