On Monday, the NBA suspended Murray one game without pay for making inappropriate contact with and verbally abusing a game official.

Dejounte Murray suspended for Game 5.

The NBA announced on Monday that it has suspended Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray for Game 5 of his team’s Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Celtics for “making inappropriate contact with and verbally abusing a game official.”

Dejounte Murray suspended for Game 5.

The incident in question came at the conclusion of Atlanta’s 129-121 loss in Game 4 on Sunday as Murray was walking off the floor.

He walked up to referee Gediminas Petraitis, bumped into him and continuing yelling and pointing in a different direction as teammates and coaches intervened and pulled him off the court.

Murray did not speak to reporters after the game or address the situation.

In that same game, Jayson Tatum appeared to push a referee out of his way after he got up following a physical challenge from the Hawks on his layup attempt.

Murray’s loss is a huge blow for the Hawks, who already trail 3-1 in the series and now face elimination in Boston without one of their best players.

The 26-year-old has been excellent against the Celtics, averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals in four postseason games while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three.

A second consecutive first-round exit would lead to some tough conversations in Atlanta after the team reached the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2020-21 season.

Rumors have been making the rounds regarding Trae Young’s future for months, with B/R’s Chris Haynes reporting in December that “rival executives … are of the belief that [Young] could be the next player on a rookie max extension to request a trade if the team doesn’t make inroads come postseason time.”

And The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported in April that “league sources say the Hawks’ front office has the green light from ownership to do whatever it wants to with the roster, which includes considering trade opportunities involving [Young].”

Dejounte Murray suspended for Game 5.

So the stakes in this particular first-round series may be a bit higher than normal. And with Murray out of action for Game 5, what could be a very interesting offseason may be upon the Hawks shortly.

By Rishabh

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