The Celtics were outplayed by the Hawks en route to a 83-74 loss in Game 1 on Sunday and their chances of flipping the script in Game 2 took a major hit when All-Star star point guard Rajon Rondo was ejected for bumping an official late in the fourth quarter.
With Atlanta holding on to a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining in regulation, Hawks forward Josh Smith battled Celtics frontcourt players Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett for a loose ball. As the shot clock wound down, the referee called a foul on Bass. That's when Rondo lost his cool, earning a technical foul for barking at the official.
Rondo responded to the technical by bumping the official in the back, earning himself an ejection.
The NBA Rulebook states that "any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game."
Right after Rondo was tossed, several NBA analysts reacted on Twitter and brought up a possible (and seemingly probable) suspension.
"Obviously, I was upset about the call," Rondo said after the game. "I said some words to Mark. I deserved the first tech. As I was walking I thought he stopped. My momentum carried me into him. I even think I tripped on his foot I didn't intentionally chest bump him."
He also said that whether he gets suspended or not is out of his control.
Head coach Doc Rivers said that he would be "surprised" if Rondo get suspended.