Hawks’ Schroder: ‘I’m not going to let nobody slap me in my face’

042216 BOSTON: Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and Hawks guard Dennis Schroder are both called for technical fouls as they get into a scuffle during the first half in their NBA Eastern Conference first round playoff basketball game at TD Garden on Friday, April 22, 2016, in Boston. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.comon

Boston guard Isaiah Thomas and Hawks guard Dennis Schroder are both called for technical fouls as they get into a scuffle during the first half in their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff game at TD Garden on Friday night. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

BOSTON — Welcome back to 1980s basketball. The Hawks and Boston Celtics went a bit old school in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Friday night. Bodies hit the floor. There were double-technical fouls and flagrant fouls and reviews of several other calls. In the end, the Hawks overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to take a lead, only to fade and lose 111-103. Here’s a link to the game column.

Now, what follows is NOT the reason the Hawks lost, trimming their series lead to 2-1. Isaiah Thomas going off for a career-high 42 points had more to do with that. But the story line from now until Game 4 on Sunday will be the potential fallout from a first-quarter incident when Thomas swung his arm around and slapped Hawks guard Dennis Schroder in the face. Thomas wasn’t called for a foul, but the two players had to be separated later in the quarter and were called fro technicals.

Here’s the play:

Schroder was upset after the game and said he complained to official Zach Zarba, telling the Journal-Constitution: “I’m not going to let nobody slap me in my face. I told him that. If you want to play like that, we’ll play like that. I was mad.”

When asked if Zarba said anything in response, Schroder said, “He apologized at halftime. He said he didn’t see it. But it’s too late then.”

Schroder also Tweeted a screen shot of Thomas hitting him with the comment: “Wow. They’re calling a flagrant foul on me! Where I try to protect myself!!! But Isaiah Thomas can hit me in my face.”

He quickly deleted the Tweet but it lives in screen grabs:

schroder

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he expects the NBA to review the play. The question is whether the league believes the incident rises to the level of a “flagrant 1” foul (which would not lead to a suspension) or a “flagrant 2” (which could).

Former NBA vice president Stu Jackson, whose former job entailed disciplining players, believes a suspension is coming:

When asked about the NBA’s possible review of the play, Thomas said he was not concerned, denied he hit Schroder intentionally, then started to go in the other direction with his comments.

Quote: “I didn’t mean to hit him. He got mad and he was talking. But it’s playoff basketball. That’s what it’s about. I’m not going to back down from anybody and he knows that.”

Hawks center Al Horford was asked about the incident and, referencing the officials, saying, “I feel like they look the other way on that kind of stuff. Those kind of issues need to be addressed in-game. I mean after the game, it’s too late.”

When told the official said he didn’t see the play, Horford responded, “Of course.”

Hawks guard Kyle Korver said, “I know Bud read us a really long (league) memo before the playoffs started about what would happen if we threw a punch. So I guess we’ll see what happens.”

So my guess is one of two things are going to happen now: Either Thomas gets suspended — which would amount to the league taking Boston’s best player off the court — or  this series is about to get get a whole lot more physical.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  At least now the Hawks realize they’re in a series.

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

Reader Comments 0

37 comments
Brian Clark
Brian Clark

He should've pulled a LBJ and fell down like he got knocked out. Then maybe they would've called a foul, but who knows it seems like the refs are playing for the Celtics in Boston anyways.

David Gaines
David Gaines

He raised his hand as if he was a first graded in class wanting to ask a question,! lol

Tam Tam
Tam Tam

What would you do? Chris Barnes

Jason Laster
Jason Laster

So he supposed to get into some gangster \U0001f4a9 on the job so you can tell him how much of an idiot he is?

Martine J. DeVoe
Martine J. DeVoe

He learned that from his daddy! Apple don't fall to far from the tree!

Joshua Doherty
Joshua Doherty

That isn't Zeke's son... Go back to watching Oprah

Jon Edens
Jon Edens

You gotta ace that fade, young man

TGT88
TGT88

No suspension (saw the AJC headline). Unbelievable. No way that was unintentional. EVERY seeming rough foul or play in EVERY playoff game now gets compared to this. If that act didn't warrant a suspension few rough plays in today's NBA do. Biased league hypocrisy. The Hawks should protest in every manner allowed. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: ". . . the two players had to be separated later in the quarter and were called fro technicals."

________________

Their fros didn't look all that radical to me, although DS obviously has some color issues.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Thomas was clearly in the wrong, but what is also very clear from the video is Schroder was going to run right into and body brush Thomas just prior to the head slap.  Again, not to excuse the inexcusable strike by Thomas, but I fear the NBA may look at this as a slight provocation by Schroder, and Thomas, anticipating this, reacted. 

Schroder was quite coy and looked immediately for the ref right after the head slap; again, a sign of a premeditated provocation.  If blindsided and not expecting this (like a Bill Lanier moment), Schroder would have immediately attacked Thomas as a natural reaction.

Because of this perceived provocation, Thomas will be fined and not suspended I would predict. Had Thomas done this without the perceived provocation, he's out at least one game.

We'll see!

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

First and foremost, even after what happened with the horrendous calls and clueless refs last night, the Hawks lost a game they should have won. They had five or six opportunities near the end when the score was tied or they trailed by 2 to put on a good offensive run. Instead they passed it around for  while, and kind of tried to penetrate, and then kicked it back out for a desperate three pointer with the shot clock with 2 or 3 seconds on it, or they just turned it over. The most important two minutes of the game and they appear to have no plan, no strategy, no plays, no clue, and they are out there totally improvising, and poorly improvising at that, and not getting any good looks with the Celtics playing very tough defense, and in the end holding them off. That is on Bud, and not the first time that kind of thing has happened.


It is not impossible that Thomas will skate on this one. Why? Because the NBA knows that games can be "managed" to a large degree by the refs - and "well managed" games lead to longer play off series and more TV revenue, more revenue for the clubs, etc. Bud did a great job blowing smoke about the integrity of the NBA and its "high standards" - a laughable moment - in hopes that Thomas gets exactly what he deserves - but it is very, very doubtful that he will.


Why? Thomas is the only thing that will keep this series going. Of course it was an intentional hit in the face, and you would have to be deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid not to see that, but those qualities are essential some times to good game "managment" and good revenue generation.  Of course Schroder's "flagrant" foul coming down to earth after being faked out of his jock was not a flagrant foul. But essential to good game management. Shortly after the hit to the face, Jerebko essentially tackled Horford dribbling the ball up the court on a fast break. Clearly a Flagrant 1, but not essential to good game management. 


Thomas will not sit. If he does there will only be two more games in this series. And if you think this is bad, wait until you see the good game management the NBA imposes when the Hawks meet the Cavaliers. Good game management then will mean that nothing can happen to derail another trip by the Cavaliers to meet  the Warriors. 

FrankieB
FrankieB

He plays for Boston and he's their best player. Not a chance in hell he gets suspended.

decatur_g
decatur_g

@JeffSchultzAJC If Horford missed '15 ECF game for The Peoples Elbow on Delladova (sp?),this is no-brainier...IJS

TOJacket
TOJacket

The rest of this series is going to be....as they said on "Laugh In"...very interesting!