Wednesday’s nationally televised game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks ended in controversial fashion. The Mavericks escaped with a one-point win after Danilo Gallinari’s last-second attempt went begging for Atlanta but, as the final buzzer arrived, Trae Young expressed his displeasure with the officials. Young ended the play on the ground after a collision with Willie Cauley-Stein and (badly) wanted a foul call.
Trae Young was HEATED after not getting a foul 😡 pic.twitter.com/H71UEDElQg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 11, 2021
While that play was only one of many that decided the ultimate outcome of the game, much of the postgame activity focused on what transpired, with Young, Lloyd Pierce and others on the Atlanta side showing frustration about the no-call. In fact, Young apparently went far enough in the confrontation with the official after the game that the NBA announced a $20,000 fine for the third-year guard on Thursday for “directing inappropriate language toward a game official.”
Within the announcement of his fine, the NBA ruled that the play in question “was correctly ruled a no-call.” That backed up comments from referee Josh Tiven to a pool reporter on Wednesday, including the assertion that the contact was “incidental” in nature. From there, the league indicated that “under the playing rules, Dallas’ Willie Cauley-Stein was entitled to a normal step on a screen from behind, which he took, and which led to incidental and legal contact between Cauley-Stein and Young.”
It isn’t a shock to see the league stand behind the call on the floor, but before the league’s Two-Minute Report even emerged, they made sure to issue this public ruling in concert with the fine itself. Observers on the Atlanta side may continue to lament the officiating decision and/or the failure of the final play that led to a defeat, but what’s done is now done, and the centerpiece of the Hawks will now be writing a check to back up his outrage.