Bullet guard Kevin Grevey was suspended without pay for one game and fined $1,000 by the NBA yesterday for intentional physical contact with an official after he was called for two technical fouls during a game last week.
Grevey's fine, which was administered by NBA Deputy Commissioner Simon P. Gourdine, was levied after a review of reports by the officials and a view of the video tapes from Tuesday's Washington-Chicago game. The tapes showed that Grevey made contact with referee Hugh Evans and failed to leave the court immediately upon ejection.
The fine includes the automatic $250 assessed for the technical fouls.
Grevey will not be in uniform for tonight's Bullets-Atlanta Hawks game at the Omni (7:35 p.m., WDCA-TV-20). The Bullets have beaten the Hawks twice this season, but Hawk Coach Hubie Brown says this is a different Atlanta team.
"We've ironed out a few things since then," said Brown. "We're finally starting to play basketball like we know what we're doing."
The Hawks hit bottom when the Bullets beat them, 100-88, at Atlanta Nov. 15 for their 10th straight defeat. Tree Rollins didn't play. Dan Roundfield was hobbling on a bad leg and had a sore wrist and weak-shooting Armond Hill was a starter.
All that has changed. The 7-foot Rollins is back causing havoc in the middle, Roundfield is healthy and Hill has been traded away.The Hawks have won six of their last eight and are starting to round into the form that made them a championship challenger a year ago. Both the recent losses were on the road, by three points at Seattle and by three in overtime at Portland.
With Rollins, John Drew and Roundfield up front, the Hawks are one of the few teams in the NBA that can get away with starting two small guards -- 5-8 Charlie Criss and 6-2 Eddie Johnson.
That is fortunate for the Bullets, who will have to go with their two small guards, 5-10 Kevin Porter and 6-1 Wes Matthews, because of Grevey's absence.
Criss, eight inches shorter than Hill, still gives the Hawks more scoring and more assists. If the Hawks start getting burned by bigger guards, they can go to 6-6 rookie Don Collins, the Hawks' No. 1 draft choice from Washington State.
Collins is one of the most productive and versatile first-year men in the league. He has started four games at forward and 10 at guard. He is averaging 13.7 points a game and is the team's second-leading offensive rebounder.
The key to the Hawks, however, is Roundfield. Many NBA players and coaches feel he is one of the most underrated players in the league. Among NBA forwards, his peers rank him in the same class with Julius Erving, Marques Johnson and Larry Bird.
Roundfield, is a 6-8 left-handed scorer, rebounder, shot blocker, defender and, now, even a passer. That is one area of his game that he felt needed improving. He has averaged fewer than two assists a game for his career, but this season is averaging 2.5.
Two weeks ago, Roundfield was the NBA player of the week when he averaged 20.3 points on 64 percent shooting. He was even more impressive last week, though, when he averaged 22.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots and shot 59 percent.
While the Hawks are starting to make their move, the Bullets still are wondering where to find some scoring punch. Coach Gene Shue is desperate for more offense, but the Bullet options are limited. They are looking at a number of trade possibilities, but the asking price for anyone who can really help is too steep. It is beginning to look as if they will have to work out their problems from within.
The Bullets have lost five of their last six games.
Going into tonight's game, they are a half-game behind both Atlanta and Chicago in the race for the last playoff spot in Eastern Conference.