Reaction continued Friday following the Dahntay Jones-Kobe Bryant incident and the NBA’s video review that officials blew a foul call on the potential game-tying basket.
“That stuff is out of my control,” Jones said Friday morning after preparations for a game against the Suns. “I just tried to make a basketball play. What they made is a judgment call after the game, and that is their job.”
The league ruled that Jones failed to give Bryant the opportunity to land cleanly on the floor, and he should have been granted two free throws. Bryant suffered a severe left ankle sprain on the play, which occurred in a 96-92 Hawks win over the Lakers.
Despite an initial diagnosis that Bryant would be out indefinitely, he started Friday against the Pacers.
Hawks coach Larry Drew said he “respected” the NBA’s verdict, but would not say if he believed Jones committed a foul.
“I’m not going to say if it was a foul or not,” Drew said. “Dahntay made an aggressive play in trying to contest a shot. I don’t think there was anything dirty about it. The game is on the line. The ball is in Kobe’s hand, and we are trying to defend him.
“We are trying to contest his shot. We don’t give anybody free looks, open shots.”
The league still could take disciplinary action against Jones, who has a history with Bryant. The guard was guilty of a push and a trip against Bryant in the 2009 Western Conference finals, when Jones played for the Nuggets. The later was ruled a Flagrant 1 foul.
Hawks players doubted whether Jones intended to injure Bryant.
“It was pretty borderline,” Al Horford said of whether the play was dirty. “I don’t think it was intentional.”
Pachulia out indefinitely: Zaza Pachulia said Friday that he is out indefinitely and awaits final medical reports from the second and third opinions he received on his ailing right Achilles.
Pachulia missed his seventh consecutive game Friday. The center said the soreness in his Achilles has gotten worse, prompting the additional medical advice and serious concern by the Hawks. He has missed 13 of the past 24 games with the condition that has bothered him since late January.
“Right now, I can just say that I’m out indefinitely,” Pachulia told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. “We are in the process of different treatments. There is no time frame. All I can say is it is indefinite. … Basically, everyday matters. We are expecting it to get better. We don’t know when or how soon.”
Pachulia, who will become an unrestricted free agent after the season, said he is wary of possibly tearing the tendon, which would require a lengthy recovery.
“Obviously you don’t want to mess with an Achilles,” Pachulia said. “That is for sure. I know from (Hawks legend) Dominique (Wilkins) that he tore his Achilles, and he was out for a whole year. It’s very, very dangerous. It’s a sensitive subject where I am in my career right now. You don’t want to mess with an Achilles, that is for sure.”
Injury report: Josh Smith (left knee) and Jeff Teague (left ankle sprain) returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday’s win over the Lakers. Both were injured Tuesday against the Heat.
Smith said he was hurt when an opposing player fell on him. Teague was hurt on a drive to the basket.
Mack probably back: There is a good chance the Hawks will sign reserve point guard Shelvin Mack to another 10-day contract after his first deal expires Sunday. The Hawks play at the Nets on Sunday.