By Ben Golliver
Pachulia's flop occurred during the fourth quarter of a 104-95 win over the Wizards at Philips Arena on Friday. Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin swung his elbows after corralling a defensive rebound. Although Pachulia was standing near Seraphin, the elbows connected with nothing but air. That didn't stop Pachulia from flopping backwards as if he had been struck in the head. An official was standing nearby and did not bite on Pachulia's gamesmanship. Video of the flop can be viewed on NBA.com.
This flop was somewhat similar to one performed by Clippers guard Chris Paul in the league’s official video introducing its flopping policy. During that play, Paul was defending a drive before he fell backwards dramatically to the ground as if he had been struck by an elbow.
“As the highlighted defensive player, No. 3 in the red uniform, defends the driving offensive player, he feels slight contact and then launches himself back to the floor,” the video’s narrator explained. “This reaction by the defensive player is an over-embellishment of marginal contact and is intended to draw an unearned offensive foul on his opponent.”
Pachulia became the eighth player warned under the new system, joining Clippers guard Chauncey Billups Nets forward Gerald Wallace, Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, Nets forward Reggie Evans, Thunder guard Kevin Martin, Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea and Cavaliers guard Donald Sloan. Wallace and Evans have each been fined $5,000 as repeat violators.
Pachulia will now be subject to fines if they are deemed to have violated the policy again. The sliding fine scale looks like this.
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine
For a sixth (or any subsequent) violation of the rule, the player will be subject to such discipline as the League determines is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.
Pachulia, 28, is averaging 6.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Hawks. He is on the books for $$5.2 million this season.