Caleb Martin: From G League to the NBA Finals
Fans react to Miami Heat’s Caleb Martin, who dropped 26 points in their Game 7 winner over the Boston Celtics after being glossed over for years.
The Miami Heat made it to the NBA Finals after a nail-biting Conference Final series with the Boston Celtics. After being up 3-0, they let the Celtics make a three-win comeback to tie the series, but they were able to beat them 103-84 in Game 7 in Boston.
Jimmy Butler’s been their big man throughout the playoffs and he won the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. But let’s not gloss over Heat guard Caleb Martin and the big game he had to help take the Heat to the finals. In fact, he was only one point short in voting behind Butler, and here’s why.
Martin didn’t just do well in Game 7 - he’s done well throughout the series. In round 1, he averaged 11.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and two assists per game to help the Heat upset the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Last year, Martin didn’t even play in Miami’s Game 7. This year, he scored 26 points, plus had 10 rebounds and went 11-for-16 including four 3-pointers made on six attempts from deep in 46 minutes of playing time.
In fact, Martin broke an NBA record with this performance. Martin scored 132 points in the Conference Finals, surpassing John Starks in the 1994 finals (124) for the most points in a Conference Finals series or NBA Final by an undrafted player in the Modern Draft Era (1966-67).
Overlooked Martin proves himself in 2023
Martin went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and then joined the Charlotte Hornets later that summer. After an unimpressive debut, he received his first assignment to the Hornets NBA G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. In 2021, Martin was waived by the Hornets and joined the Heat. And now, he’s taken them to the NBA Finals.
The fans are of course going crazy with reactions to Martin’s performance throughout the post season and especially in last night’s significant win, as he’s come as a pleasant surprise for Miami.