Caleb Martin has become the face of the Miami Heat’s playoff run this year. People have latched onto the story of the guy who went from being cut by the Hornets to starting for the Heat. Furthermore, the central part that rapper J. Cole played in proceedings only fueled people’s passion for it.
Additionally, Martin has played a vital role in the Heat’s playoff run. He averaged nearly 20 points a game in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. Furthermore, he averaged 11.2 and 10.5 points per game against the Bucks and Knicks respectively. However, Martin has so far been unable to replicate that success against the Nuggets. Through three games, he’s averaging just 5.3 points on 26 minutes a night. Furthermore, the Heat find themselves down 2-1 in the series and still missing Tyler Herro for at least another game. Now Martin is getting heat from the media.
Smith Roasts Martin
Speaking on First Take, Stephen A. Smith didn’t hold back about Martin. “Where the hell are you? … He has been a virtual no-show in these Finals,” Smith asked of Martin. Martin played 32 minutes in the Heat’s 109-94 Game 3 loss. Despite the extensive floor time, his most in the Finals so far, Martin had another quiet performance. He put up 10 points, three rebounds, three assists, and 2 steals. He went 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-5 from three.
If the Heat wants to stand any chance of taking down the Nuggets, Martin and the rest of the Heat bench really need to step up. Through three games, the Heat’s bench has scored 28.9% (86 of 298) of the Heat’s points. Martin has contributed just 16 of those points. That is a lot of scoring pressure to put on the starting five. By comparison, the Nuggets’ limited bench tactic has netted them 49 points during the series so far. Despite these struggles, the Heat will attempt to even the series in Friday’s Game 4. Follow all the latest sports news here at HotNewHipHop.