Martin, Heat contending for NBA title

Published 9:39 am Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Local hero Caleb Martin and the Miami Heat are six wins from capturing the 2022 NBA championship.

Before the postseason began, the Heat won the Eastern Conference. Martin helped Miami carve out a 53-29 record by contributing off the bench. Appearing in 60 of 82 games in the regular season, he averaged 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

Then came the playoffs. The Heat opened by bouncing Atlanta four games to one. In the second round, they ousted Philadelphia in six games.

The 6-5 Martin had 10 points and four rebounds in one game against Atlanta. He had six points and five rebounds in one of the Philadelphia games.

And Martin has scored in all three games against Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. Through Game 2 against the Celtics, he was averaging 3.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game during postseason play.

Miami took a two-games-to-one lead by winning 109-103 Saturday in Boston. Martin got 10 minutes off the bench and made the most of them, scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. He connected on 1 of 2 tries from 3 and hit his only free-throw attempt. He also had three rebounds and one steal.

“Part of my job is bringing energy,” Martin said. “So if I’m still in the game towards the end and I’ve got five minutes left, I’m gonna play the rest of the five minutes. If I’ve got 50 seconds left, I’m gonna play the last 50 seconds.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said: “He’s our kind of guy.”