The Miami Heat defeated the Portland Trail Blazers despite playing without Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry the entire game and Jimmy Butler in the second half.
With so much firepower sidelined, forward Caleb Martin filled the void and continued his impressive season. Martin scored a team-high 26 points and had eight rebounds and two assists.
He made some impressive reads, showing his growth in shooting efficiency and ball movement. His highlight of the night was the move he put on Tony Snell for a basket within the second quarter.
When asked about filling in for other players, Martin says he tries to replicate their competitive fire and aggressiveness while integrating his own style of play.
“Like I said, I just try to emulate the best I can what guys bring to the team who are out,” Martin said. “Obviously, I’m not Kyle. I’m not a floor general, but Kyle brings a certain kind of toughness and energy. Even when Jimmy goes out, I try and do the same thing whenever he is out. I do my best impression of those guys, but I also mix in just being myself. I think that’s what I do, a little bit of everything.”
Martin also leads the Heat in blocks. His defense was key in the second half, especially with Butler out.
“Caleb, his full-court pressure all game long,” Spoelstra said. “All those timely baskets. He has a knack for the electrifying plays, but he is more than that. He is really becoming a disciplined defender and a system defender. He knows how to fill in the gaps and put the ball in the basket without getting in the way of other guys. That’s a skill in this league.”
Jayden Armant is a contributor to Inside The Heat. He is a student at Howard University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jaydenarmant