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Heat: 3 reasons Caleb Martin wasn’t named Eastern Conference MVP by Larry Bird



Heat: 3 reasons Caleb Martin wasn't named Eastern Conference MVP by Larry Bird

(CTN News) – The Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, but it wasn’t pretty.

Eighth-seeded Miami stunned second-seeded Boston with a 3-0 series win. Suddenly, disaster struck as the Celtics won three straight, including a buzzer-beater in Game 6, to tie the series.

As the Heat reached such incredible heights early in the series, they were in danger of blowing a 3-0 lead for the first time in NBA history. They dominated the Celtics 103-84 at home in Game 7, advancing to the NBA Finals.

He won the Larry Bird Trophy five votes to four over teammate Caleb Martin after Game 7. Butler winning wasn’t a surprise, since he’s the star and all. Nevertheless, Martin could have won it instead.

Having said that, here are three reasons Martin deserved the Larry Bird Trophy.

3. Improved Consistency

Butler had better stats during this series than Martin. During the series, he averaged 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.6 steals. During the same period, the latter scored 19.3 points, grabbed 6.4 rebounds, assisted 1.7 times, and stole 0.9 times.

It should be enough to prove Butler deserved it more, right? Not quite.

Martin was solid in every game of the series. Except for Game 5, where he scored 14 points on 41.7% shooting, he scored at least 15 points in every game. In the series, Martin shot 60.2% from the field and 48.9% from three, while Butler shot only 42%.

Throughout the series, Martin was the much more reliable player than Butler.

2. Martin’s performance was a surprise

Despite having similar production, they played very different roles in this series. Butler is the Heat’s star, the team goes with him, and everyone expects him to be good. During some key points of the series, he played well.

Martin’s emergence throughout this series was amazing. Though he went undrafted, he played like a star in this series. It looks like he’ll be part of the Heat’s Big 3 alongside Butler and Bam Adebayo.

I don’t think voters consider this when deciding who gets the trophy. We think Martin should get some bonus points for playing so high above expectations.

1. Heroes of Game 7

It’s no secret Martin was a star for Miami throughout this series. He played his best when the lights were bright.

The Heat dominated Game 7 thanks to Martin’s best game of the series. Besides 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, he had 10 rebounds and three assists. He was the best shooter on both teams.

After the game, Butler praised Martin. He said Martin’s breakout performance may surprise outsiders, but the Heat knew what he was capable of.

“He’s an incredible player, defender, playmaker, shotmaker, all of the above,” Butler explained. We have seen Caleb work on those shots every day.

I am so proud and happy for him. I think he’s going to be even better in the next round, and I don’t think nobody will be surprised by him anymore.”

Seeing Martin play like Butler predicts will be scary for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.


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