Erik Spoelstra reveals message behind astonishing show of confidence in Caleb Martin
Caleb Martin is playing so well of late in the clutch periods that Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra decided to let him be on the floor for all but just one tick of the clock during the last two fourth quarters. For Spoelstra, Martin is one of the guys that’s answered his call about making every second on the floor matter.
“I tell our guys all the time, make us have to play you,” Spoelstra said, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “Impact the game so much where we can’t take you out of the game and he’s living and breathing that right now.”
The Heat have won back-to-back games (both against the Atlanta Hawks) heading into Wednesday’s meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers at home. In that pair of matchups against Atlanta, Martin saw action for a total of 24 minutes in the fourth quarter — same as Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro — while scoring a total of 10 points with three rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
While those numbers don’t jump off the page, Martin definitely has made a positive impact on the floor that goes beyond what the boxscores tell. In the 130-128 win against the Hawks last Monday, Martin came off the bench and fired 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field with a 2-for-2 line from deep in 28 total minutes of action.
As long as Martin sustains that form, Spoelstra will have a good reason to keep giving the forward ample playing time in the fourth quarter.