Saturday, September 30, 2023

Martin’s rise in the NBA after the season, Miami’s new success story with undrafted players

DENVER (AP) – Caleb Martin went undrafted out of college. He entered the NBA with almost no guarantee of making the team.

He was to play in the G-League (Development League). Charlotte released him after two seasons.

Desperate for a second chance, he joined the Miami Heat on a two-way deal to basically start from scratch.

That’s what it takes to get some people into the league. And that’s exactly what Martin had to do to reach the NBA Finals.

In a summer filled with players who are making big contributions despite going undrafted, Martin stepped up and became the breakout star of the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 19.3 points on 60% shooting from the field, scored a career-high 26 postseason points in Game 7 against Boston, and it took the entire summer to eliminate the Celtics and clinch the series trip. Nuggets of Gold

“I definitely look back on where I started and the adventure I’ve been on to get here, right back when I signed last year,” Martin said. “But I think more than anything it is a strange feeling because I am also understanding that as happy as I am, and grateful to be here, I know there are still four games to go. The work is not over. We didn’t go through all the things we went through during the regular rounds, and the road I had to go through had to stop here.

This temperament is the same for many players in the Heat’s locker room.

Their captain, 20-year veteran Udonis Haslem, soon to retire, was also unopposed. Same is the case with starting point guard Gabe Vincent, guard Max Straus and Duncan Robinson, the leader in triples made in the franchise.

Haywood Highsmith, who gave the Heat valuable energy minutes coming off the bench against the Celtics, also went undrafted.

Miami will end the season with more points and no draft starts than the other 15 teams in the playoffs combined this year. The Heat have 876 points and 39 undrafted starts; The rest of the league has 778 points and 31 starts.

“That argument is dead,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said earlier in the postseason about untapped contributors. “These guys have shown that they are competitive players and winners.”

“I’m happy and proud of him,” said Jimmy Butler, Eastern Conference Finals MVP. “I think he will do much better in the next round, and I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone anytime soon.”

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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