There’s no doubt that Caleb Martin is the picture perfect prospect to use your last two-way spot on. Experience, high-level scoring ability, and the definition of a plug and play guy for Erik Spoelstra.
I talked with Martin for a bit following Sunday’s practice, where he shared some thoughts on his upcoming role with the team.
After asking him if he thinks he’ll be put into a pure shot creation role with isolation possessions and off the dribble reps, he responded, “It’s gonna depend on the night and the situation. It also depends on what group I’m in. Sometimes I’m in with that first five, it’ll probably be more through actions, through the system, through kick-outs with Jimmy, Kyle, and Bam.”
He followed that up with his role aside the reserves, saying, “Maybe with the second group it’ll be more isolations, sometimes come off the pick and roll. So it just depends on the situation and timing.”
While we pretty much knew what he was going to be on the offensive end as a shot creator, it almost feels like his defensive activity has jumped off the screen even more.
I asked him if being around so many strong suited defenders enhances that skill of his, which he said, “100%. I always take pride on the defensive end. I take it personal. I want to get stops every time. But also, like you said, it’s one of those things whenever you have a whole collective group of veterans doing the same thing, and they’re all honed in on the defensive end. It only helps your standards, and you just want to meet those standards with that group of guys.”
I also asked Coach Spoelstra if Martin’s defensive abilities have almost surprised him, which he responded, “No.”
“He’s been a highly active, energetic, disruptive player. And that’s going back to college. In his opportunities with Charlotte, we really respected and liked how he played, how he approached competition, how he competes on the defensive end. He has positional size and quickness, and also the commitment to that side of the floor. You can build the rest of it after that.”
Speaking of that role when he played with the Hornets, it was clearly an interesting one to be given. In a way, it was a bit restrained in terms of role and minute distribution, but Martin stuck with it.
When asking him what the biggest difference will be from his usage in Charlotte to now in Miami, Martin said, “It really depends on the night. Sometimes I felt like I knew when I was gonna get in or when I wasn’t gonna get in with Charlotte, just based off the team and how the season and record was going.”
“But you just never know here,” he continued, “if it seems like they’re going to implement you, then it’ll allow me to be me a little more here.”
Whenever a new guy joins a team, especially when they’re a bit younger, it always feels like they have a specific guy on the team they go to if they have any questions. When asking Martin who that guy is, he pretty much said it’s everybody.
“Everybody’s kinda given a hand with that.” He mentioned that it basically depends on what he needs to know. “I’ll ask Duncan questions about how to come off screens or how to get open on screens, or I’ll ask PJ and them defensive questions, or I’ll ask Markieff how to guard post-ups, and the same thing with Jimmy and Kyle…I pick everybody’s brain.”
And well, that just seems to be the Miami Heat way.
Finally, I finished it off by asking the hard hitting questions outside of basketball: “who are your top 3 artists?”
While he thought about it for a second, he mentioned that he listens to so many that he doesn’t pick favorites. But immediately said, “I mean obviously J Cole, that’s my dog.”
As I said before, when he has a question, he goes to the best player around him that obtains that specific skill. So, it makes a lot of sense that J Cole is the guy that comes to mind first when thinking about the music industry.
Martin just feels like the perfect tool for Spoelstra to utilize throughout the season, and it should be coming right out the gate. As Martin mentioned, he gets in some reps with the starting group already.
And who has Coach Spo continually liked to throw in the starting lineup when an injury occurs? A two-way guy.
It just lines up perfectly.