Caleb Martin offers optimistic outlook amidst early ‘growing pains’ for Miami Heat

4 Min Read

In the opinion of Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin, the early struggles for the Heat will end up having benefits for the team later on in the season.

Despite the Heat’s 4-6 record thus far, Martin believes that dealing with problems in the early portion of the campaign is better than having them surface come playoff time.

“I think that’s what you need early on,” forward Caleb Martin said, with the Heat set to return to practice on Sunday at FTX Arena before opening a four-game homestand on Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers. “I think you need growing pains to figure things out and I’m glad we’re going through those now. It’s good to get that stuff out of the way, so you kind of nip a lot of stuff in the bud.”

One of the possible reasons for the Heat’s slow start is the change that’s made both Martin and guard Tyler Herro members of the starting unit. Last season, Herro captured the NBA’s Sixth Man award for his work as a reserve.

During his first year with the Heat last season, Martin started in only 12 of his 60 regular season games. The fact that the Heat reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals seemingly destined Martin to come off the bench again.

Yet, he’s started in all nine of his games during the early going and is averaging 26.8 minutes of action per contest. From a production standpoint, Martin is averaging 7.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Martin isn’t being counted on to deliver huge numbers but does give the Heat a player who can connect from beyond the arc. In his nine games this season, he’s connected on 7-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line for a success rate of 38.9 percent.

Standing 6-foot-5, Martin is serving in the challenging role of power forward. That brings with it a need to battle inside for rebounds and also connect on shots in the paint.

Martin indicated that teams have been varying their defenses against him, a learning curve that can be daunting at times. However, with 72 games left in the regular season, the word panic isn’t in the vocabulary of either Martin or the Heat.

One reason why Martin appears to be so patient is that during the offseason he signed a lucrative three-year deal with the Heat.

Friday night’s road loss to the Indiana Pacers stopped the modest two-game winning streak the Heat had started. The good news is that the Heat will be back home on Monday night to start a four-game homestand.

That Monday contest against the Trail Blazers, will be followed by back-to-back clashes against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday and Saturday. A Nov. 14 matchup against the Phoenix Suns will cap the homestand, followed by eight road games in their 10 subsequent contests.

Share This Article
Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.