Bam Adebayo believes Caleb Martin is more ‘free’ coming off bench for Miami Heat'
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Caleb Martin seems to be thriving in a reserve role for the Miami Heat, according to star Bam Adebayo.

Some NBA players might deem being demoted to the bench after being a full-time starter as a negative thing. But that is probably not the case for Martin.

The Heat’s signing of Kevin Love from the buyout market and their subsequent decision to start him alongside Adebayo and Jimmy Butler in the frontcourt made Martin the odd man out. Even so, Adebayo believes that Martin coming off the bench has allowed the fourth-year pro to play more freely than he did when he was still in the starting lineup.

In his first 49 appearances in the 2022-23 campaign, Martin filled in the starting power forward position. Despite being undersized at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, he played his role admirably, helping lead the Heat to a 32-27 record before the All-Star break.

As a reserve player, the 27-year-old has still proven to be effective for Miami. Even though his numbers are down except for his scoring average, Martin has been much more efficient from the field.

As a starter, he was shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 76.4 percent from the charity stripe for a true shooting percentage of 55.7. But coming off the bench, he has converted 51.2 percent of his field-goal attempts, 45.0 percent of his 3-point shots and 86.7 percent of his free throws. His true shooting percentage as a reserve is 67.2.

Unfortunately, the Heat have been reeling in the six contests after the break. They have lost four of those games. On a positive note, their two victories came against conference rivals Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks.

If Miami wants an advantageous seeding for the postseason, it will have to rack up the wins because it is currently sitting at seventh place in the East and just 1.5 games ahead of the Hawks.

It will be interesting to see if lineup changes are in store for the team. In that case, Martin might need to stay ready if he gets called up by the coaching staff to reclaim his spot in the starting lineup.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.