Caleb Martin

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Smart, Heat Injuries, Knicks

Ben Simmons will miss his sixth game this season on Wednesday due to a sore left knee. Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said Simmons’ absences impact the club in many ways, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

“When he’s not out there we don’t have our point forward, our point guard, being able to initiate easy opportunities, push the ball in transition; so we’ll definitely miss him in the lineup,” Irving said. “Hopefully he comes back [soon], but if he’s dealing with it we just want him to get as healthy as possible and we’ll figure it out.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • In Joe Mazzulla, Celtics guard Marcus Smart feels he has a head coach that fully trusts him, he told Steve Bulpett of “I think once Coach put his trust in me, we’ve seen how it’s allowed me to blossom and this team to blossom,” Smart said. “So just having a coach that can believe in you and allow you to run the team like he needs you to, that means everything. And then on top of that him being a point guard, that’s just an extra bonus, because he understands the pressure that I have to go through as the point guard in making everybody else happy and sacrificing your own for the team.”
  • The Heat released their injury report for Wednesday’s game and there’s no less than a dozen names on the list heading into their showdown with the Celtics, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven are listed as out, while Nikola Jovic, Dewayne Dedmon, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith and Duncan Robinson received the questionable tag. Two other players are probable.
  • The most realistic path to improvement for the Knicks is still the trade route, Ian Begley of SNY TV opines. They’ll continue to seek out top talent and have a surplus of draft picks and some young players to offer teams. Stuck in mediocrity, the only question is whether they’ll make a big move before the trade deadline or wait until the offseason.

Heat Notes: Butler, Martin, Jovic, Lowry, Highsmith

Friday marks Jimmy Butler‘s fifth consecutive absence due to right knee soreness, and he’s likely out Sunday at Atlanta as well. However, the expectation is that the 33-year-old forward will return for Wednesday’s game at Boston, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (free account required).

In addition to Butler, Duncan Robinson (left ankle sprain) and Max Strus (right shoulder impingement) continue to deal with their own injuries, Winderman notes. Robinson has now missed three straight, while Friday is Strus’ second straight missed game.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • After signing a three-year, $20.4MM to remain with Miami in the offseason, forward Caleb Martin continues to make progress as a player, Winderman writes for The Sun Sentinel. “Caleb has grown and changed from what he was previously, before,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I still think he’s going to have a game where he’ll be flirting with some triple-doubles, just the way he’s getting into dribble handoffs, the way he can get shooters open shots. There’s going to be one of those nights where he’s just going to fall into all of those being makes, and you’ll look up and he’s going to have eight assists with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter. I told him the big thing is can he get 10 rebounds. I know he can get the points and assists. He has a knack for the ball, so he’s going to be able to get that as well.” The 27-year-old has hit his stride over the last six games (39.5 minutes), averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks on .515/.452/.800 shooting.
  • Rookie Nikola Jovic has flashed intriguing potential as an injury-replacement starter, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (subscriber link). The 19-year-old forward has a lot of work to do defensively, but the Heat are pleased with how he’s developing early on in 2022/23. “He has really good offensive instincts not only as a passer but as a screener, how to get into open spaces, how to execute different things and then his passing and his vision,” Spoelstra said. “As soon as he got here, that was probably his No. 1 strength — his ability to make other guys better. And he’s not afraid of the moment. So he’s comfortable out there, he’s earning the respect of everybody in the locker room and he’s earning his stripes right now.”
  • Miami continues to be ravaged by injuries, which is the primary reason the team has lost four of its last five games, but Kyle Lowry has been playing some of his best basketball in a Heat uniform, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Haywood Highsmith‘s defense and Martin’s all-around game have also been positives with Miami severely shorthanded, Jackson observes. The Heat are currently 8-11, the No. 12 seed in the East.

Southeast Notes: Harris, Banchero, Martin, Herro, Beal

Magic guard Gary Harris feels like he’s close to playing again following arthroscopic surgery during the offseason to repair a torn meniscus, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Harris has been participating in full-court games with coaches and taking part in pre-game shootarounds as he prepares to make his season debut.

“I’m moving around a little bit right now,” he said. “I’m really trying to get my timing back. Get back in basketball shape. I’m testing stuff out each day. I get more comfortable around the court.”

Harris who signed a two-year, $26MM extension with Orlando before the start of free agency, has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. But the meniscus tear was the first one that required him to undergo surgery.

“It’s just different,” Harris said. “Different movements. It’s something I have to get back comfortable and familiar with after my first one. Just seeing how my body responds.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic coach Jamahl Mosley gave a medical update on top draft pick Paolo Banchero at today’s practice, Price adds. Banchero was able to participate in drills, but he remains day-to-day with a sprained left ankle and will be a game-time decision Monday.
  • Caleb Martin was looking forward to facing his twin brother as the Heat and Hornets met twice in three days in Miami, but an injury changed those plans, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Cody Martin has played just one minute this season because of a knee injury, and Charlotte announced Friday that he had an arthroscopic procedure. He’ll reportedly miss approximately six weeks. “It’s tough on him, man,” Caleb said. “He’s obviously like me in terms of competing and wanting to be out there and contributing. It’s hard for him to need to sit out and watch other guys play.”
  • Tyler Herro missed his third straight game tonight with a sprained left ankle and he’ll need some more time to recover, Chiang tweets. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Herro is doing “everything he needs to do” to get back on the court.
  • Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis are helping the Wizards remain competitive during Bradley Beal‘s latest stint in the health and safety protocols, notes Tyler Byrum of NBC Sports Washington. Beal cleared the protocols Friday, but he didn’t play tonight and coach Wes Unseld Jr. said he will likely be held out of Sunday’s game.

Southeast Notes: Davis, Ball, Herro, Martin, Strus

Many lottery picks wouldn’t be thrilled about a G League assignment. The Wizards’ Johnny Davis has a different take, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Davis scored 13 points on 3-for-13 shooting in 26 minutes in his first outing for the Capital City Go-Go. He played 23 minutes and scored 17 points in his second G League game on Sunday.

The 10th overall pick is grateful to see so much court time.

“It was great to be able to finally play again,” Davis said. “Being with the Wizards, you always got to stay ready, but I’m glad they sent me down here so I can get some reps and just get that feeling back.”

Davis averaged six minutes in five NBA appearances before the assignment.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • LaMelo Ball could return this week from the left ankle sprain that has sidelined him since late in the preseason. His Hornets teammates are excited at the prospect of having their floor leader back, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. “Super excited, super anxious,” Kelly Oubre said. “I tell him every day I miss him on the court. You know, he’s another element to our team that is through the roof. You can’t put a matchup on him.”
  • Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin are still adjusting to their new roles as starters for the Heat, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Herro is getting used to playing alongside other high-usage players, while Martin is getting most of his offensive opportunities around the 3-point line. “I think that’s what you need early on,” Martin said. “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.”
  • Max Strus has only started three of 10 games for the Heat but he’s becoming an integral part of the closing unit, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes. Strus has played the entire fourth quarter the past two games. “He does a lot of things for us defensively,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He can guard bigger guys. He can play really anywhere we want to in a zone. We also can put him in different matches in our man, and he’s really proficient, really good on the back side of our defense. And then offensively he’s just gaining confidence.”

Heat Notes: Robinson, Martin, Yurtseven, Lowry

Coming off a frustrating year, followed by a summer of hearing his name in trade rumors, Heat swingman Duncan Robinson is approaching this season with a “big chip” on his shoulder, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Robinson put together two straight outstanding shooting seasons that earned him a five-year, $90MM contract last summer. The expectations that came with the new deal seemed to affect him, and Robinson was pulled from the starting lineup in March.

“You go through something like I went through last year, you definitely grow from that between the ears for sure,” Robinson said, adding that he became “hardened” by the adversity.

He’s off to a much better start this season, though his playing time is about half of what it used to be. Coming into tonight’s game, Robinson has made 6-of-12 three-point shots and hasn’t committed a turnover in 47 minutes of action.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Caleb Martin may consider an appeal of his one-game suspension for fighting with Toronto’s Christian Koloko, Jackson adds in a separate story. Martin sat out Monday’s game, but he could still potentially recover the roughly $45K in salary that it cost him. “It’s tough watching knowing you can contribute to a win,” he said. “Overall I’m feeling like I definitely could have contributed for sure. Especially when you lose, you are going to think that loss is on you. That’s how you learn. I learned from that, make sure I don’t do it again.”
  • Omer Yurtseven is traveling with the team, but he’s not expected to play during the three-game road trip, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The back-up center has been sidelined with a left ankle impingement, and the coaching staff wants to be with him while he does rehab work. “I think I’m going to be back in less than a week, hopefully,” Yurtseven said. “But I’ve got to sacrifice and I’ve just got to take the pain that comes with it, and that’s what I’m going to do. But hopefully sooner rather than later. But less than a week is my hope.”
  • Kyle Lowry talks about the team’s early-season frustrations in another Winderman story. Lowry suggests there’s an adjustment period to having Tyler Herro in the starting lineup and trying to get more offense from Bam Adebayo, and says the players need time to get comfortable with the changes. In a mailbag, Winderman notes that last year’s Lowry trade didn’t look good for the Heat on Monday, with Precious Achiuwa grabbing 22 rebounds for the Raptors.

Southeast Notes: Martin, Hunter, Wembanyama, Ross

Caleb Martin will serve his one-game suspension on Monday and the Heat forward expressed regret for the incident that led to that one-game ban, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

“I definitely expected something like that to that degree,” Martin said of the suspension. “I knew they were going to look through something and find out the proper consequences, and I definitely don’t disagree with it.”

Martin was deemed the instigator in an on-court altercation with the Raptors’ Christian Koloko on Saturday.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • It’s questionable whether Hawks owner Tony Ressler would actually be willing to pay a luxury tax unless the Hawks have 60-win potential, which is why De’Andre Hunter‘s extension could become an issue in the near future, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hunter’s extension of four years and up to $95MM puts the Hawks in a bind as early as next summer if Bogdan Bogdanović picks up his $18MM option for 2023/24, Hollinger notes. They’ll also have to shell out big bucks to re-sign Dejounte Murray in 2024, so unless they clear cap space, the Hawks could be limited to using the taxpayer mid-level exception and still ending up paying the tax in ’23/24, then go even deeper into tax territory the following season.
  • The Hornets shouldn’t go into tank mode to land projected top pick Victor Wembanyama, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer opines. They haven’t enjoyed lottery luck throughout their history, Boone notes. It would also leave their current franchise player, LaMelo Ball, without any postseason experience and would risk alienating season ticket holders.
  • Magic wing Terrence Ross sees a silver lining in the team’s 0-3 start, as he told Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel“It’s great, as much as it hurts to lose a game,” he said. “The learning experience is amazing. We’ve played some really good teams. All in all, it’s going to give us confidence and let us know we can compete with anybody.”

NBA Suspends Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic; Fines Christian Koloko

The NBA has suspended Heat forward/guard Caleb Martin and rookie power forward Nikola Jovic, in addition to fining Raptors rookie center Christian Koloko for their roles in an on-court altercation during Saturday’s game, the league has announced in a press release (Twitter link).

Koloko was tackled and sent into the crowd by Martin, whom the NBA referred to as the instigator of the fight. In its presser, the league notes that it fined Koloko $15K because he grabbed Martin during the altercation.

Martin and Koloko were both ejected with technical fouls after fighting for rebounding position midway through the third quarter of a 112-109 Miami home win over Toronto yesterday. Jovic left his team’s bench to support Martin during the fracas, resulting in an automatic one-game suspension.

The Raptors will square off against the Heat again on Miami’s home floor, FTX Arena, tomorrow, October 24, during which Jovic and Martin will serve their suspensions.

After signing a new three-year, $20.5MM deal to stay with Miami in the summer, Martin has started off the season slowly on offense as the team’s starting power forward. He is averaging 6.3 PPG on .333/.167/1.000 through three games, plus 5.3 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.3 SPG.

The 6’10” Jovic, selected with the No. 27 pick by Miami this summer, has yet to play for the Heat this season. The 7’1″ Koloko, the No. 33 selection in the 2022 draft out of Arizona, has played sparingly thus far for Toronto, averaging 1.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 0.7 BPG in 15.7 MPG through his first pro contests.

Heat Notes: Martin, Yurtseven, Oladipo, Dedmon

Heat forward Caleb Martin and Raptors center Christian Koloko face fines and possible suspensions after being ejected for fighting in Saturday’s game.

According to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, the skirmish happened midway through the third quarter as both players were chasing a rebound. Koloko was knocked over and Martin was whistled for a loose ball foul. Koloko seemed to accidentally swipe Martin in the back of his head on his way down, and Martin angrily stood over Koloko before they began throwing punches.

“I just think that there’s a lot of plays that were kind of leading up to it. It was a chippy game,” Martin said. “That’s typically how the game goes with Toronto. It’s chippy back and forth. But ultimately I just think that emotions were high and the game was a close game. It was back and forth. Overall, I got to be more professional in the way I handle those type of situations.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra credited assistants Malik Allen and Caron Butler for keeping other players on the bench and not escalating the fight, which could have led to multiple suspensions. Koloko, who was playing just his third NBA game, said he didn’t understand what made Martin so angry.

“When he fouled me, he was basically grabbing me and pushing me,” Koloko said. “I don’t know … I’m confused. I don’t know why. I don’t even know him, so I don’t know what was going on in his head. He just stood there looking at me like crazy. I just stood up. I don’t know.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Omer Yurtseven is listed as day-to-day with a left ankle impingement, but the Heat haven’t set a timetable for him to return, Chiang writes in a separate story. Yurtseven was competing for the backup center spot heading into training camp, but the injury has kept him out of action since the first preseason game. “They said structurally [it’s fine],” Yurtseven said. “I went to like five different doctors just to make sure everything was fine just to double, triple and quadruple check.”
  • The Heat also don’t have a timetable for Victor Oladipo, who has missed the first three games with left knee tendinosis, Chiang adds. The team is being careful with Oladipo after he underwent two surgeries on his right knee in a little more than three years. “I wouldn’t say extra cautious. I would say appropriate and measured approach with this,” Spoelstra said. “We’re looking at the long game. This has been about investing in him and his health for two years and we just want to make sure that we’re taking all the necessary steps to get him back out there where there’s not a setback.”
  • Reserve center Dewayne Dedmon has gotten off to a slow start and could see a reduced role as the season wears on, suggests Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Heat Notes: Herro, Martin, Adebayo, D. Smith, Garrett

The Heat unveiled their new-look starting lineup for the first time this preseason in Wednesday’s victory over the Pelicans, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin have joined Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in the first unit and they were impressive in their first outing, outscoring New Orleans 60-48 in the 20 minutes they were on the court together.

Herro, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, has the starting job that he said he wanted after the end of last season. His future in Miami is secure after receiving a contract extension that could be worth $130MM over four years, and he’s ready to take on a slightly different role in the offense.

“Having Jimmy, Kyle, Bam out there with me allows me to play off the ball a little bit more,” Herro said. “It allows me to just be a spacer. If I’m open, they kick to me and I just knock it down or play out of a close-out. It’s hard to guard me when guys are closing out to me.”

Martin moved into the starting role that opened when P.J. Tucker left for Philadelphia in free agency. He’s undersized for the power forward position, but he’s athletic enough to be an asset on a team that switches frequently on defense.

“I think Caleb has been doing exceptionally well,” Butler said. “I’m talking about switching, making shots, being aggressive, being a great teammate. It’s tough to do what P.J. does, but I think Caleb does it extremely well.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat want Adebayo to assume a larger role in the offense, and his preseason numbers are pointing in that direction, Chiang tweets. Per 36 minutes, Adebayo averaged 31 points on 19.4 shots and 12.1 free throws in three games, compared to 21.1 points, 14.4 field goal attempts and 6.7 foul shots last season.
  • Signing Dru Smith to a two-way contract is likely the team’s last personnel move before the start of the season, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, he notes that five players held two-way deals with Miami in 2021/22, so those spots could change as the season progresses.
  • The decision to waive Marcus Garrett was related to his fractured wrist, but his role with the team was already shaky because his offense hasn’t improved, Winderman adds. Once Garrett recovers, the Heat may consider sending him to the G League or bringing him back in a two-way role.

Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Butler, Power Forward, Martin, Haslem

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra discussed many training camp-related topics this week, including who may start at power forward this season, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. As of now, it seems unlikely Jimmy Butler will slide up to the four.

“My thing with that is I would love to be able to, at some point in Jimmy’s career, just start him at all five positions,” Spoelstra joked. “I’ve already started him at point guard. I’ve started him at his natural position, the three. I’ve started him at the two. I’ve definitely played him at the four, and he’ll play some four this year, not likely starting him there.

“But, man, that’d be cool to start him at the four at some point, whether it’s this year or the future. And then, for sure, start him at the five. That would be a great legacy. But Jimmy is a brilliant competitor and basketball player. He’ll make it work no matter what position we have him at. But playing him at his strengths is important to him and to me and to the team.”

As Chiang notes, Butler has already made it clear that he doesn’t want to replace P.J. Tucker at the four. Other contenders for the team’s power forward spot include Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and Bam Adebayo — though Adebayo would only make sense if Omer Yurtseven or Dewayne Dedmon start at center.

Here are some other notes from Miami today:

  • Spoelstra appreciates the “ambition” of so many players who want to start this season, Chiang writes in a separate article for the Miami Herald. Other potential starters include Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson and Max Strus — all of whom believe they’re worthy of that role. Herro easily has the best case, averaging 20.7 points on his way to winning the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season.
  • Martin, who also spoke about the team’s open starting forward slot, suggested that anyone who questions his ability to fill the role is showing some disrespect. “To me, it’s kind of a sign of disrespect a little bit that people are so worried about it,” he said, as relayed by Anthony Chiang. Of course, Martin is only 6’5″ and 205 pounds, so it’s understandable for fans to question whether he can play heavy minutes at power forward.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald examines a number of Heat topics, including why Udonis Haslem doesn’t want to get into coaching. Haslem is entering his 20th NBA season. He has served as a valuable locker room presence in recent years, but has only played a combined 18 games over the past three seasons.