Did Butler Almost Miss Out on Conference Finals MVP? There was a compelling reason

Martin’s performance was outstanding.

The Miami Heat won 103-84 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics of the 2023 NBA Playoffs held at TD Garden on the 30th (hereinafter Korean time).

Miami is the team that is attracting the most attention this playoff. Miami entered the playoff stage as the 8th seed. Early elimination was expected, but they succeeded in defeating both the first seed Milwaukee and the second seed Boston to reach the final. This is the second time in NBA playoff history that the eighth seed has advanced to the Finals.

Jimmy Butler is undeniably Miami’s unrivaled ace. Butler took the lead in defeating the giant Milwaukee with a phenomenal one-man show in the first round. In the series that followed, he continued to play a big role and led Miami to victory. In the Conference Finals, he averaged 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

It seemed natural for Butler to win the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. Usually, the series MVP is given to the ace of the winning team without any change, unless there is a big variable.

However, according to the voting results, Butler won the MVP honor by a narrow margin after an unexpectedly fierce competition. Because he had quite a few competitors. In the public voting results, Butler received 5 votes out of a total of 9 votes, and Caleb Martin received 4 votes.

That Martin, who is not a snake Adebayo, chased Butler down the chin is surprising given his stature before joining Miami. However, considering Martin’s performance in the conference finals, it is an understandable vote difference.

Just two years ago, Martin, a former undrafted player, received a notice of release from Charlotte without showing any significant presence until the second season. The team that embraces him is Miami, the symbol of basketball. Martin, who was very careful, succeeded in his survival by serving as a major backup resource in Miami.

This season, with PJ Tucker leaving the team, Martin has become a bigger part of the team. After signing an official contract with the off-season team, Martin, who was able to get a starting position, performed like Altoran with 3&D resources. Afterwards, Martin, who continued his good form in the playoffs, showed off his great influence in Miami, where Victor Oladipo and Tyler Hiro were missing.

In particular, the conference final meeting with Boston was the highlight.

Even Ace Butler had a long series of ups and downs, but Martin was steady. Based on his activity level, he scored 14 or more points in every game of the series, while making a big ball on defense. Martin, who displayed a good shooting sense, made 3.1 3-pointers per game with a success rate of 48.9%. Without Martin, Miami wouldn’t have made it to the finals.

Caleb Martin 2023 Conference Finals
average performance 19.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, field goal rate 60.2%, 3 point success rate, 48.9%

Martin, who ran the court one more step when others were having a hard time, scored 21 points and 15 rebounds in the 6th game and 26 points and 10 rebounds in the 7th game, 20 in two consecutive games. Succeeded in achieving -10. Such an impact must have had a great influence on the direction of voting. Some fans even raised their voices, saying, “They should have received co-MVP.”

It was a performance that took fans by surprise, but Miami teammates were not too surprised because they appreciated Martin’s hard work. Butler also praised Martin and praised him for getting better.

“To my untrained eye, Caleb Martin would have looked like an undrafted player from the G League,” Butler said. I wasn’t surprised to see it. I’m really proud of it. I think next time it will be much better.” 

Manager Eric Spoelstra also praised Martin, saying, “Martin gets a lot of respect in the locker room because his teammates know how hard he fights and works on the court.”메이저놀이터

Miami has already achieved a lot. However, with the finals remaining, they did not burst into celebration. Martin also did not let go of the tension, saying, “There are still four more victories left.” Will Martin’s performance continue in the finals against Denver?

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