Caleb Martin clears his name after controversial play in Game 1 of Heat-Celtics series

Caleb Martin clears the air and discusses his thoughts about what happened underneath the rim with Jayson Tatum.
The scuffle between the Celtics and the Heat after Tatum fell to the hardwood.
The scuffle between the Celtics and the Heat after Tatum fell to the hardwood. / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics-Miami Heat series has been outmatched by Coach Mazulla's squad, en route to their 114-94 score, granting them a 1-0 lead. However, the Caleb Martin foul on Celtics star Jayson Tatum during the final minute of regulation led to many spectators questioning his motive for the play.

Martin cleared the air and spoke to the media about his perspective on the entire situation.

“I mean anybody who knows me knows I don’t feel the need to try to take out guys in order beat somebody,” Martin told reporters Tuesday (h/t “First thing I did was turn around and check if he was OK. If I was trying to take somebody out, I would have just walked away. That’s just not who I am. It’s the playoffs. Hard fouls happen all the time. If the roles were switched, I don’t think anybody would’ve called it a code red. It just happened, and if anybody watches it, I clearly got pushed into him.”

Jaylen Brown stuck up for Jayson Tatum in final minute of Boston Celtics' blowout Game 1 win

Tatum quickly got off the floor and distanced himself from the scene as Jaylen Brown stood his ground, confronting Martin. The refs were able to step in and end the rumble before things got out of hand. After everything was cleared up, Tatum then shot his two free-throws, sinking both. It's worth noting that Martin had reached his hand out to check on Tatum before Brown reacted in his manner.

The Celtics forward finished the game with a triple-double amounting to 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists through 41 minutes. Martin racked up just four points, four rebounds, and two assists after 29 minutes of play.

Despite this situation, the hope is that there will be clean basketball moving forward.