Caleb Martin hard foul on Jayson Tatum a bellwether for Miami Heat-Boston Celtics series

Apr 21, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) controls the ball
Apr 21, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) controls the ball / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Martin's hard foul on Jayson Tatum with under a minute left, in an Eastern Conference Quarterfinals 114-94 Game 1 victory for the Boston Celtics over the Miami Heat that was already over at that point, is a sign of things to come in this series writes MassLive's Brian Robb.

"After the play, Jaylen Brown took exception as he immediately started jawing at Martin," Robb prefaced before saying, "There were some words exchanged from there as tensions rose, though cooler heads prevailed. The two were separated from there. But considering it’s only Game 1, there will be plenty more coming in the series from both sides."

Tatum helped ease the nerves of both the TD Garden crowd and Celtics fans everywhere by immediately popping up and heading to the other end for his free throws, but he got airtime on the fall. Martin came from underneath Tatum, running full speed, in what was undoubtedly a dirty play.

Caleb Martin's dirty play shows desperation Heat must show to upset Boston Celtics

For the Heat, trying to take out Boston's stars may be the only way they can be competitive in this series.

Game 1 showed how sharp the Celtics are right now as the postseason kicks off in earnest, and is a continuation of a season-long dominant stretch; even when the team's main rotation players were sitting out in the final week.

Miami is going to struggle without Jimmy Butler, but if Tyler Herro is going to shoot 4/13 and 3/9 from the 3-point line and Kevin Love is only going to get 13 minutes despite looking like the Heat's second best player, this won't be competitive.

So what else is there to do besides try to even the playing field? Let's hope Martin's tomfoolery didn't come from Erik Spoelstra himself, though Miami's dirty play against Boston historically doesn't inspire hope it didn't.

A poor display of "Heat Culture" if you ask the Houdini.