Sixers' latest signing proves teams are building teams specifically to beat Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are the sole reason the Sixers signed Caleb Martin
The Boston Celtics are the sole reason the Sixers signed Caleb Martin / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia 76ers' latest free agent signing, former Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets forward Caleb Martin, was done with one team in mind specifically for the Sixers to defeat: the reigning champion Boston Celtics.

Of course, nearly every addition is aimed at eventually winning it all, but the Sixers know the Eastern Conference runs through the Celtics. Just like with their Paul George signing, Philly is trying to slow down Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown enough to have a chance at dethroning the league's reigning overlords.

And Martin makes a lot of sense in that pursuit given his history with the Celtics.

Caleb Martin is a Boston Celtics killer

Martin is a Celtics killer in more ways than one.

First and foremost, Martin was part of the "Heat Culture" that would take aim at opponents in an effort to incapacitate them instead of outplaying them. During the 2024 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Martin famously sent Tatum to the floor jostling for a rebound. To be fair, he may have been pushed by Jrue Holiday, but the play was a significant one nonetheless because of the physicality and borderline dirty play from Erik Spoelstra's squad.

Of course, Martin also morphs into a star when he plays the Celtics. It didn't happen so much during the 2024 playoffs, but it certainly did during Miami's seven-game triumph in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Martin amassed averages of 19.3 points and 6.4 rebounds over the seven-game series and scored 26 points during Game 7 at the TD Garden.

Philadelphia has had one of the NBA's best offseasons, but it may still have been worse than Boston's since the reigning champs brought back every player who got rotation minutes during the C's run to Banner 18.

So before Sixers fans get too far ahead of themselves, even though they built their team the right way, it still might not be enough to slow down a generational juggernaut in Boston.