Heat’s Caleb Martin Opens Up About Simple Game Plan Vs. Jaylen Brown

Brown had eight turnovers in Game 7


May 31, 2023

With star Jayson Tatum injuring his ankle on the first possession of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Celtics looked to Jaylen Brown to pick up the slack.

But even Brown knows he “failed” at that challenge and the Miami Heat had a simple game plan to make sure Tatum’s running mate would be unsuccessful.

Breakout Heat star Caleb Martin, who outperformed Brown throughout the conference finals, revealed Miami didn’t change up its defensive approach on Brown in the winner-take-all contest even after figuring out that Tatum was limited. Instead, the Heat just kept forcing Brown to his left as the All-NBA talent and the Celtics offense stumbled.

“I think that was always the game plan,” Martin said on the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.”

Brown’s ball-handling issues were at the forefront of his underwhelming performance in Game 7. He turned the ball over an eye-popping eight times while scoring 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting, including a putrid 1-for-9 mark from 3-point range.

Brown has been the face of criticism with the Celtics failing to advance to the NBA Finals. There has been growing noise about potentially breaking up the tandem of Tatum and Brown, especially with Brown eligible to sign a supermax extension this summer.

It’s clear that Brown needs to improve his dribbling skills this offseason, something he didn’t do since he turned the ball over five times when the Golden State Warriors closed out the Celtics on their home floor in last year’s Finals. And if Brown doesn’t make the necessary improvements, opposing defenses will surely pick on him by making him go left.

Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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